A Sharp-shinned Hawk at Toronto’s Milliken Park

A Sharp-shinned Hawk at Toronto’s Milliken Park

Sharp-shinned hawk - puffed up - Milliken Park - Toronto

Milliken Park, Toronto, Ontario

Beneath a very cloudy sky, Bob and I decided to visit Milliken Park, in Toronto, Ontario, to see if we could spot any birds. As it turned out we spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Sharp-shinned hawk - puffed up - Milliken Park - Toronto

This small Raptor, ironically, is the smallest hawk you will find anywhere in North America.  The irony is that this small  hawk loves to eat small songbirds.  In the spring, Sharp-shinned Hawks prefer hunting for prey in wooded areas such as in our local park, and they are also notorious for swooping down on small songbirds at bird feeders and carrying them away.

Sharp-shinned hawk looks left - Milliken Park - Toronto

Sharp-shinned hawk - profile - Milliken Park - Toronto

Sharp-shinned hawk - sitting in Milliken Park tree - Toronto

As we took our few pictures, this Sharp-shinned Hawk kept looking left, then right, backwards and forwards, searching for some unsuspecting songbird to prey upon.

Sharp-shinned hawk - looks to lleft - Milliken Park - Toronto

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the best way to deal with the threat of a  Sharp-shinned Hawk hunting in your backyard is to remove all of your bird feeders for a couple of weeks, and then hope that the Sharp-shinned hawk will move on and that your songbirds will return when the feeders are replaced.  So, Bob and I will be keeping an eye on our backyard songbirds over the next couple of days, and we will both be hoping that this local bird of prey does not pay a visit to our backyard.

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4 comments

  • Beautiful look at the feather patterns.

  • Informative post and identification tips. I made a post on my blog of an American Kestrel picking out a Mourning Dove. The victor enjoyed her spoils.

    • American Kestrels are such pretty birds, and innocent looking. We have had one visit our backyard, albeit not recently, but we did spot several of them in Whitby, not far from Lynde Shores Conservation Area. That would have been a couple of weeks ago. They were flitting about a field next to the highway, and lighting on the telephone wires. I didn’t manage to get very good photographs that time.