Algonquin Park Wildlife
What is more classic in Algonquin’s backcountry than listening to the call of the loon. Hearing the long and haunting wail, or the wild, dramatic tremolo, is a reminder that we are in the wilderness.
Most lakes have at least one pair of loons in Algonquin Park and some lakes bigger Lakes often have 2. Surprise Lake, where our Algonquin Log Cabin is, often has a pair at the west end of the lake and another pair near Kitchie Island, right in front of the Log Cabin.
The Algonquin Wolves, once called Eastern Wolves, are very hard to see in the wild. Having said, many of our Algonquin Park canoe trips and Algonquin Log Cabin adventures have had the thrill of lying in their tents or sitting around the campfire and hearing a spine-tingling howl or a pack howling together.
While we see wolf tracks and scat throughout the year, we most often hear wolves in August and September. In the winter, in late January , we see lots of tracks near the Algonquin Log Cabin and the occasional wolf kill on a frozen lake.
Beavers and Otters
Beavers are very common in Algonquin Park. At Algonquin’s north west, numerous beaver damns clog the Amable du fond river and can be a challenge to get over in your canoe. Over at the Algonquin Log cabin, Surprise Creek is filled with Beaver damns and lodges and there are excellent places to see beaver chews on soft wood trees.
The best time to see beavers is early in the morning or at disk. We often see Beavers on night paddles from the log cabin and hear the occasional “slap! ” of their tail. In terms of seasons, April is the best viewing month as you are able to see the beavers out of the water, sitting on the ice in the fresh spring air. After a long winter spent mostly in their lodge and under the ice, they seem keen for the sun, warm air and freedom of spring!
Bald Eagles, Woodpeckers…
Algonquin Park is positioned in a transition between the southern Carolinian Hardwood forests and the conifers of the Boreal Forest to the north. This translates into excellent diversity of birds andover 270 recorded species.
Pileated, Hairy, and Downy Woodpeckers are all around the Algonquin Log Cabin and are seen throughout the year. To our delight, Bald Eagles have returned after a long absence due to DDT and other chemicals being used in Ontario. In 2009, Bald Eagles were sighted on ourAlgonquin Island Retreat on Kawawaymog Lake. They have stayed ever since and can be seen most often at the mouth of the Amable du fond river.
Algonquin Wildlife Resources
There are Black bears in Algonquin Park. While it is quite unlikely you will see one, there are some good tips from Algonquin Park Wardens on how to prepare yourself.
Check out their suggestions here
Algonquin Park is likely the best place in the world to hear wolves. Every Thursday in August, Algonquin Park Biologists run a public wolf howl along the highway 60 corridor.
Check out the wolf howl program here
Bug season in Algonquin is typically late May and most of June.
Here is some more information about Mosquitoes and Blackflies.