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Word of the Week: Talon
July 18, 2019 by Haya Aldoori

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Photo by Richard Bod

Talon [ TAL-uh n ] (noun): a large, hooked claw usually associated with birds of prey.

High Park is an exciting place where you can see a surprising amount of birds of prey. The amazing vision, razor sharp beaks, and powerful talons are only some of the tools that help make these birds incredible predators.

The red-tailed hawk, a common bird of prey in High Park, is thought to have one of the strongest grips of all birds of prey its size. The grip strength of their talons can be around 200 pounds per square inch!

Just a few weeks ago, some of our summer camp participants were very excited to see not one, but two young red-tailed hawks perching on some nearby pine trees. The kids quickly lowered the volume of their voices and moved to carefully observe them from a closer distance. Although the kids were quiet, the neighbouring birds were not. Many could be heard sounding off their alarm calls and letting the hawks know that they had been spotted. Surely they wanted to avoid being caught in the grip of the hawks’ talons!

Be sure to keep an eye out for red-tailed hawks and other birds of prey on your next High Park visit!

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