American Kestrel Close-ups on Downtown Condo Balcony & Reed Canary Grass at Rouge Hills: June 2020

Thanks to Mike Burroughs for these photos taken with a phone on a downtown Toronto condo balcony.

For many years, I taught at a spring music camp near Orillia, Ontario. Growing in a ditch by the road was a tall grass that I was never able to identify. Even with a Grass Field Guide I wasn’t sure what it was and was too busy to really investigate.

Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

Eventually, I had more time and really had a look. It is Reed Canary Grass and I now realize that it is very common.

Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

Reed Canary Grass is native, unlike many of our common grasses, and can form dense stands completely choking out other vegetation.

Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

Other botany:

Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus)
Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)
Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
Maple-leaved Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium)
Maple-leaved Viburnum (VIburnum acerifolium)
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Black Mustard (Brassica nigra)
May-apple seed (Podophyllum peltatum)
Buttercup (Ranunculs acris)
Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
Red-osier (Cornus sericea)
Round-leaved Dogwood (Cornus foemina)
Round-leaved Dogwood (Cornus foemina)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)
Common Speedwell (Veronica officinalis)
Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Beaked Hazel (Corylus cornuta)
Bird Vetch (Vicia cracca)
Brome Grass (Bromus inermis)
Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus)
Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis)
Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

Some birds:

Hooded Merganser family
Song Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Cedar Waxwing

Park scenes:


Month of bees, and month of flowers,
Month of blossom-laden bowers;
Month of little hands with daisies,
Lovers’ love, and poets’ praises;
O thou merry month complete,
May, thy very name is sweet!                     – Leigh Hunt (1784–1859)    

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “American Kestrel Close-ups on Downtown Condo Balcony & Reed Canary Grass at Rouge Hills: June 2020

  1. George

    There must be a story behind the Am Kestrel. It is so “tame.”
    Does it have a nest nearby? Is it being fed?
    Please elaborate. Thanks.

  2. Lisa Volkov

    Wow! Thank you, Mike! And thank you, Miles!
    Surely that picture of the family of Hooded Mergansers wasn’t taken in June–or was it? I know we had a cold spring, earlier, but really? They were here? In June? An entire family of them?
    Simply amazing. all these bird pictures, from both Mike and Miles– and everything else, of course!


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