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Birds of Northumberland


Booklets have been prepared that contain accounts on all of the species recorded in Northumberland and Presqu'ile Provincial Park with more than 10 accepted records. Each species account contains short summary data and then four charts:

  • number of records by month
  • number of individuals by month
  • number of records by year for the 25 years from 1986 - 2010
  • number of individuals by year for the 25 years from 1986 - 2010

unless ten or fewer records exist, in which case the records themselves are listed separately, as are species felt to be unacceptable due the inadequate documentation or possible escapee status.

Species with 10 or Fewer Records

The following have ten or fewer records in the County. They are not included in the species accounts, but all the records are detailed in full below.

  • List of species for Northumberland County with 10 or fewer accepted records

The following species have been formally reported from the County (i.e. their occurrence has been published somewhere), but have inadequate documentation or none at all; or are probable escapees (marked PE). Documentation judged inadequate lacks information necessary to separate the bird reported with reasonable certainty from other species.

  • List of reported species for Northumberland County for which adequate documentation does not exist


Material is verified as carefully as possible; however, for many earlier records no documentation exists, and documentation in general prior to 1970 (the date of the inauguration of Provincial records committees) does not meet contemporary standards. In these cases other criteria must be used in assessing the validity of an observation,  but inevitably the standard of acceptance cannot be as rigorous as that applied to more recent records.

Numbers in particular must be approached with caution. The ‘Maximum number seen’ in the initial summary can be the total from a Christmas Bird Count (CBC) or Summer Bird Count (SBC), and hence represent the composite numbers from many routes (as in Ruffed Grouse); or the total of birds seen during an all-day count of migrants moving (as in Common Loon); or even a season total, as in some hawks and jaegers. Similarly, on the charts, totals in December and June will include CBC and SBC data. Further, the ‘Individuals Seen by Month’ will count a single bird seen and recorded on every day of a month as up to 31 individuals. Any confusion on this latter score, however, can be partially clarified by reference to the number of records by month and comparing the two. It still remains that great care must be taken in interpreting the numbers given.

Though some patterns are clear from the charts or tables, others need to be treated with caution. For example, an increase in the number of individuals seen may imply more observer hours, not more individuals. Also, be aware that the records come from several sources and, though all the records have been verified as far as possible, the records do not reflect uniform distributions of effort, location, seasons, or methodologies. In particular, note that species' totals for June and December include totals for Christmas and Summer Bird Counts, and high counts in 1985 and 2005 for breeding species represent Breeding Bird Atlas entries, as do August totals for those years.