a peek inside the fishbowl

26 May, 2009

A tree in Toronto

Posted by andrea tomkins in: travel talk

After our sessions on Sunday I spent a few hours walking around the city. (In fact, I walked from the Eaton’s Centre all the way up to the Pottery Barn Kids on Bloor Street where I bought a pricey alarm clock that doesn’t seem to work. Gah.)

On the walk back I was hot and tired and in desperate need of a shaded park bench away from the crowds. I happened upon the park behind Collage Park. I bought a drink and a light lunch happily sat myself down under a tree.

Suddenly there was a flutter in the branches above me. I looked up into the tree under which I was sitting to see the tail feathers of a big bird.  My first thought was that it was a gull. But how could it be a gull? They don’t perch in trees. I leaned forward and saw this:

A tree in Toronto 

Let’s zoom in on that, shall we?

A tree in Toronto

He disappeared as quickly as he had arrived.

He gave a shriek and was gone. Pigeons and gulls scattered to the wind. I watched the ruckus unfold, happy to have spied some wildlife in the big city.

14 Responses to "A tree in Toronto"

1 | Bob LeDrew

May 26th, 2009 at 8:09 am


Could be a peregrine, or a cooper’s hawk? I am very low-knowledge on birds. This site might help you ID it: http://www.greatertorontohawkwatch.com

2 | Lynn

May 26th, 2009 at 9:31 am


That is so cool. What a great catch — I can’t believe you were quick-thinking enough to grab a photo. Surely this will be a highlight of the trip!

3 | Katerina

May 26th, 2009 at 9:38 am


Super cool, I can’t believe you saw that in downtown Toronto! I don’t think I saw any wildlife besides pigeons and street performers when I was there.

4 | Miss Vicky

May 26th, 2009 at 9:42 am


There are a few peregrine falcons living in downtown TO, on buildings. I’m guessing that’s what it is.

I had a similar experience driving down Baseline a couple of months ago, when a small raptor of some sort swooped down in front of my car, chased by a crow

5 | Sarah Morgenstern

May 26th, 2009 at 10:13 am


Amazing! It’s like it knew you were there – someone who would appreciate seeing it!

6 | Porter

May 26th, 2009 at 11:41 am


How cool! Although I would have been outta there in a flash and missed the entire thing because I would have assumed it was a squirrel-yikeeeees!

You really do have your camera with you all the time. Aren’t you afraid it will get broken or damaged? I often opt to leave mine at home because of this and thus I miss many great photo opportunities.

7 | vickiz

May 26th, 2009 at 11:52 am


It might be a peregrine, or it might possibly be a redtailed hawk. There has apparently been a resurgence of hawks in downtown-ish Toronto in recent months. This winter, there was one frequenting our east end/Danforth neighbourhood. A dog walker/sitter in our neighbourhood posted on her FB page some pictures of what was clearly a redtailed hawk noshing on the remains of something … in the backyard of a house where said dog sitter was just about to let out two small pugs. (Needless to say, the pugs laid low that day.) We were all on the alert after that, and a week or so later, I spied the hawk swooping over the rooftops on our block. My dogs are not snack size, so I wasn’t worried for them, but it still left me a little … whoa … but at the same time, awestruck to see such a magnificent creature in the heart of the city. Excellent pic, Andrea.

8 | andrea

May 26th, 2009 at 2:16 pm


Porter: I like to carry my DSLR around with me because I know that if I don’t I’ll regret it!

That being said, I am looking for a small digital camera to slip into my pocket when I don’t want to lug around my big one… but I haven’t found the right one!

9 | LO

May 26th, 2009 at 2:45 pm


Well, with the new Harry Potter movie opening just around the corner it’s no wonder you are seeing owls in the city:):)

10 | Mark

May 26th, 2009 at 9:37 pm


It’s not a peregrine. It’s too large. Otherwise, it’s too hard to identify as you can’t see enough of it. It could be any number of 4 or 5 possible hawks. So says the birder I consulted at work.

11 | Marci Simonini

May 27th, 2009 at 8:02 am


Now this proves, beyond any reasonable doubt that your right hand really is a camera. Anyone else would have missed this amazing moment and not been able to catch it on film. Great shot, cool story! Thanks for sharing.

12 | BeachMama

May 27th, 2009 at 12:11 pm


That is so awesome! THere is a snowy owl that spends it’s Winters on the light standard by my parents house in Barrhaven. The kids would sit in the back yard and try to scare it away, it never worked he/she just sat there and watched them.

14 | andrea

May 27th, 2009 at 3:11 pm


vickiz: that’s my guess too!

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