KILLDEER Markings: both sexes have brown back, white underside, black collar and breast band Destination: Toronto area and as far north as James Bay Where spotted in early spring: fields, parks, shorelines like the Leslie Spit, harbour lands, Don and Humber Rivers
PINTAIL Markings: males -- grey back and sides, brown head, white underside, black tail; female -- mottled brown Destination: Hudson Bay lowlands, western Canada, southern Ontario Where spotted in early spring: Lake Ontario, Leslie Spit, mouth of Humber
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD Markings: male -- black with scarlet and yellow wing epaulets; female -- brown with dark streaks Destination: Toronto area and throughout Ontario as far north as James Bay Where spotted in early spring: rivers, creeks and marshes in the Don, Humber and Rouge Valleys, Highland Creek, High Park,Toronto Islands and harbour lands
ROBIN Markings: male -- dark grey back and red breast; female duller Arriving from: areas rich in wild fruit and berries in U.S. Midwest Destination: Toronto area and throughout Ontario Where spotted in early spring: street trees, backyards, parks and ravines
GREEN-WINGED TEAL Markings: male -- grey back, brown head, mottled breast and iridescent green wing and eye patches; female -- brown with dark speckles Destination: marshes, rivers around the southern edge of the Canadian Shield, Sudbury area, Hudson Bay lowlands Where spotted in early spring: Leslie Spit, Toronto Islands, mouth of the Humber, Grenadier Pond in High Park
SONG SPARROW Markings: both sexes have streaky brown back and streaked white breast with a large dark spot in the middle Destination: Toronto and most of Ontario Where spotted in early spring: shrubby, weedy areas along creeks and rivers, parks and ravines such as the Don and Humber Valleys, High Park, the Toronto Islands, Cherry Beach
HORNED GREBE Markings: both sexes have brown back, chestnut neck and sides and yellowish head crest Destination: smaller lakes and ponds on the western prairies Where seen in early spring: Lake Ontario, Leslie Spit, Toronto Islands, Ashbridges Bay and mouth of the Humber
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK Markings: brown back, reddish underside and shoulders, black-banded tail Destination: forests east of Toronto and as far north as North Bay Where spotted in early spring: Hawks migrating in spring are less concentrated over T.O. than in the fall, but you may still be blessed with a rare sighting overhead, particularly along the Don, Rouge and Humber Valleys northward.
Tim Tiner is the author, with Doug Bennett, of the Up North nature guidebooks published by McClelland & Stewart.