A Pine Warbler in my Toronto backyard



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A Pine Warbler in my Toronto backyard

pine warbler in apple tree_toronto_ontario

One of the first migrating warblers to drop by our backyard one spring was a Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus), and it hung about our property for a good week and a half.  They are one of the earliest spring migrants having departed their wintering grounds in late February.  It was such a pleasure to see its little burst of colour amid all the bare branches of our trees and shrubs.  The leaves were so late emerging this year. Read more

Magnolia Warbler in our Toronto Backyard



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Magnolia Warbler in our Toronto Backyard

magnolia warbler sitting on tree limb - toronto

For some reason, this past spring resulted in way more migrating birds visiting our backyard than usual.  Either that or Bob and I have just become much more observant.  One day, as I scoured the birch tree in search of the House Wren that was building its nest, I spotted a flash of yellow then saw that this Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) had alighted on one of the branches. Read more

Raccoon Mother With Cubs In A Toronto Tree



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Raccoon Mother With Cubs In A Toronto Tree

raccoon mother with cub in tree nest - toronto

Bob and I had taken a drive down to Queen Street East here in Toronto to check out the Cliff Swallows nesting at the Harris Water Treatment Plant.  On the way home, we decided to make a quick stop at a shoreline City Park where we caught up with some Baltimore Orioles and a number of Bank Swallows, but not much else was happening there that afternoon.  Then, another birdwatcher took us “under her wing” and escorted us to a tree where a family of Raccoons (Procyon lotor) was known to be nesting. Read more

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Male In Our Toronto Backyard



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Rose-breasted Grosbeak Male In Our Toronto Backyard

Rose-breasted Gosbeak- male - toronto

I was over the moon one day when I looked out the kitchen window and saw this Rose-breasted Grosbeak hanging off the suet feeder in my backyard, in Toronto, Ontario.  All that I could discern was the striking white patches on the jet black back and wings.  Read more

Baltimore Orioles In My Toronto Backyard



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Baltimore Orioles In My Toronto Backyard

baltimore oriole male - on orange feeder - toronto

Bob and I have become somewhat more skilled at spotting songbirds owing to increased diligence, and marginally better at identifying those birds that we do see.  On one recent day, we made a field trip to Rosetta McClain Gardens in Scarborough where we saw a pair of Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula) as well as some other migrating birds.  Baltimore Orioles are very easy to spot and identify and always thrilling to observe.  Upon our return home, we were surprised to find a pair of these colourful birds in our own backyard. Read more

A Groundhog explores the marsh at Milliken Park



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A Groundhog explores the marsh at Milliken Park

groundhog looks to camera in milliken park_toronto_ontario 1

On a spring day, Bob and I visited Milliken Park, in Toronto, to see what’s new.  In light of all the migrating birds returning from the south, we thought perhaps we might spot some warblers or sparrows.  Instead, Bob observed an Opossum scurrying for its den just as a heavy downpour descended upon us, while I was witness to a Groundhog (Marmota monax) dashing across an open expanse of grass and then taking cover in thick underbrush. Read more

A Cape May Warbler visits our Toronto Backyard



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A Cape May Warbler visits our Toronto Backyard

Cape May Warbler in bush - toronto 3

What a delight when a new species of bird decides to visit our backyard oasis.  This spring, we have had several different warblers stop to enjoy the water fountain and feeding stations, among them a Cape May Warbler (Dendroica tigrina).  For some reason, looking south at my Highbush Cranberry where it stands guard over the corner of the garage, is where I seem to discover many of the birds opting to perch before they remove themselves to the privacy of our back garden. Read more

A Blackburnian Warbler in my Toronto garden



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A Blackburnian Warbler in my Toronto garden

black-burman warbler in tree - toronto

How exciting it was to see so many new bird visitors to our backyard.  With bird migration in full swing, Bob and I kept a keen eye out our windows hoping to glimpse new species that happened to drop by.  First thing, one morning, as I sat at my computer desk looking out on the streetscape, I saw a flash of orange land in my Highbush Cranberry.  That bird turned out to be a Blackburnian Warbler. Read more

Redhead Ducks In Toronto Harbour



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Redhead Ducks In Toronto Harbour

redhead duck swimming in toronto harbour

One of the highlights of our winter day trip aboard a Toronto Island Ferry to Ward’s Island, one of 13 islands in Toronto Harbour, was seeing a real proliferation of ducks, some of which were wintering in Southern Ontario from the Arctic.  One such species was the striking Redhead Duck (Aythya americana). Read more

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