There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis
Black neck, bill and head
White strap under chin
Brown back and wings
Grayish-tan breast

Listen to its call.

Everyone knows the Canada Goose, right?  But did you know that there are actually eleven subspecies, each found in a different geographical location in North America?  The ones we see in western British Columbia are the Vancouver Canada Goose or Branta canadensis fulva.

In my experience, geese can be a bit hostile, so I was a little nervous when this one headed straight for me. Those teeth (or lamellae) on the outside of the bill look pretty sharp. I guess I should be thankful that Canada Geese are herbivores! 

Learn more about the Canada Goose

Additional photos:

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