A Toronto Transformation


A Weekend for the Birds

"I'm recharging. Don't worry about it." I'm totally solar-powered.

“I’m recharging. Don’t worry about it.” I’m totally solar-powered.

I took advantage of the Easter long weekend to get out of the city and visit my family. For weeks I’ve been running around Toronto saying yes to every opportunity that came along, filling every waking hour with activity. It was nice to take myself out of that equation for a while and head for quieter pastures.

My hometown is ludicrously picturesque and friendly and the evening air when I stepped off the train was so fresh and unpolluted that I decided to save my cab fare and walk home (my parents usually meet me at the station but were at a dinner). I hadn’t gone a block before running in to a family friend, and a half a block later don’t my parents pull up on their way to come pick me up after all. We spotted a bunny on someone’s lawn and a neighbour shouted a happy greeting as he cycled by us and by the time I got to the house (maybe ten minutes after arriving) I felt like I’d already been given a welcome hug by the whole damn city.

On Sunday my parents and I drove an hour back out of town to visit my brother and my grandparents. We did not, however, take the most direct route. Instead, we took the route with what they have calculated to have the best odds of seeing various interesting birds because, as my mom explained. “This is what we do now.”

Apparently, since my brother and I left home, they’ve become the bird paparazzi.

A lovely day for a flight, no?

That speck in the tree is a bald eagle. He would not be lured closer by my mom waving at him, go figure.

That speck in the tree is a bald eagle. He would not be lured closer by my mom waving at him, go figure.

 It’s especially exciting to spot an eagle here since the use of DDT and related pesticides landed them on the endangered species list in Ontario before the use of these pesticides was banned. The eagle population is slowly recovering, although the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources still lists them as a species of special concern.


Tree, barn, truck, fence, peacock. Right, you can stroll as casually as you like bird, you do not blend in here.

I love the “Beware of Dog” sign on this farm. Like a gang of peacocks isn’t a thousand times more terrifying than a dog. We spotted at least four of them roaming around, screaming their freaky peacock screams and perching menacingly on the porch railings.

So uh, how about you guys, see any interesting birds this weekend? Or, you know, what sort of non-bird things did you get up to?

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