Pileated Woodpecker laughs from the trees

Hey! Who dares to laugh at me? I was walking though Scarborough’s Guildwood Park when I heard a far-carrying laugh: Kuk kuk keekeekeekeekeekeekeekuk kuk! (I discovered later that the laugh is accurately described as a ‘jungle-bird call’). As the noise came again, and I looked around trying to find who or what was making this […]

How I fell in love with birds

People occasionally ask me how, out of all the possible hobbies out there, I ended up birding. The story began just seven years ago with a mother’s day present from my son. My son, who, in his words, always struggled to find me the right gift, decided upon a lovely bird feeder. A short while […]

Hummingbirds on the move in East Toronto

A streak of red and green followed by the slightest hum of tiny wings beating 55-75 times per second: the beautiful Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) makes its always-memorable presence known to me. On this particular day the little hummingbird, only 7.5-9cm (3-5 inches) from beak tip to tail tip, appeared to be studying me as […]

Even birds of prey need to beat the heat

As anyone who’s checked out my blogs knows by now, one of my favourite birds is the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). It was the first bird that I really got the chance to study. The way they fly, build nests, feed, care for and teach their young has always fascinated me. Among their amazing behaviours, […]

Blanding Turtle anything but bland

Say hello to the Blanding Turtle.  I saw my first Blanding Turtle (Emydoidea Blandingii) while I was driving my car down a dirt road. All of a sudden I saw a large turtle with his bright yellow neck, out on the road in front of me.  I pulled the car to the side of the […]

Kingfisher call brings to mind old money

As I stop my car, turn it off and listen for my feathery friends, I hear an unexpectedly harsh screeching and a sharp sound like tick-tick-tick-tick-tick. I instantly recognize the distinctive sound and I’m suddenly reminded of money! (I’ll explain later). Suddenly a streak of blue flies by and out of sight. Too fast to […]

Robins battle for spring supremacy

Recently, on one of those lovely spring mornings we’ve been having, I looked out my front window to see the most bizarre bird behaviour between a pair of American Robins. When I first noticed them I went outside, grabbing my camera as always, and sat on my steps to get a better view. At first […]

Why, you saucy little mink

Most days after work I wander to one of Toronto’s waterfront areas: the Scarborough Bluffs, Ashbridges Bay, the Beaches or the Leslie Street Spit. When friends and co-workers ask me ‘why?’, the answer is simple: I want a breath of fresh air and to be surrounded by nature. My almost-daily park visits allow me to […]

Duck spotting at Ashbridges Bay

Warm beautiful sunny days keep drawing me to visit Ashbridges Bay over and over again.  If you choose to follow one of the great paths to walk by the water you will be rewarded and see many wintering ducks swimming close to the shore.  At Ashbridges Bay I have been happy to see Bufflehead Ducks, […]