T.O. Backyard – April- “Hello Spring, are you there?”

Hello and welcome to our Toronto backyard!  What a month it has been since our last post.  What an April!  Snow, no snow, more snow, no snow, and this was how it was like on a number of days early in the month.  A pretty morning out back.


By the time the work day was over, it was gone.

Despite the mix of weather, the birds still sang.

migrateMigration seemed very slow.

migrationOr did it?  Cormorant flying over the backyard one afternoon.  Sure sign of warmer days coming.

migration1Around mid-April though we suddenly started getting Pine Siskins.

psbetrAnd Juncos too!  It was a confusing month.  For us, in Toronto, the Juncos are gone by now or so we’ve experienced over the years.  And Siskins?  This was a first for April.

juncoOne Sunday afternoon I heard my neighbour playing Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time”.  I silently begged her to turn that off.  As much as we love our winter bird visitors, it’s Spring.  Where are the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks?  Where are the White-throated Sparrows?

“Here I am!”  Finally one showed up.


The Juncos remained with us into the first days of May.  The Siskins are still coming in daily.


Hawk activity dropped to almost nothing except one day when this Cooper’s Hawk (although there is much debate on the species) came in and snagged breakfast.  I did a blog about this moment since it was different than the usual Hawk catching a meal scenarios.  One could not help but feel sorry for this Starling.

lastNice surprise for us the last couple weeks is a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers have been coming in!  We get Downys daily but Hairy activity is quite random and they seem to disappear on us through the colder months.

hairyOur nesting pair of House Sparrows are doing fine.  They are entertaining to watch right outside our back door.

houseRed-breasted Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees have been scoping out some of our other boxes, even began a little excavating, but in the last week it’s not been promising to have another species nest with us this year.


It really did look promising for “Chickadee action” as you can see below!


Meanwhile, in some nest boxes not too far from home, we have been very fortunate to see a pair of Eastern Screech Owls on occasion.

R-OWLS 3Over the Easter weekend while my wife was away, I decided to do a little Owl prowling in another nearby neighbourhood and lucked out with another pair of Screech Owls.  There was a lot of trilling, whinnying and even some mating going on between the two Owls shortly after sunset.

onarollsignaIt’s amazing to know we have at least 2 pairs of these Owls minutes from our home!

The night time Snowy sightings have come to an end for another season.  I finished off with 59 encounters in total.   This was the last encounter where I was able to capture a record photo.


Have you had enough of our birds yet?  How about some mammal activity?

No shortage of Raccoons wandering around (delight to some, not so much to others).  We are pro-Procyon.  We keep an eye on our property, ensuring there is no access to our rooftop.  The Raccoon population in Toronto took a huge hit due to canine distemper.  So seeing some healthy masked creatures in our neck of the woods warms our hearts.

A daytime visit one Saturday afternoon a few weeks back.  I blogged about this encounter.

rb3An Opossum has been showing itself a few nights a week too!  He’s rather shy.  I took a very short video of him one night.  I eat an apple a day and leave the core out back.  Sometimes I just throw it out there for whoever to find.  Sometimes I will set it near the back of the house and hope to chance upon a moment like in the video.

11164631_10155441598640262_6212134749983638792_nSo even as April was an unsettled month, signs of Spring do appear.  Like the awakening of a resident Chipmunk.

chippyThank you for visiting our backyard and slightly beyond through this blog post.  That’s it for now, in a nut shell. *groan*

hvrI just caught on to the comments we’ve received in past posts.  Thank you!  I may have to do some replying soon.  Cheers!

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One Response to T.O. Backyard – April- “Hello Spring, are you there?”

  1. gilda blackmore says:

    I feel I’ve already posted how much I envy you your “backyard”! How wonder-full to have a backyard with all these visitors!