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.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Western Meadowlark

Sturnella neglecta

Dark-streaked brown upperparts
Bright yellow underparts
Broad black V on breast
White flanks, streaked with black
Brown-and-white striped crown
Bright yellow line over the eye
Sharply pointed bill
Short, brown tail with white edges
Colours are duller in winter

Listen to its song.

This bird was perched on a bush, surveying a grassy field. It looked like he was standing guard, protecting his territory. I initially thought this was some kind of varied thrush because of its size and shape. However, the coloring was wrong. Although I didn't get a full frontal view of this bird, I'm pretty sure I've identified it correctly.

Learn more about the Western Meadowlark.

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