Spotting Raptors with Newcomers to Canada

On days after rainstorms in September and October, with a NW wind blowing, you have a good chance to see raptors migrating through our city. George Lennon, one of our Club’s hike leaders, recently introduced a group of Newcomers to Canada to this spectacle on a walk along the Doris McCarthy trail in Scarborough.

The walk came about through a partnership with the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services (CICS), and is one of the ways in which our Club is nurturing diversity and inclusion in its programming and leadership. Last year Tom Swales led several hikes for the CICS.

George says he chose the Doris McCarthy Trail because it offers a good combination of ravine and lakeshore, so you can spot shorebirds and waterfowl as well as raptors. It turned out to be an excellent day for birding.

“Just as we reached the lake at the bottom of the ravine, we spotted a bald eagle. Then we saw red-tailed hawks, often two and once even three together, maybe a dozen altogether. We saw one red-tailed hawk sharing the same flight path as a Cooper’s hawk. It was hard to keep a count as the birds would appear and disappear over the top of the Scarborough Bluffs.”

A second hike was planned as well, but with the new surge in Covid-19 cases in the city that one had to be cancelled. George hopes to resume this partnership in spring 2021, as spring migrations bring the return of our summer songbirds.