Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Anna's Hummingbird

The Anna's Hummingbird (Scientific name: Calypte anna) is a common hummingbird along the Pacific Coast of North America. They range from Northern British Columbia and the Alaskan panhandle down to the Northern part of Mexico.  They are mostly green (back) and grey with the males displaying iridescent colours (reddish pink to orange) on the throat (gorget) and head. Photos were taken in November 2014 at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, Chilliwack, British Columbia.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher (Scientific name: Megaceryle alcyon) is found near streams and shorelines throughout North America.  It is distinctive with a large head with a shaggy crest and thick straight bill. They are light blue above with a white underside and a broad blue band on the breast. Females have a rust coloured band on their belly and are more brightly coloured than the males. There is also a distinctive white spot between the eye and bill. They range from Alaska and as far south as northern South America.  Photos taken in Richmond, B.C. (in flight), Langley, B.C. (on wire) and Chilliwack, B.C. in September (Richmond) and October 2014.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Brown Creeper

The Brown Creeper (Scientific name: Certhia americana) is a small bird found in the woodlands across North America. They particularly like large trees and can be seen moving up the trunk of a tree in a spiral pattern. They are small birds with spine tipped tails and slim bodies and decurved bills. They are streaked brown and buff on top with white underparts. They have a noticeable stripe over the eye.  The photo was taken in September 2014 in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C.

Vesper Sparrow

The Vesper Sparrow (Scientific name: Pooecetes gramineus) is a medium sized sparrow that is found mainly in grasslands across the north central U.S. and Canada. They summer as far north as the north of Alberta and Saskatchewan and occasionally into the territories. They are mostly greyish brown with a streaked chest and back. They have a noticeable white eyeing.  Photo was taken in September 2014 at Crescent Beach, Surrey, B.C.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gray Jay

The Gray Jay (Scientific name: Perisoreus canadensis) is also commonly known as the Canada Jay or Whiskey Jack. They are found in the boreal forests of North America and in sub alpine forests in the Rocky Mountains as far south as New Mexico and Arizona.  They nest in late winter sometimes in temperatures well below freezing. They are always looking for food and can often be found near campsites and picnic sites scavenging. They will if offered often take food from human's hands.  They are stocky birds with black bills. They are light gray below and darker gray on the back. They have a black patch on the back of their heads. These photos taken at Manning Park, British Columbia in October 2014.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Black-legged Kittiwake

The Black-legged Kittiwake (scientific name - Rissa tridactyla) is a gull that is found in the N orth Pacific and North Atlantic oceans.  It breeds in large colonies on rocky cliffs. The bird has black legs, a small unmarked yellow bill, black wingtips  and a medium grey back. Photos were taken in July 2014 at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland.


Common Murre

The Common Murre (scientific name - Uria aalge) is a fairly large seabird found on both coasts of North America in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. This bird spends most of its time out at sea and only comes to land to breed. They do not build nests, but lay their eggs on rocky cliffs and rock ledges. They have a brown-black back and white underside. The Common Murre found in the Atlantic sometimes has a thin white stripe from the eye. These photos were taken in July 2014 at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland.

Atlantic Puffin

The Atlantic Puffin (scientific name - Fratercula arctica) is a seabird native to the North Atlantic Ocean. It is found from the north coast of North America to Northern Europe and also up to Greenland.  It is easily identified with a black back and white underside and a l large multicoloured bill. These photos were taken in July 2014 at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland which hosts the largest colony of these birds in the Western Atlantic (over 250,000). The Atlantic Puffin is also the Provincial Bird of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Red-breasted Sapsucker

The Red-brested Sapsucker (scientific name - Sphyrapicus ruber) is a medium sized woodpecker that is found in the forests on the West Coast of North America from Alaska to California. They feed by foraging for insects in trees. They have a red head and breast and a white strip along the side. Photos taken in Chemainus, B.C. in June 2014.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cedar Waxwing

The Cedar Waxwing (Scientific name - Bombycilla cedrorum) is a nomadic bird found throughout North America from Southern Canada (mainly below the territories) to as far south as Mexico and into South America. They move around in flocks seeking berries, which are their main source of food. They have a subdued brownish crest and a black mask which is outlined in white.  The head and chest are brown and the wings are a soft grey. They have a yellowish belly and yellow tip on the end of their tail feathers.  There are also red tips on the wing feathers, although these are often hard to see.  They are a beautiful bird. Top photo of the juvenile was taken in August 2013 in Langley, B.C. while the other two photos were taken in June 2014 in Abbotsford, B.C.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Harlequin Duck

The Harlequin Duck (Scientific name - Histrionicus histrionicus) is a small diving duck that prefers fast moving streams and surf areas. They are found on the Northwestern and Northeastern coasts of North America and also in Greenland, Iceland and as far as Russia. They are colourful ducks with the male having chestnut sides and white markings including white bands on breast and neck, a white face patch with a rust "eyebrow" and a single white "dot" behind the eye. On first glance at a distance, one might think they are Wood Ducks.  The female is less colourful with a dark sooty brown body and smaller white face patch.  Photos were taken in May 2014 on Whiffen Spit, Sooke, B.C. (near Victoria, B.C.)
Female and male

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Savannah Sparrow

The Savannah Sparrow (Scientific name - Passerculus sandwichensis) is a medium sized sparrow found throughout North America, as far north as Alaska and as far south as Honduras. It can also be found in Cuba, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. These sparrows prefer open areas such as grasslands, marshes and farmlands. They are identifiable by the yellow patch between eye and bill. Photos were taken in April 2014 in the Glen Valley area of Langley, B.C. (Top) and at Brydon Nature Lagoon, Langley, B.C. in May 2014.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Black Oystercatcher

The Black Oystercatcher (Scientific name - Haematopus bachmani) is a large shorebird found along the shoreline of Western North America from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and South to the Baja Penninsula. They are mainly black but have a large red bill and a red ring around the eyes. They have pale pink legs. From a distance they resemble a crow until one sees the bill.  They are very engaging to watch, especially when they interact with one another. As the name suggests they feed on submerged shellfish, however Oysters are rarely consumed.  Photos taken at Tsawwassen, British Columbia in April 2014.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fox Sparrow

The Fox Sparrow (Scientific name - Passerella iliaca) is a fairly large sparrow that likes to forage on the ground for its food. This bird is found throughout North America from Alaska in the North and as far South as Baja California. The Fox Sparrow is mostly rusty brown with a rust and grey head. The breast is heavily marked with distinctive rufous chevrons.  The photos were taken in March 2014 at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, B.C. (Top) and in April 2014 at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve in Chilliwack, B.C.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bahama Mockingbird

The Bahama Mockingbird (Scientific name - Mimus gundlachii) is a fairly large mockingbird, larger than the more common Northern Mockingbird.  Its range is confined to the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos, southern Jamaica and a few islands near Cuba.  It is sometimes a vagrant to the southeastern part of Florida. It does not mimic other species but does have a beautiful song of varied notes.  It is mostly brown in colour with streaking on the breast and two white strips on its wings.  Photos were taken at Little San Salvadore Island (Halfmoon Cay) in the Bahamas in March 2014.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

European Starling

The European Starling (Scientific name - Sturnus vulgaris) is also known as the Common Starling. Their name comes from the fact that they have short wings and resemble stars in flight.  They are found throughout North America, having been introduced in New York in the nineteenth century by Shakespeare enthusiasts.  They are also found throughout Europe and into the Middle East. They have been introduced in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. They look black, but have a purplish green iridescence. In winter they are brown with white spots.  Photos taken in Vancouver in December 2013 (top) and April 2014 (middle) and Surrey in March 2014.