Trumpeter Swans with Cygnets at Milliken Park in Scarborough



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Trumpeter Swans with Cygnets at Milliken Park in Scarborough

two trumpeter swan hatchlings at toronto park - july 2014

How exciting to find that the pair of Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) at our local park in north Scarborough now have two recently-hatched offspring to care for.  As Bob and I looked on, the cygnets kept very close to “mom” on the shore of the pond… Read more

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Hermit Thrush On The Hunt At Rosetta McClain Gardens



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Hermit Thrush On The Hunt At Rosetta McClain Gardens

hermit thrush on ground_ rosetta mcclain gardens_toronto 5

Bob and I are never disappointed when we visit Rosetta McClain Gardens in Scarborough.  Serving as an enticing spot for migrating birds to pause and rest after crossing Lake Ontario, the Gardens usually are home to a variety of warblers and other songbirds, if for only brief periods of time.  Many birdwatchers frequent the park to observe the hawks that soar over the Scarborough Bluffs upon which the Gardens are located.  On one of our trips to the Gardens this spring, we were lucky enough to catch up with a couple of Hermit Thrushes (Catharus guttata). Read more

Bank Swallows Building Nests In The Scarborough Bluffs



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Bank Swallows Building Nests In The Scarborough Bluffs

bank swallows at rosetta mcclain - toronto

After having discovered the Cliff Swallows that nest at the lakeshore in downtown Toronto, Bob and I were pleasantly surprised to find another colony of swallows that inhabit a section of the Scarborough Bluffs.  These Bank Swallows (Riparia riparia) were found just below the rim of the high, steep banks of the escarpment that stretches along Lake Ontario’s shoreline in the vicinity of Rosetta McClain Gardens. Read more

Baltimore Orioles At Rosetta McClain Gardens



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Baltimore Orioles At Rosetta McClain Gardens

Baltimore Oriole male on grass - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

The same day that Bob and I drove downtown in Toronto to watch the Cliff Swallows building their nests, we dropped in at Rosetta McClain Gardens to see what migrating birds were on site.  Over 52 species had been observed there on one occasion recently, and with our cooler spring, we thought many might still be hanging around.  In fact, we only caught up with a pair of Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula) and numerous Bank Swallows. Read more

Tennessee Warbler In My Toronto Backyard



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Tennessee Warbler In My Toronto Backyard

tennessee warbler in our toronto backyard

Earlier one spring, Bob and I found ourselves unable to keep up with the bird sightings even in our own backyard.  Such was the case the day I spotted this Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina).  I had been kept busy at the kitchen window that morning, taking photographs of a House Wren and Magnolia Warbler, when another flash of yellow drew my attention to the crabapple tree beside our deck. Read more

A House Wren Builds A Nest In My Toronto Backyard



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A House Wren Builds A Nest In My Toronto Backyard

house wren sits on birch tree - toronto

To our knowledge, Bob and I have never had a House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) visit our backyard in the past, but this past spring had seen a bounty of new species stopping in at our small suburban property for a brief respite as they migrate to their breeding grounds, and amongst them was a House Wren.  It was a sheer pleasure, then, to realize that it decided to stay put and build a nest in one of our birdhouses. Read more

Grey Catbird At Ashbridge’s Bay Park In Toronto



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Grey Catbird At Ashbridge’s Bay Park In Toronto

catbird at ashbridges bay park - toronto 3

At the peak of bird migration this past spring, Bob and I headed to Ashbridge’s Bay on the Lake Ontario waterfront in the hopes of sighting a variety of bird species all in one go.  Reports had been pouring in about the large numbers of warblers and other songbirds seen there over the previous week, fresh from their flight across the wide expanse of the smallest of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario.  At its maximum width, the lake is 53 miles (85 km) across.  Amongst several bird species that we photographed that day was this Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis). Read more

Cliff Swallows At Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto



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Cliff Swallows At Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto

cliff swallow inflight to nest - harris water treatment building - toronto

But for a fellow birdwatcher posting a photo to Facebook of the Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) nesting at the Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto, neither Bob nor I would ever have known such a colony existed.  It was the structural intricacy of their nests that had us making a beeline to The Beach for a look. Read more

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Female in Toronto Backyard



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Rose-breasted Grosbeak Female in Toronto Backyard

Rose-breasted Gosbeak- female - looks to camera - toronto

In years past, on a couple of rare occasions, we have had a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak drop by our backyard during spring migration.  This past spring, a pair of males spent several days around our property enjoying the bird food and water fountain before moving on.  Bob and I were pleasantly surprised late one afternoon to see that a female Rose- breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) had come to join in the free-for-all. Read more

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