Archives for Birds

The Turkey Vultures

Categories: 2sDay, Birds, and Lens Friends.

~ For 2sDay I’m sharing some photos of two turkey vultures that was saw on the roof of an old barn along our road.  It was a sunny morning as we were driving home and the vultures were just coming in to land on the roof.  We were able to pull over to the side of the road and get some fantastic photos.  It pays to always take the camera when we go out. I love the lightening rods on the roof of the barn. At first only one of the vultures or buzzards had its wings spread.  They can
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Quails for Q

Categories: Birds, British Columbia, and Lens Friends.

 We loved seeing quail on our visits to British Columbia.  Some research tells me this is a California quail, found along the Pacific coast of the USA and Vancouver Island and the southern part of British Columbia.   They are small to mid size birds in the pheasant family. The distinctive head markings on the male are lovely and don’t you just love that little plume feather on the top of its head?  It’s made up of 6 feathers that curl towards the front.  The female has a little top knot but it doesn’t curl as much as the male one. Here
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The Nuthatches

Categories: Birds.

We just love watching the various birds that visit the backyard feeders.  Most of the feeders are set up so they are within good viewing distance of the windows. The cameras are always ready to capture the birds through our lenses.   We are getting much better at identification but the birding books are always close at hand.  We’ve learned to look at beaks, eye markings, belly colours, tail lengths and more. Nuthatches, sometimes called the upside down birds, are the birds that go down the tree head first.   There are 2 varieties of nuthatch … the white breasted
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G for Goldfinches

Categories: Birds.

The American or Eastern goldfinch, Carduelis tristis, belongs to the finch family. These cheeky little birds frequent the garden in all seasons.  They flock to the feeders, especially before a storm, and will also flit from flower to flower in the garden looking for seeds.  Here they are in their winter plumage.   The markings on their wing and tail feathers is lovely and seems a lot darker when the birds are in their summer plumage.  You can pick out the finches as they fly through the garden as they move in an undulating or up and down flight path. They
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In the Flicker of an Eye

Categories: Birds.

The Northern flickers are ground feeding woodpeckers that usually come in April through October as they pass through.  They mainly eat ants and beetles but will eat fruit and seeds. I am always thrilled to see this bird especially just a few days after my cataract surgery in 2015 and recognized it right away, without even having my glasses on.  Just a week before the surgery I would of had to been wearing my glasses and then zoom in with the camera to make the positive identification. The flicker has a long curved beak to peck into the ground.  As
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D for Doves

Categories: Birds.

There is always an abundance of mourning doves in and around the garden.  They are year round visitors and it is lovely to hear their wooing or cooing call in the spring and summer months. In winter they settle down into the fresh snow on the deck railings and soak up the sun.  Sometimes there is a whole line of them. Their head always seems to be on the small size for its body.  They are a softish brown to a buff coloured tan with black spots on their wings. They are fluffy and content … I’m not sure I
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The Spotted Towhee

Categories: Birds, British Columbia, and Lens Friends.

~ The spotted towhee is a western bird and we were lucky to spot some on our last trip to British Columbia. Towhees hop around moving leaves for find food. Above is the male towhee and below is the female (not the best photo) This over sized sparrow is usually a ground feeder but they will go to the feeders. When we first saw the towhee we were walking the Galloping Goose trail and it flew in front of us and landed in one of the trees.  Our first instinct was to say it was a robin as the flash
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Spotting Eagles

Categories: Birds and British Columbia.

E for Eagles. The thing we look for the most when visiting British Columbia is the eagles.  Our favourite place to see them is Goldstream Park in Victoria BC. This year we were so lucky to see many eagles, perhaps because of the time of year we were visiting.  They go to the park because of the salmon run and in mid December there were many salmon dead on the banks of the stream (finished spawning) and the eagles are there to have a feast. It was a foggy day when we visiting but there were so many eagles in
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Black Turnstones

Categories: Birds, British Columbia, and Lens Friends.

~ Our latest visit to British Columbia gave us the opportunity to check off many different species of birds, ducks and shore birds. The Black Turnstone was spotted on a rainy day while visiting Whiffin Spit.  This was the same day we saw the Whiffin Spit Christmas tree.  If you missed the post about that you can view it here. This species loves the rocky Pacific coast.  It’s a medium sized, short legged shore bird about 20-25 cm long. I love all the barnacles on the rocks in this photo.  This bird will peck inside the barnacles to find food.
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The 12 Birding Days of Christmas

Categories: Birds and Christmas.

~ The camera is always on hand to capture the feathered lens friends in the garden, down by the bay or driving along.  Christmas carols are being played everywhere now and just to shake things up a little bit I’m sharing some of favourite photos of birds with my rendition of the 12 birding days of Christmas.  Singing along or humming along is allowed. On the first day of birding my camera snapped for me … a cardinal in a bare tree and then continuing on … On the second day of birding my camera snapped for me 2 swans
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