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.