Crooked Creek Breeding Bird Survey: May 29, 2022

 Every spring I look forward to running over a dozen Breeding Bird Surveys in both Southern and Northern Ontario. Routes consist of 50 stops spaced 0.8 km apart along a 39.4-km route. We record the total number of individual bird species heard from any distance or seen within 0.4 km of each stop during a three-minute observation. These data are carefully analyzed on a yearly basis to provide information on bird population trends, relative abundance and species composition and richness at the local, regional and continental scale.

We were on the road at 3:30 am this morning heading to farming country north of Port Hope for a 5:02 am start.

Here is how the sky looked shortly after dawn:

Mystery Bird. I will identify it at the end of the post.

We had perfect conditions and no wind for the survey. Some of the highlights:

Five Sparrow species:

Song Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow (photo:

Over 20 Indigo Buntings:

Indigo Bunting (male)
Indigo Bunting (female)

Several singing Wood Thrushes:

Wood Thrush

Many House Wrens:

House Wren

About 10 gobbling Wild Turkeys:

Wild Turkey (female)

And this Turkey Vulture:

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture

Some botany:

Silver Maple (Acer sachharinum)
Dog-strangling Vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)
Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Autumn-olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Pussy-toes (Antennaria)
Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica )
Orchard Grass (Dactylis glomerata)
Basswood (Tilia americana)
Goat’s beard (Tragopogon)
Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Brome Grass (Bromus intermis)

Mystery bird:

The yellow colour and rusty breast strokes identify this as a male Yellow Warbler.

Yellow Warbler (male)



                              (from a teacher’s perspective.)


    Leaves fall so softly;

       Spectres of new classes loom –

           Fall’s beauty fading. – J. Barbara

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Crooked Creek Breeding Bird Survey: May 29, 2022

  1. Sophie Popielak

    The shot of the Field Sparrow was fabulous. Being introduced to the different english translations of botany has been interesting to say the least, ie. Dog-strangling vine, Goat’s beard….

  2. rosemarie fischer

    wonderful post all around,Miles.Also,I got the mystery bird right,was very pleased with myself.
    Thank you for all you do.
    Rosemarie Fischer


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