Thursday, November 12, 2015


The Flamingo (Scientific name -Phoenicopterus) is a large wading bird found in Florida, the Caribbean, South America, Mexico, the Galapagos, and parts of Africa and Asia. Although once thought to all be the same species, they have been categorized into six species in various parts of the world. They are a striking bird with long legs, a long neck and large bill. Their feathers range from greyish red (young) to light pink to almost red (adults). It is believed that their diet will cause the differences in the hues of their feathers. Photos taken in Maui, Hawaii in November 2015.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mew Gull

The Mew Gull (Scientific Name - Larus canus) is a small gull common along the Pacific Coast of North America. In Europe these gulls are known as Common Gulls.  They have a mostly grey back, an unmarked yellow bill, a white head and underparts, black wingtips with white spots and yellow legs.  First year birds have a greyish brown head and second year birds still display some greyish brown on the head.  Photos are of what I believe to be a second year bird and taken August 2015 at Guemes Island, Washington. 


The Sanderling (Scientific name - Calidris alba) is a small shorebird that breeds in the Arctic and migrates south as far as South America, Southern Europe, Africa and Australia. In North America it can be found on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts during migration. The Sanderling adult has black, whit and rust upper parts and rust on the chest with a white under belly. The bill is short and dark and the legs are black. The non-breeding adult displays mainly grey upper parts and a white face and neck.  The photos shown are of a non-breeding Sanderling and were taken in Maui, Hawaii in November 2015.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Red-breasted Nuthatch

The Red-breasted Nuthatch (Scientific Name - Sitta canadensis) is a small bird found throughout most of North America as far north as the southern part of the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada.They are found in wooded areas and stick to tree trunks and branches as they forage for insects. They have long pointed bills, short tails and almost no neck. They have blue-grey backs and rusty underparts. The head is distinct with a black cap and stripe through the eye and a white stripe above the eye. Photos taken in Abbotsford, British Columbia in December 2014 (at feeder) and at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia in October 2015.

Common Yellowthroat

The Common Yellowthroat (scientific name - Geothlypis trichas) is a small warbler that is found throughout North America as far north as the Yukon Territory in Canada. The males have a distinctive black mask and a bright yellow throat. The females of the species do not have the mask and are more brown than the males, although they do have a bit of a yellow throat. The birds in the western part of North America have a more yellow belly than their eastern counterparts.  These birds winter as far south as Central America and some can be found year round in parts of Mexico and Florida. They like to frequent tangled vegetation often near marshes and wetlands. Photos taken in Chilliwack, B.C. at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve in October 2015 and May 2016(top).

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Common Loon

The Common Loon (Scientific name - Gavia immer) can be found throughout most of Canada and the United States. They breed in the northern U.S. and Canada and migrate as far south as Florida and the Baja Penninsula in Mexico. They are fairly large diving water birds. They have a rounded head and pointed bill. The adults have a black head and bill, a white breast and spotted back. They also display a black and white collar on the neck.  The non breeding plumage (September to March) is more a plain grey on the back and head and a white throat. Photos were taken in Abbotsford, British Columbia in September 2015 (breeding plumage) and Crescent Beach, Surrey, British Columbia in January 2015.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Light-vented Bulbul

The Light-vented Bulbul (Scientific name - Pycnonotus sinensis) is a medium sized bird also known as the Chinese Bulbul. It has mostly grey upper parts with olive colour highlights and edgings. The under parts are white and it has black legs and feet. The head is distinctive with a black bill, black crown and black moustache. The nape is white but bordered with a black band. They feed on berries and soft fruits and vegetables but also on insects which they sometimes capture in flight. The Light-vented Bulbul ranges throughout east Asia (China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan). The birds in the photos are a sub species that is endemic to Taiwan (Pycnonotus sinensis formosae) The photographs were taken in Da-an Forest Park in Taipei, Taiwan in August 2015. 

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

The Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Scientific Name - Passer montanus) is a small sparrow that closely resembles the larger House Sparrow.  They have mostly light brown upper parts and light breast with no streaking. The wings are mostly brown with some black spots and distinct white bars. They have a thick dark bill and distinct black ear patches and a black patch on the chin and throat. They range from Europe to South East Asia but are rare in the Middle East and Indian sub continent. They were introduced to the USA in the Missouri area and have not spread far from that area in North America. The American Tree Sparrow looks similar however has a rust coloured line extending back from the eye and no black ear patch or throat. Photos taken in Da-an Forest Park, Taipei, Taiwan in August 2015.

