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Toronto Wildlife

lenaitch

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I went to High Park this morning with visiting relatives and saw one casually swimming past on the pond with a stick in its mouth. Maybe they're a little more common and less nocturnal than I had thought.
I'm not aware that they are nocturnal at all. Their eyesight isn't great at the best of times, and some researchers believe that some urban beaver have become more nocturnal to avoid humans, pets, etc.
Relating to other invasive/introduced birds, and the barn swallow structures mentioned in the Ontario Place thread, unsurprisingly there were only House Sparrows on the birdhouse in High Park, not the intended Purple Martins.
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Other than maybe constantly removing the sparrow nests, I'm not sure what could be done to keep them away. Apparently it's somewhat common in the U.S. for people to trap and "dispatch" (😲) them, though I've not heard of that being encouraged in Canada, and I don't know if it would even be legal here.
Also important to note that not all sparrows are House Sparrows. Just on the way out of the park I saw some of these smaller and different-looking ones, I think Chipping Sparrows.
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We get Chipping Sparrows return and nest to the same bushes every year (Yew bushes around the perimeter of the house). Years ago someone bought me a Purple Martin house which I tried, unsuccessfully, to populate for several years (I learned later that the lack of a pond or watercourse was significant) but I recall reading that you do have to 'police' other species from roosting. Once Purple Martins do discover the neighbourhood, they generally tend to return. I can only assume the Club would build their houses with the properly-sized openings.
 

Northern Light

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I'm not aware that they are nocturnal at all. Their eyesight isn't great at the best of times, and some researchers believe that some urban beaver have become more nocturnal to avoid humans, pets, etc.

Hmmm.

I've always understood Beavers to be primarily nocturnal.

I just checked across multiple sites and this seems to be the consensus position.

Canadian Encyclopedia, Live Science, Wikipedia among others all concur.
 
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Rufus8

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Hmmm.

I've always understood Beavers to be primarily nocturnal.

I just checked across multiple sites and this seems to be the consensus position.

Canadian Encyclopedia Live Science, Wikipedia among others all concur.
I have seen beavers multiple times in the Don river as I cycled past, they used to be at the mouth of the river after that area had been closed for a year for construction, they were also right under the Riverdale farm bridge (the opposite side of the cycle path), saw a little one there as a raccoon washed his paws to eat. These were from a few years ago but I know they were there, at one point I stood guard as a huge beaver crossed the cycle path, alerting oncoming cyclists, we stood and watched as he slowly crossed the path and headed towards were the corktown common tunnel is now (it was not there then).
 

Northern Light

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I have seen beavers multiple times in the Don river as I cycled past, they used to be at the mouth of the river after that area had been closed for a year for construction, they were also right under the Riverdale farm bridge (the opposite side of the cycle path), saw a little one there as a raccoon washed his paws to eat. These were from a few years ago but I know they were there, at one point I stood guard as a huge beaver crossed the cycle path, alerting oncoming cyclists, we stood and watched as he slowly crossed the path and headed towards were the corktown common tunnel is now (it was not there then).

They definitely get around in the daytime as well.

I see them most often at dusk/dawn.

I don't go looking at night much; but I too have seem the active mid-day.
 

lenaitch

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Hmmm.

I've always understood Beavers to be primarily nocturnal.

I just checked across multiple sites and this seems to be the consensus position.

Canadian Encyclopedia Live Science, Wikipedia among others all concur.
Well there ya go. I used to watch them a lot up north but, on reflection, mostly on summer evenings. Our daughter lives rural in northern Ontario and last year watched a beaver coming up her driveway "with purpose", mid day, walked past her and into the bush behind. They don't have water for several hundred meters in any direction.

