Yonge and Dundas, with its billboards and expanses of concrete, may be the spot in Toronto that seems most removed from nature. But this video is a good reminder to look up every once in a while.
Karen Whaley (a former Torontoist contributor) was waiting for a streetcar at the intersection around 5 p.m. Saturday evening when a flock of birds caught her eye. “Suddenly I looked up and there was a massive formation of birds swooping around the billboards on the north side of the street,” she told us via email. “It was totally enthralling.” Whaley says only a few people noticed at first, but as the flock got bigger, everyone at the stop was looking up. “For the next few minutes until the streetcar arrived (for once, a bit too soon) it was like we had our own mini airshow.”
Whaley notes that since then she found out the birds were starlings, which in a flock are called a murmuration. “Most of the starling murmuration sightings I’ve seen on YouTube are taken in natural settings rather than urban one, so I don’t know why the starlings were hanging out at Yonge and Dundas Square on Saturday,” she wrote.
If Absolut Vodka somehow trained the birds to flock around the billboard, we salute their clever viral-marketing strategy.
Hat tip to David Topping.