With not a single chickadee, woodpecker, or kinglet to be found, we made our way toward the lake, were we had a bit more luck with birds. In the pond, we found the American Wigeon X Mallard hybrid duck. This duck has been a resident on the West Toronto waterfront for many years. We also found a Cooper’s Hawk actively searching for its next meal.
Near the docks, we watched a parasitic feeding strategy of two American Wigeons who ambushed an American Coot every time it brought a fresh batch of vegetation back to the surface. (Wigeons don’t dive, but coots do.)
A highlight for many people, was finding not one, but two Long-eared Owls. Finding Long-eared Owls (or Screech, or Saw-whets) is always exciting for the participants, but it can be difficult to balance that with the well-being of the owls. Fortunately, both owls were in locations that made close approach virtually impossible. Harassment of owls is a concern that seems to get worse every year, and we certainly didn’t want to be part of the problem.
We finished the walk with 24 species of birds and two hybrids. Here is the full list of species: