Tuesday, October 29, 2013

House Finch

The House Finch (Scientific name - Carpodacus mexicanus) is a bird found throughout most of North America.  It was first reported in 1941 in the Eastern U.S. and is believed to have originated from the illegal bird trade. 
 Males display red on their head and chest and have a streaked underbelly. Females do not have the red and are mostly brown streaked.

Top three photos taken in Abbotsford, B.C. in October 2013 and the bottom photo taken in August 2012 at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Refuge in Delta, B.C.

Female and Male at Feeder

Friday, October 18, 2013

Clark's Nutcracker

The Clark's Nutcracker (Scientific name - Nucifraga columbiana) is a bird in the crow family and found in the mountains of Western Canada and the U.S.  They are often found in pine forests as they feed on seeds from pine cones. They are also often found in scenic areas begging food from tourists.
They are pale grey birds with black wings. The tail is black in the center and white along either side. They have a long straight and sharp tipped bill.

Photos were taken at Manning Park, British Columbia in May 2013.

House Sparrow

The House Sparrow (Scientific name - Passer domesticus) was first introduced to North America in Brooklyn, New York in 1850 and today is found in most of North America. It is also found in Central America, South America and the West Indies. They are native to Europe and Asia but have been introduced to many parts of the world. It differs from the other 'sparrows' in that it comes from the Eurasian weaver-finch family. They have a fuller chest and more rounded head and shorter tail than most other 'sparrows'.  They are a common bird and are found often in developed and urban areas.

 They have a grey head, white cheeks and a black throat. The black throat patch is much more predominate in breeding males (as in the third photo). Back and wings are striped with buff, black and brown. 

Top photo taken in Whistler, B.C. in October 2013. The other photos were taken on the island of Maui in Hawaii in November 2012.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Song Sparrow

The Song Sparrow (Scientific name - Melospiza melodia)  is a common sparrow found throughout much of North America from as far North as Southern Alaska and South to Mexico. They are often seen on the ground and in low vegetation. 

The Song Sparrow is a medium sized sparrow and is mostly brown and grey. It has bold streaking on its white chest and a reddish brown cap and a brown streak through its eye.

Top two photos taken in Abbotsford, B.C. in October 2013 and the bottom photo was taken at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in March 2013. The photo second from the bottom was taken at Piper Spit, Burnaby Lake, Burnaby, B.C. in May 2015.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The Anhinga (Scientific name - Anhinga anhinga) is a waterbird found in the Southern U.S. around the Gulf of Mexico. It is also found in the Caribbean and into South America as far South as Uruguay. These birds like warm water and prefer fresh water. They are known by a number of names including, Water Turkey, Snakebird (because they swim with just their long necks out of the water), and the American Darter. 
The Anhinga has a long 'S' shaped neck and long thin pointed bill. They have long broad tail feathers. 
Last photo taken in February 2011 and others in August 2016 at Lake Tohopekaliga, Florida


Monday, October 7, 2013

Dark Eyed Junco

The Dark Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) is a common small sparrow found throughout North America. They breed mostly in Canada and winter in the U.S. and as far south as Northern Mexico. In some areas of South West Canada and the Western U.S. they are year round inhabitants.  The Dark Eyed Junco is observed mostly on the ground at the base of trees and in bushes, or under bird feeders. 
 Dark Eyed Juncos are mainly grey and brown with a white underbelly. Some have noticeably darker heads and those are sometimes known as Oregon Juncos.

Photos taken in Abbotsford, B.C. in October 2013.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Snow Goose

The Snow Goose (Scientific name - Chen caerulescens) is a species of goose found in North America. They breed in the North of Canada and Alaska and also in Greenland and Northeast Siberia. They migrate South as far as Mexico. They are often observed in large flocks and like wetlands and agricultural fields. There is a darker morph of this species that is known as the Blue Goose. 
The Snow Goose is mainly white with black wing tips.

Top photo taken in March 2010  in the Fir Island area of Skagit County, Washington, U.S.A.  Remainder taken in October 2014 on Westham Island, Delta, B.C.