These photos were taken on various dates late August and early September, mostly at the Toronto Airshows between performers, or on the way home from them. Also, one of my favourite things to witness while walking: coming up on a chain-link fence as a flock of tiny birds flies into it at high speed, and you expect them to go through, but they all just land in the fence.
It took me a couple months to discover that’s a starling! I was excited by the idea it might be leucitic, which is when feathers lack melanin and other pigments, but it seems it’s only molting to adult plummage. I was a little thrown when trying to identify it because the sound it made was unusual (starlings mimic the calls of other birds, so I wonder who it was mimicking) and there were no other starlings with it. I have only very rarely seen a starling alone. This one was hunting for insects with a bunch of rough-looking blackbirds.
I thought maybe the blackbirds were suffering from mites, or had collided with windows, but it turns out blackbirds moult in July/August (These photos are from August 2017, Toronto, Ontario, Canada). I also saw chimney swifts! They’re so fast and can turn on a dime, so it was hard to follow one with the camera, much less get some shots in focus, hahah. Thank goodness for digital where you don’t have to worry about wasting film.
I saw three turkey vultures from my window, got excited, and headed out with my camera, but they were long gone. I wandered for around 20 minutes, hoping to spot them again, and found a couple of red-tailed hawks circling, a few blue jays, and then I saw a broad-winged hawk, and while I was taking photos, turkey vultures started flying over. And then more. And then more! I counted 23 of them. There were more the next day, too.