White-eyed Vireo

The staff and volunteers at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (TTPBRS) were very excited earlier this week to have been able to band the second White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) captured at Tommy Thompson Park (TTP). The first was in 2004!

This exceptional bird can be recognized by its olive green plumage, white throat and yellow-green spectacles around its unique white eyes. This is a very rare find for TTPBRS, as the bulk of the breeding population for this species is in the United States.

White-eyed Vireos prefer brushy habitats with a dense understory layer, and that are generally located near a water source. With its mosaic of habitats on the Toronto waterfront, TTP offers an ideal stopover spot to rest and refuel during the long migrations to Central America.

The White-eyed Vireo’s short stout bill is well adapted to catch and eat its favourite food – insects! Caterpillars are often on the menu, but during non-breeding season the diet of the White-eyed Vireo wanders. An assortment of wild fruits will satisfy this vireo during winter months.

Their distinctive call has been described sounding like the words "quick, take me to the railroad, quick!" Like many migratory songbirds, White-eyed Vireos serve as predators, prey, and seed dispersants within the ecosystems they inhabit. Long-term trends analyzed from the data collected through TTPBRS help guide bird conservation efforts at local, provincial, national and even international levels. As the park’s habitats continue to mature, we hope to catch more glimpes of unfamiliar birds like the White-eyed Vireo and regularly see species that more typically migrate through Toronto.

To support the continued operation of the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station and bird conservation in Toronto and beyond please donate or become a member by visit the Living City Foundation page.

Thanksgiving weekend hours

Already looking forward to the Thanksgiving long weekend? So are we! The park will be open an extra day - perfect for fall migration birding.


Young Birders' Club - A birding hike series, just for kids!

Young Birders' Club is into its second season at TTP!

The Young Birders' Club is an opportunity for youth, aged 9-12, to go on introductory birding hikes specifically geared for young people. Our goal is to look for birds at Tommy Thompson Park through the fall migration season, and to develop our birding skills. In addition to hiking, we'll enjoy other age-appropriate activities to complement the birding. The club will meet on five occasions, starting August 30th, and with every meeting, our bird observation and identification skills will improve. On our fifth and final meeting this season, families are invited to come along on our birding hike to learn from our Young Birders

Young Birders will:

  • Learn how to use binoculars

  • Learn how to spot and identify birds

  • Visit the Bird Research Station

  • Meet other youth interested in birding

  • **Please note that meetings will involve a significant amount of walking.**

    Binoculars and field guides are provided for the meetings.
    Delivered by a certified teacher.

    Sunday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    We will be cycling for two of the meetings. Participants are to bring their own bicycles and helmets.

    To register and for cost information, visit the registration page.

    Please contact Raja Raudsepp for more information.

    Butterfly Festival wraps up!

    We had such a beautiful day at the ‪#‎ButterflyFest‬ yesterday. Visit the Butterfly Festival Facebook page for a short video of the event.

    TRCA would like to acknowledge the many volunteers who made this event possible. Your dedication and energy are very much appreciated. Good job!

    Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the activities and celebrate the butterflies at ‪#‎TommyThompsonPark‬. Until next year!