Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Clark's Nutcatcher

It's been awhile since I have made a post on my bird blog. I unfortunately haven't had much time to get out to do any birding. Today, without even trying my hubby and I spotted this bird on our property. It was around 4:30 when I arrived home and saw this bird in my driveway. Later that evening my husband tells me he spotted a new bird and had photos of it on our camera. Well what a pleasant surprise. It turns out we both were looking at the same bird.

This bird is an obscure bird for our area. Apparently these birds only make it our to the Pacific Coast about every 15 years when the pines fail to produce enough seed.

These are considered a scavenger bird making birds eggs and nestlings as part of their diet. The also eat suet from feeders, and insects. They are generally found in coniferous forests in mountains.

Happy Birding all!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Brown-Headed Cowbird (male)

These are rather interesting birds and I am not so sure after reading about them that I like the idea of having them around. They say cowbirds historically would follow the bison, feeding off the insects that associated with the huge herds. Since their food source was mobile, these birds divised a way of raising a family without having to settle down. They would deposite their eggs in other birds' nests, they found other species would raise their offspring at the deterement of their own eggs. No longer capable of making their own nest, cowbirds rely completely on other birds to raise their young. They prey upon species that had no previous contact with them and thus have added another pressure to songbirds that are struggling to survive(Birds of Coastal British Columbia, by Nancy Baron & John Acorn).

Golden-Crowned Sparrow

Sunday, May 24, 2009

This bird perplexes me....it has characteristics of a finch and sparrow and as both frequent this area I am just not sure....any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.House Finch (male)
Tree Swallow

As always if you click on the picture you can see the bird in a larger view

Update on this post thanks to a fellow birder they have provided me with the identification of the first bird. Apparently it is the Female Black-headed Grosbeak. That would make sense as the male also frequents the feeder.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend birding.....

A little while back it was suggested to me that I purchase a Field Guide to birds. Well I did just that this past weekend. I went to the bookstore and what a variety of bird books there were. I decided on the Stokes Field Guide to Birds Western Region and I am glad that I did. I think what I like most about this book is that not only is it specific to birds in western North America but it is actual photos of the birds. Being a beginner birder I find that very helpful. Case and point. This past weekend I had a frequent bird to my feeder. I heard it's call and looked up in the tree and saw this bird...wasn't sure if I would be close enough to capture a photo of it....but now seeing it in the tree it helped in identifying this bird....

Next I captured this bird in my feeder. Based on it's markings and it antics and the feed that I had in the feeder it would appear that this a Black-headed Grosbeak. What helped me identify this bird was the feeding. According to Stokes these birds feed in the foliage of trees, eating pine(hence that is exactly what tree this bird is in)and it eats seeds, wild berries, insects and spiders. It comes to bird feeders for sunflower seeds, and other types of seed and fruit. It would just so happened that my feeder had sunflower seeds and smaller seeds in it at that time.
Help, what about this one.....I think it is a swallow....possibly a barn swallow...this photo doesn't do it justice. It's body was a lovely white and looked like it had a slight blue huge to it....they loved to sit on the power line.....I like this one of the House finch in the feeder, you can really appreciate it's plummage.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Black eyed Junco and Black Bill Magpie

Today I think it's a black thing....I got the Black eyed Junco....common bird I know....and then I have the Black Billed Magpie...not common where I live...I spotted this when I was visiting a friend in the interior of British Columbia...Again if you click on the photo you can see an enlarged virsion of the picture.....

Although a somewhat common bird..I do appreciate their colour and antics....the Blach eyed Junco...
The Black Billed Magpie

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Various Birds

Stellar Jay

Bald Eagle and 2 Juvenile
Golden Eagle(?) Any suggestions?


Looks like a juvenile
Blue Herons

By clicking on any of the photos you can get a better look. I am not certain about the one that I have labled juvenile I wonder if it is a hawk.....any suggestions?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Golden Crowned Sparrow

This morning was no exception the small birds were here in an abundance. The Golden Crowned Sparrow made an appearance and I was able to get a little video clip of it....Do you hear the birds in the background? If so do you recognize their call? I was just wondering if it is the Song Sparrow I am hearing.
And the bird seen with the Golden Crowned is that Female house Finch? In observing this video the stripe on the Sparrows head does look white...but believe me it was yellow very different from the White Crowned Sparrow who frequents here as well.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rufous Humming bird....

