Two New Wildlife Cams

Screech Owl roosting in nest box

Screech Owl roosting in nest box

My feeders have been quiet these days; I haven’t seen the neighbourhood chickadees in a while, though I don’t know if that’s because they haven’t been coming or whether they are only showing up while I am out. I did see a Merlin in the neighbourhood a few weeks ago, so that may also have something to do with their disappearance.

Given the absence of wildlife in my own yard, I find it fascinating to see what birds are visiting other peoples’ yards. Cornell Lab of Ornithology is hosting a new FeederWatch Cam from a backyard in Manitouwadge, Ontario, a northern town located about halfway between Timmins and Thunder Bay. The feeders sit in the middle of a large backyard near a birch tree, a mixed stand of conifers and several fruit trees that provide additional sources of food and shelter. At the feeders the birds can snack on black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer seed, whole and shelled peanuts, and peanut butter suet in a homemade hanging log.

Since I’ve started visiting this cam I’ve seen Blue Jays, Pine Grosbeaks, chickadees and Common Redpolls visiting. Other birds that have been caught on camera include Northern Shrike, Ruffed Grouse, Gray Jays, Hoary Redpolls, and Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers.

View the FeederWatch Cam here

Pine Grosbeak and Common Redpolls at Feeder

Pine Grosbeak and Common Redpolls at Feeder

I’ve also discovered a website that monitors roosting Eastern Screech Owls in Pennsylvania. PixController has been streaming wildlife webcams since 2004 and currently has eight cameras installed in or near nest boxes used by screech owls during the day. Study area 1 has five nest boxes (or “owl boxes”) located in a dry wetland area. An external pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera gives an outside view of the five owl boxes and can be controlled remotely. Two additional owl boxes have been installed in an overgrown field known as study area 2. The two study areas are about 300 yards apart.

The owl boxes in study area 1 are currently being used by a mature gray phase Eastern Screech Owl nicknamed “Allie”. A red phase Eastern Screech Owl nicknamed “Dakota” is using the owl boxes in study area 2. It is not known whether these owls are male or female; and the ultimate goal of the screech owl project is to see whether the owls will nest during the roost boxes in the spring.

View the Screech Owl roosting cams here

With about a month to go until spring migration begins, it helps to have webcams like these to help pass the time!


2 thoughts on “Two New Wildlife Cams

  1. Hi Gillian! Thanks for commenting on my blog post. I’m glad to figure out your identity since I had tried to figure out who this blog belonged to when I referenced it but couldn’t find anything with your name. I actually still remember you from some OFNC trips when I was a brand-new birder as you were so knowledgeable and that really made an impression on me (I even mentioned you in one of my entries 🙂 Yes, I would be careful at P10, and actually, any of the NCC parking lots–I’m sure that the vandals do the rounds. And feel free to reference my blog post on the great greys in your post–as you can see, it has prompted a number of heated comments. Jenna

    • Ha, I guess I should put my name on my “About” page; thought I had done that but I guess I haven’t! 😉

      Yes, I saw the comments on that post. It’s awful that the biologist who wrote his name down is being attacked by some anonymous pro-baiter who thinks he has all the answers. I expect to get similar comments once my posts go live; I did before when I criticized the photographers at the Hilda Road Feeders a while back. It’s not fun, but someone needs to speak up for the owls (and the mice).

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