As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Rare white falcon spotted at Scarborough shopping mall


Pigeons should take cover. A large Arctic falcon has been spotted soaring over a Scarborough parking lot snacking on smaller birds.

A member of the Ontario Field Ornithologists has confirmed that a white gyrfalcon has been circling the Golden Mile Shopping Centre, near Eglinton Ave. E. and Pharmacy Ave.

Some people reported first seeing the bird a month ago. Mark De Abreu, who works in the Golden Mile area, has been a birder for the past 40 years. He spotted the falcon in the mall’s parking lot. “To see a white one is like winning the lottery,” De Abreu said.

White gyrfalcons are commonly found in Greenland, and sightings south of James Bay are rare. De Abreu wanted another glimpse of the gyrfalcon, so he spent four lunch breaks in a row parked in the lot, binoculars in hand.

On his fourth stakeout, he got lucky. The gyrfalcon swooped over the strip-mall and decided to join him for lunch; it had pigeon.

“Pigeons are pretty much cake” to a falcon, De Abreu said.

1 comment:

  1. Great picture, I would love to see this bird.

    I live in Scarborough, and have been seeing quite a few different birds over the past few weeks.

    Last Friday my wife, Jean and I, had a Coopers Hawk spend sometime in our backyard. The Hawk soon made quick business of an unlucky bird that was at one of our bird feeders. We have posted the pics and video at if your interested at:

    A couple of other remarkable birds we have seen in the past six weeks are:

    A Northern Saw Whet Owl, in Toronto's Milliken Park:

    A Barred Owl, in Rouge National Park:

    A Red Tailed Hawk, on the north shore of Milne Dam Conservation Park, Markham:

    I must note that on the day we saw the Red Tailed Hawk in Milne Dam Conservation Park, we also witnessed, and videotaped a man releasing domestic ducks into that wildlife reserve. We reported that release to the City of Markham, and as you might have read in the Toronto Star, actions are being taken to capture, and move those domestic ducks elsewhere.