Interesting analysis:

 

SubHuman

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...(I learned later that the lack of a pond or watercourse was significant) ... I can only assume the Club would build their houses with the properly-sized openings.
In addition to the birdhouse that's on the east side of Grenadier Pond, I found out there is another one along the south side. Purple Martins are there, though only on the pond-facing part of the birdhouse, with House Sparrows in the other part.
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A little to the north of the larger house-sparrow-occupied birdhouse on the east side of Grenadier Pond is a broken light above the fishing platform that is also being used by Purple Martins.
Edit: I saw something saying that in July some Purple Martins may have now moved into the older larger birdhouse on the east side of the pond.
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Great egret -
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Edit (June 2, 2022): An app that can identify birds entirely by sound told me after walking through High Park twice this week that it had heard 41 different birds (Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Cedar Waxwing, Great Crested Flycatcher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rock Pigeon, American Robin, Mourning Dove, Canada Goose, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Baltimore Oriole, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Flicker, Black-capped Chickadee, Common Grackle, Osprey, Mallard, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Redstart, Brown-headed Cowbird, Ring-billed Gull, Purple Martin, Blue Jay, Chimney Swift, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, House Sparrow, European Starling, Common Nighthawk, and Indigo Bunting).
I wasn't able to see most of them, and wouldn't have recognized them if I did, except for the common ones like robins, blue jays, cardinals, pigeons, and starlings.
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This sign is on the walkway between Lake Shore Blvd and Hotel X.
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I didn't know there were so many different types of birds that bulid their nests on or near the ground.
 
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SubHuman

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There's been one or two of the Great Egrets in the High Park duck ponds every time I've gone past there in recent months. The Black-crowned Night Heron was perched motionless in a tree beside the pond.
The Merlin sound app told me it heard a 'Black-throated Green Warbler', and I looked up into the closest tree and saw three tiny birds quickly flitting around in the leaves catching insects too small to see. It's nearly impossible to get a good photo of them. One of them did look like a male of that species, while the other two were more drab-looking with the two white 'wingbars' being their only noticeable feature. And I didn't hear any of them making any sound, certainly not warbling.
 

lenaitch

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We get Warblers passing through every Spring and Fall migrating between the boreal and their winter grounds. I've pretty much given up trying to identify them because they flit so fast and, in the Fall, there's a reason the Peterson guide has a grouping of 'confusing Fall Warblers".
 

Tim MacDonald

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Used to seeing them in Florida, I was shocked when one of them landed on my neighbour's roof last year. After a couple of minutes, it was gone again and headed toward the Riverwood Conservancy. A beautiful sight to see!
 

SubHuman

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This morning before the snow started, there was a pair of Hooded Mergansers in the north duck pond in High Park. Unlike the mallards, these things completely disappear diving underwater for a few seconds at a time.
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Without all the leaves it's a little easier to see (instead of just hear) the birds that are left -- Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, cardinals, bunches of robins (it seems they don't necessarily all fly south for the winter), and I got a very quick glimpse of a Brown Creeper, but oddly no blue jays.
Near the southeast corner of the north duck pond, a chickadee landed in a tree 12 feet away from me. Just as I lifted my smart phone to take a picture, the little bastard tilted its head to look right at me, then flew at me and flapped around only a foot in front of my face, startling me. About a minute later I heard the nasal honking noises made by nuthatches. One landed on the rock wall close to me, then also flapped around near my face.
In looking at photos and YouTube videos, I don't think they were trying to scare me away (and it's not nesting season), but were expecting me to give them sunflower seeds. It seems some people do this, particularly in the winter. I suppose it's okay, as it's really not much different from backyard bird feeders.
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/218863221
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/131460851
https://mileshearn.com/2019/01/16/a-bird-in-the-hand-high-park-january-16-2019/
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A couple of years back on Parkside Drive I saw a little bird go into the top of a cement utility pole. I assumed it was probably a House sparrow, but apparently chickadees can use them as nest cavities.
 
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67Cup

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A pair of Trumpeter Swans has appeared at Humber Bay Park. (Black rather than the orange bill of the Mute swan. No knob on the bill. it could be a Tundra swan but they frequently have a yellow spot below the eyes near the top of the bill. Neither of these do.). The Trumpeter swan is native to this continent so I am glad to see them arrive.

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