Urban Wildlife Sightings of a Flâneur in Montreal (including a rare bird!)

It was early spring so I wasn't expecting much but was curious to see if there would be anything different from what I was seeing in Ottawa.  It was good to walk by some bodies of water (where birds will gather) and also visit some city parks of various sizes.  But you never know where something interesting will pop up so if you are keen about urban wildlife stay sharp and observe with as many senses as possible!  A good birding ear will tell you a lot about what is around (says someone who wants to improve hers!).

And something interesting did pop up in Montreal!  I've been occasionally seeing photos like this bird in various online feeds (they are a bit like a unicorn for birders!) so I was excited to see something I didn't recognize but that stood out and then when I realized what I was seeing - I started madly snapping.  Unfortunately it was in branches and I couldn't get the best focus and I was also a bit self-conscious pointing my camera at someone's front yard!  I found the bird along a street with some brownstones - small square of a front yard with a bird feeder.  But it was a thrill indeed!

The other thing about city birding is that if you are not with another birder or you have a time crunch you may not be able to stay and take as many photos as you'd like to get that PERFECT shot.  And also as mentioned above there is that self-conscious worry if your camera is pointing toward's someone's private property (or is it just me?).  To get around this, going to city parks at off peak hours will offer lots of opportunities so that you don't have to stray too far into the suburbs!  Or the other opportunity in cities are the cemeteries - these can be havens for wildlife especially if there is a waterbody included in the landscape.  These are great migrating rest stops in the spring and fall.

Here is what I saw as a follow up to my Urban Nature-loving Flâneur's Day:


(City and water birds)

- Gulls were definitely back in the city (best way to identify is colour of legs!) -

- Sweet gull tracks on the melting ice! -

- A Red-winged Blackbird sans epaulettes! -

(Did you know that males can "hide" their flashy colours. Females are brown and arrive a few weeks after the males.)

- Brown bird (unidentified) -

- Love doves errr... pigeons! -

(Did you know that Pigeons and Doves are the same bird family: Columbidae?)

- Another unidentified bird as we were rushing back to Bonadventure... (House Sparrow?) -


(The usual suspects plus one rare find!)

- Very calm squirrel - less than an arm distance away- 

- Love this small pigeon park I found! -

(La Puissance Psychique des Animaux a.k.a The Psychic Power of Animals)

- And here it is.... a leucistic House Sparrow!! -

(If it was albino, it would have red or pink eyes.  Leucistic refers just to the feathers.)


- Lots of squirrels - managed to capture a photo of this one having lunch! - 

You May Also Like:

The Urban Birds of Palm Springs (Winter 2018)

A Spring Walk Along the Thames River (Spring 2017)

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