T.O. Backyard – Seasonal Switch

An American Robin on a snowy April day.

An American Robin in our Toronto backyard on a snowy April day.

March and April are always interesting months in our backyard. The calendar says Spring arrives, but Winter puts up quite a fight to stay around.

The first of our Spring/Summer migrants have arrived, Red-winged Blackbirds and Grackles.  We’ve been making sure the feeders are well stocked to help them out, as the weather has been cold and snowy the last couple weeks. Spring teased us with a warm spell the end of March, and we thought our Juncos had left for the season, but some returned with the snow and winter like temperatures.

Still, signs of Spring are here. We’ve noticed a pair of Robins in the yard almost daily. We’re hoping they nest nearby, as that would be a first for us. A spunky House Sparrow has claimed a bird house quite near our back door. He’s found himself a lady friend and seems quite proud of himself, as he’s always singing and hopping around near his crib. We know House Sparrows aren’t popular with most, but he has been quite entertaining these last two weeks, and we actually set this house up specifically for House Sparrows, as we found in the past it keeps them out of the other houses in the backyard where we have had Chickadees nest.

We know it won’t be long now until our winter visitors are really gone for the season and more of our Spring/Summer visitors return, like our Baltimore Orioles and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and the cycle starts all over again.

We expect the Red-breasted Nuthatches to be gone for the season soon.

We expect the Red-breasted Nuthatches to be gone for the season soon.

Our Red-winged Blackbirds returned March 8th this year.

Our Red-winged Blackbirds returned March 8th this year.


Female Cowbird in the backyard April 2nd.


The courting House Sparrows.


On top of their house.


Lots of nest building taking place.


The neighborhood Red-tailed Hawks have returned to their regular nesting spot close to our backyard.

The next few weeks should be very eventful for all birders across Canada, enjoy it!

PLEASE NOTE; All photos taken by Rob Mueller, March or April of 2016. The shots of the House Sparrows were taken through the kitchen window as not to disturb them. 

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4 Responses to T.O. Backyard – Seasonal Switch

  1. Rob and Angie Mueller says:

    Thanks for the comment. Hoping the birds return for you, and a skunk in our backyard is always a grand event too! 🙂

  2. Gilda Blackmore says:

    Thanks for this hint of Spring. Winter has been slow to leave this year and Spring has been reticent about arriving down here in London. Even though I usually only see a few birds from my 6th floor downtown balcony, this year I’ve seen even fewer.
    One early robin and one male house finch have deserted the nearest tree. A grey squirrel baby among the usual black ones on a nearby roof; and one duo of honking Canada Geese overhead one day seem the total of any wildlife nearby. Oh yes, a skunk made its way into the underground apartment garage to sleep one cold Spring night. A grand event, I assure you!!

  3. Rob and Angie Mueller says:

    Thanks for the read Laura, glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  4. Laura says:

    Enjoyed this post! Thank you for setting up a little home for the house sparrows, poor things get such a bad rap but I always enjoy their little chirps outside my window. 🙂