Hot off the presses.....just captured this...if you click on the photo it will enlarge and you can appreciate the iridescence in the plumage of this bird....

Male Rufous
Female Rufous

American Goldfinch et al..............

This time of year the birds are in an abundance......living where I do I am fortunate that I don't have to travel to far to experience the splendars of nature......here are but a few samplings of the vistors to our property.......

The American GoldFinch(Carduelis tristis)

And here it is with some Pine Siskin

Although not a very clear picture in this photo you have the Purple finch(in center of the photo and off to the left just behind the grass you will find another)the American Goldfinch, and more Pine siskin

Purple finch(male)Carpodacus purpureus

I believe this is a female House finch(Carpodacus mexicanus)
And of course this guy didn't want to miss out on all of the fun....here we have the California Quail male (Callipepla californica)
We get a lot of quail on the property and this time of year it is so much fun to see them come out, mom, dad and the babies...I have seen up to 14 at once all travelling in a row.

Fox Sparrow and White Crowned Sparrow

Yesterday as I was standing at my kitchen window I kept seeing this bird at the feeder and on the ground...Can you help me name this bird...you can click on the photo to enlarge it if need be
It has a very speckled breast and seems to have a hew of green to it.......

In reviewing my book "Birds of Coastal British Columbia" by Nancy Baron & Jon Acorn I think this bird might be a "Fox Sparrow" Based on it's antics and their Towhee relative(which there are a lot of here). The description they give is that the Fox Sparrow are larger and darker than the song sparrow and that they like to "scratch" out a living. How true...as the whole time I was observing this bird that is exactly what it did. As you can see by the photo I spotted it amongst dense vegetation which apparently is where they are mostly found. They describe the markings of the Fox Sparrow as having a heavily streaked breasts with inverted "v's" the tail is rusty and the lower mandible is yellowish....this description seems to fit this bird....but what do you think.

I believe this one to be a White-Crowned Sparrow. The White-crowned is a gray sparrow with brown back and wings, and a white and black striped crown. Again seems to fit. The bill is pink or yellowish. Immatures have rusty brown crown stripes. This one seems to fit the bill don't you think....and again it would be appropriate if there were to be seen with the Fox Sparrow and the Towhee......

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Northern Flicker ....what do you think.....

This morning as I was standing at the kitchen sink I saw this bird pecking at the ground....went and got the camera...and then there were two......

I never did get a very good shot of the two of them together....hubby said I should have used a faster shutter time....he's most probably right as this birds do move fast....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March at the Lake....

The other day my daughters and I were up at a lake and saw this Bufflehead.....I believe it is the female ....the male was present but he kept diving when I wanted to take his photo...maybe he was camera shy. Buffleheads got their name because their head in proportion to their bodies are so much larger and remind them of a buffalo and so named them "buffleheads".

These birds are widely distributed along the coast in the winter.

Buffleheads antics: they explode straight up from the water like tiny missiles. They are often seen in mountain lakes(as in this case) as breeding sites. The female searches for cavity, usually a flicker hole , in which to nest. Her small size enables her to squeeze into woodpecker holes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It must be almost Spring....

Welcome to my blog and to my first Bird posting.

I have been interested in birds for some time now and I often display pictures of them on my main blog.
Over the past couple of years I have gained a rather extensive collection of photos of birds I have seen in my travels.

Through my resource material with Sibley Guide to Birds being my bible I have been able to identify many of the birds I photograph. But even sometimes after using Sibley's, and a few other local birding books and the internet I am still not confident that I have identified the bird in which I have spotted. Being able to spot a bird and photograph it is one thing but then to be able to identify it is another.

So I thought I would start this blog for amateur birders. I will post a picture of a bird I have seen tell you what I think it is or maybe not...and let you tell me what you think it is. I think this is a great opportunity for all of us to learn more about the wonderful world of birds.

With Spring on our door step and the birds returning to the feeders and nesting I am seeing an abundance of birds. This morning was no exception. Out my kitchen window I spotted these bird.....I think it is a Black-headed breeding Grosbeak male.
Note the obvious black head, the white and red breast and the speckled wings.....
Do you also see the red around their eye? Now I don't believe this is common with the Grosbeak but there are hybrids..... what do you think....