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.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oregon Junco

(subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco)
Junco hyemalis oreganus

Medium-sized sparrow
Short, stout, pink bill
Dark brown back and wings
Black hood and wing tips (female has grey hood)
White belly and outer tail feathers

Listen to its call.

Although the sun was shining this afternoon, frost still covered much of the grass in our backyard. This bird was foraging for spilled seed under the neighbour’s bird feeder. I’m contemplating hanging one of our own, strategically placed to allow me to take my photos through the window. Several hours later, I’m still trying to warm up after my photo shoot with the birds. It’s chilly out there today.

Learn more about the Dark-eyed Junco.

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