Author Archives: Julia Zarankin

The Excitement of May

Until I started birding, I always thought of Ontario as a somewhat dull place and couldn’t ever imagine wanting to travel the province. I fled at every opportunity. To think of what I had been missing all these years! As a … Continue reading

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Owl Extravaganza

This winter has been one of the most brutal winters southern Ontario has seen in years. And in spite of that, it’s been my best birding winter by far. I’ve already managed to rack up five owl species, including the … Continue reading

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A Western Bird Comes East

Winter birding offers some of the most unexpected surprises. It also requires a bit of madness on the part of those birding, but that’s a different story. Yesterday my alarm rang in near blizzard conditions. I looked out the window, … Continue reading

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Birdy Literature

It’s getting to be winter birding season here in southern Ontario, which means the gulls are active, the ducks are looking resplendent, the owls are playing hard-to-get, solitary, vicious Northern Shrikes lurk in the tops of trees, Evening and Pine … Continue reading

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Embracing the Unexpected

The Toronto area offers surprisingly rewarding birding opportunities. Last week, we ventured out in search of shore birds and visited the usually enormously productive marshes in Whitby and Oshawa (45 minutes east of Toronto in ideal, traffic-less conditions). Sadly, when … Continue reading

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On Seeing my First Dickcissel

Before I started birding, I couldn’t understand the appeal of chasing rarities. Even semi-rarities. What could possibly justify driving for close to two hours in search of a fleeting bird? I’ll admit that I’ve followed along many a time, joined … Continue reading

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Finding Wilderness in Toronto

I marvel how much I learn from birds. I do not exaggerate when I say that they have taught me how to see, how to pay attention to detail, and how to appreciate the unexpected finds even when the sought … Continue reading

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How to Explain the Inexplicable Thrill of Birding?

I’m currently reading Kenn Kaufman’s Flights Against the Sunset – his wonderful memoir about attempting to recount his birding adventures to his dying mother. Most of the essays initially appeared in Birdwatching Digest, and Kaufman’s writing sparkles with humor, liveliness, … Continue reading

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Greetings from Toronto!

Dear Birders, I’m thrilled to be part of the community! I’m an amateur birder from Toronto and will be guest-posting on the 26th of every month. In addition to my posts on this website, you can also read my … Continue reading

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