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