Oriental Magpie-Robin

The Oriental Magpie-Robin (Scientific Name - Copsychus saularis) also known simply as the Magpie-Robin is a passerine bird found throughout the Indian sub continent and across Southeast Asia.  They are mostly black upper and white underneath. They have a white shoulder patch and a long tail which is often cocked up. They can be found in open woodland areas and often in urban parks. Photos taken in August 2015 in Da-an Forest Park, Taipei, Taiwan.

Black-collared Starling

The Black-collared Starling (Scientific name - Gracupica nigricollis also Sturnus nigricollis) is a fairly large starling with distinctive colouring. It has white underparts, mostly black upper parts with some white, a white head with a bare (yellowish) orbital area and a distinctive black collar.  These birds are found throughout much of Southeast Asia and Southern China. They have been introduced into Taiwan. They like open areas and grasslands and can be found in urban parks.  Photos taken in Taipei, Taiwan in August 2015.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Taiwan Barbet

The Taiwan Barbet (Scientific name - Megalaima nuchalis) is a bird endemic to the island of Taiwan.  It is also commonly known as the five-coloured bird because of its head which is patterned with blue yellow and red. The body is mostly green and the males have a distinct red patch under their throat.  They nest in holes in trees and the male and female take turns flying out for food while the other takes care of the nest.  Photos were taken in Da-an Forest Park in Taipei, Taiwan in August 2015.

Female in Nest

Malayan Night Heron

The Malayan Night Heron (Scientific name - Gorsachius melanolophus) is a medium sized heron found in South and South East Asia.  They are sometimes known as the Malaysian Night Heron. They breed in India, Taiwan, China and the Philippines. Adults are reddish brown with a dark crown and dark underwings. The juveniles have black and white spotsin and streaked underparts. The photos were taken in Taichung (adult - top photo) and Taipei (juveniles) in August 2015.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Western Wood-pewee

The Western Wood-pewee (Scientific name - Contopus sordidulus) is a small flycatcher that can be found throughout western North America. This bird hunts for insects aerially similar to the way swallows do.  These birds are migrants and winter as far south as Columbia and Bolivia. They are a fairly drab bird, mostly grey with two pale white wing bars.  The photos were taken on the Matsqui Trail in Abbotsford, British Columbia in July 2015.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ruddy Duck

The Ruddy Duck (Scientific Name - Oxyura jamaicensis) is a small duck that can be found through much of North America. They can be found as far north as the northern parts of the Western Canadian provinces. They migrate south into Central America.  The males have a dark head and bright white cheeks. During breeding their bodies are more chestnut in colour and their bills a bright blue.  Females are mostly brown with a stripe across their cheek. The Ruddy Duck has a thick neck and a longish tail that they often hold cocked upright. They are nocturnal and often can be seen sleeping during the day. The photos were taken in May 2015 in Valemount (breeding male), British Columbia and in November 2014 in Abbotsford, B.C.


Daytime sleeping

Male Breeding Colours

Blue-winged Teal

The Blue-winged Teal (Scientific Name - Anas discors) is a small dabbling duck found throughout North America. They winter as far south as the northern part of South America. Because they migrate long distances, they often leave to head south earlier than some other species. They are mainly brown ducks, with the male displaying distinctive white facial crescent. In flight the powdery blue forewing can be seen giving them their name. The photos were taken in Abbotsford, B.C. in June 2015 (single male) and in Valemount, B.C. in May 2015 (pair).

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Brown-headed Cowbird

The Brown-headed Cowbird (Scientific name - Molotrus ater) is a stocky blackbird and is common throughout most of North America and down into Central America.  They are a brood parasite and have become a threat to songbirds. This is because they lay many eggs in the nests of other species.  Adult males have a glossy black body and a brown head. The females are fairly plain brown birds.  Juveniles display streaking on back and underparts. Photos taken in Manning Park, British Columbia in May 2013 (female) and May 2015 (top two males); Mission, British Columbia (Juvenile) in July 2015 and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in May 2015 (male)