The bird population within Awenda Provincial Park highlights the Park’s diverse ecosystem. The 2010 Bird Research was entirely funded by the Friends of Awenda Park. The project focused on Species-At-Risk (SAR) in an attempt to collect more data on some of our Bird SARs. During the 2010 Bird Research Project conducted by Mark Wiercinski, breeding evidence was discovered for 102 species. Surveys were completed between June 17th and July 15th 2010.
The majority of species observed were dependent on a forest habitat, with thirty-nine of the observed forest species being classed as area sensitive. Area sensitive species are those that have been determined to be present only when the size of the habitat they require is larger than normal which thus makes them sensitive to a minimum size. Twelve species were classed as area sensitive for Open Country and 5 species for Marsh habitat. In total, 56 species observed in the 2010 survey were classed as area sensitive.
The Species-At-Risk discovered during this project included; Canada Warbler, Cerulean Warbler and Hooded Warbler. These three warbler species are all forest habitat dependent. The Cerulean and Hooded Warbler choose the more mature deciduous forest. Canada Warbler is most often found in lowland coniferous habitat with denser cover through all layers of the canopy.
There were four territories of this species discovered during the surveys. All territories were marked by a singing male. In two of the territories there were pairs behaving in a defensive manner. It was highly probable that they were protecting young of the year or a brood on a nest. The preferred habitat choice for all of these birds was in cedar and mixed coniferous forest in relatively close proximity to the Georgian Bay shoreline. One territory was in behind the Kettle’s Beach subdivision area. Three territories were along the Beaver Pond Trail near Second Beach.
One territory of this species was discovered during the course of this project. This was a single male bird singing on territory. It was detected more than once at the same location (June 18th and July 10th ). This bird was in a mature old growth section of large Maple-Beech forest. This bird was likely defending a breeding territory but evidence of a mate or young of the year was not confirmed. A number of surveys were completed in similar habitat and in areas where this species was known to occur in past records but no other birds were detected.
Three territories of this species were discovered over the course of this project. All were found in mature upland deciduous habitat. The three sites were close to each other and were similar in character with a break in the canopy that allowed a denser understory and more pole or sapling growth in light gaps created by death of mature beeches. One of these territories had a pair of adults and at least two fledged young present. This is the first confirmed successful breeding evidence for this species within Awenda.