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Common Birds of Metropolitan Toronto

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Common Grackle
Common Grackle - Quiscalus quiscula
Appearance: Robin-sized iridescent green-black bird with a long slightly down-curved beak and a bright yellow eye. In flight, the long, wedge-shaped tail is distinctive. Up close, female is browner and smaller than male.
Behaviour: Noisy, conspicuous bird. Walks rather than hops when on ground. Song sounds metallic, like a squeaky clothesline.
Habitats: Open habitat, especially woodlands, parks, marshes and urban areas.

Common Moorhen
Common Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Appearance: Plump, crow-sized grey bird with short neck and long legs. Up close, long toes and red beak, and white stripe along the side.
Behaviour: Feeds on edges of marshes. Flicks the short, white tail when walking; when swimming, bobs the head. Shy.
Habitats: Freshwater, especially cattail marshes and lake edges.

Common Tern
Common Tern - Sterna hirundo
Appearance: Robin-sized slender bird with long, pointed wings, long forked tail and pointed beak. Light grey back, white front with a black cap and red beak.
Behaviour: Flight is light and bouncy. Dives from the air into water to catch food. Call is a harsh "kee-urr".
Habitats: Freshwater, especially large lakes.

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