Three Golden Birds: April 2021

Some consider April and May as the two best months for bird observation. Just about every day a new bird species arrives or passes through on their way north. All of this leads to the largest number of bird species that can be found in the Toronto area – usually on about May 24. After that, there are many fewer species present and bird song diminishes considerably.

I visited Col Sam Smith park on a lovely, sunny day and wasn’t alone as the parking lot was full by 8 am.

It was a good day for Golden-crowned Kinglets:

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowns are slightly smaller than Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Apart from hummingbirds, kinglets are our smallest birds.

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet

There was lots of Goldfinch activity and song:

American Goldfinch (Male)
American Goldfinch (Male)
American Goldfinch (female)

In breeding dress the black head, with fiery red eyes and jaunty golden “horns” running back from the eyes to the angle where crown and nape come together, the Horned Grebe is quite distinctive.

Horned Grebe
Horned Grebes
Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe

Here is a Mute Swan coming in for a landing:

Mute Swan
Mute Swan
Mute Swan
Mute Swan

Other birds:

Mallard (male)
American Robin
Common Grackle
Double-crested Cormorant with Grebes
American Black Duck (male)
American Black Duck (female)
American Black Duck (male)
Red-necked Grebes
Mallards
Long-tailed Duck (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Belted Kingfisher
Ring-billed Gull
Dark-eyed Junco (male)
Mallard (male)
Buffleheads
Song Sparrow
Tree Swallow
House Sparrow (male)
American Robin
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
Black-capped Chickadee

Other sights:

Moon
Cottontail Rabbit

NATURE POETRY

Sunshine trying hard awhile
On the bare brown fields to smile;
Frozen ruts and slippery walks;
Gray old crops of last year’s stalks.                    – Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813–90)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Three Golden Birds: April 2021

  1. Judy-Ann Cazemier

    Great photos, Miles. I especially like the photograph of the American Goldfinch (female), with its muted yellow palette and the individual feathers of the wings showing – plus, the balance of the grasses and the subdued yellow background bokeh.

    Reply
  2. X Yu

    Beautiful place to visit! We were at Samuel Smith a few days ago, and saw some smaller gulls with black beaks and black heads, couldn’t figure out what type of gull they were.

    Reply
  3. Lisa Volkov

    Yes, spring is very much about the arrival of song birds! And there are so many other wonderful sights, too. I loved seeing the rabbit. Should be plenty of baby rabbits, soon. Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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