A Toronto Transformation

Hawk Child in the City

hawk on a fire escape

There is a building near my office that has been having a bit of a “we don’t dispose of our trash so there are a billion rats running around the property” problem of late. I know they carry disease and chew through every damned thing, but I always get a little thrill when I spot little vestiges of the wild in the city. So imagine my excitement when we spotted this handsome fellow, taking advantage of the rat buffet laid out so conveniently for him.

hawk in Toronto

 I have a strange relationship with birds of prey. I’ve been totally fascinated by them and have wanted to visit Panama to see their king, the endangered Harpy Eagle, since I was given a fold out, pop-up rainforest theatre thing that featured one as a little girl. BUT I’m also afraid of them and convinced that many of them are wizards in disguise. I mean, just tell me this guy doesn’t know how to do at least some rudimentary magic. Look at his eyes and regal bearing!

So, while I did take eleventy-billion photos of this lovely hawk, (all while talking to him nervously, I might add) I didn’t want to get too close lest he decide to see how his talons would fare against a human or in case he decided to cast a spell on me or whatever.

I think hawks are about the most interesting wild critter I’ve seen in Toronto so far (of course we are also the racoon capital of the world, so I’ve seen a scrillion of them, and as you may recall, I’ve had many a close squirrel encounter here. In the smaller city where I grew up we’d get the occasional deer on the front lawn, and I remember seeing at least one fox.

What kind of wildlife have you guys had surprise encounters with?

Also, did you know that parahawking is a thing? It looks absolutely incredible!I kind of want to try it but I’m not sure the dear hawks would appreciate my inevitable constant screaming.


7 Responses to Hawk Child in the City

  • Quinn says:

    Oh come ON! Seriously!? A scrillion!? When I visited Florida I used to leave trails of food outside in the hopes of seeing a single raccoon! Did it work? No. It just pissed off my boyfriend, who thought I was encouraging vermin (which… I guess I was).

    Ireland isn’t big on exciting wildlife and, as I’ve learned, neither is this region of Germany, but at home we have a lot of urban red foxes, which I love, because they’re beautiful. Also hedgehogs. And squirrels. And deer. Here in Germany all I’ve seen is a hare and a squirrel. Not great considering I’m hemmed in by forest on every side.

  • Irela says:

    That hawk is cool, pretty magical indeed. I could make a Harry Potter joke right about now, but I don’t know if you are as much of an HP nerd as I am lol I know what you mean, I live in the city and we don’t really get too many exciting birds around here. Every now and then I see a blue jay or a cardinal. I’ve seen little green parrots fly by, but that’s about it.

  • Melbourne on my Mind says:

    Long comment is going to be long:
    1. I too have a fascination with birds of prey. I desperately wanted a peregrine falcon as a pet when I was younger.
    2. When we moved to Toronto in 1988, the house we moved into had squirrels in the roof. So we had a pest guy come and set humane traps all over the back garden. Every day, he’d come and replace the traps, take the full ones to the city outskirts, and set the squirrels free. Except one day, we went to the movies. When we left, the traps were full. When we got home, they were empty. And the pest guy had already been that day. We found out three and a half years later when we were moving back to Melbourne that the whole neighbourhood thought we were trapping them to eat (because Crocodile Dundee 2 had just come out), and the neighbour’s teenage son had set them all free.
    3. I was once waiting for a bus in Canberra, and heard a noise behind me. I turned around to find an enormous kangaroo behind me. Just standing there, like he was waiting for the bus too. I’m not sure who was more surprised, him or me………

    • metamorphocity says:

      Oh man. Kangaroo at a bus stop? You’re definitely in the lead for animal stories. haha. That’s hilarious.

      Squirrels constantly dig holes in the flower pots on my back deck, seemingly for no reason as they weren’t burying anything, just dumping the dirt out beside the pots. It infuriated me until a friend told me it happens at her place too and it’s because they curl up and sleep in the pots overnight. It’s still annoying but too adorable for me to stay mad at.

  • MARTIN says:

    A pigeon flew into my office a couple weeks ago. One of the managers shrieked like a little girl and ran away from it. It was pretty funny.

    • metamorphocity says:

      Oh I would react in exactly the same way. Pigeons and I have issues. I am so unnerved by their loud flappy wings and their inability to avoid smacking into people’s heads.

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