A Toronto Transformation

parahawking

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.

 

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