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.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eurasian Wigeon

Anas penelope
Medium-sized duck
Small blue-gray bill with black tip
  • Rusty head
  • Buff crown stripe
  • Mostly gray body
  • White belly
  • Black rear end
  • White patch on wing    

  • Brown head
  • Mottled gray-brown or rusty-brown body
  • White patch on wing

Listen to its call.

These birds, originally from Siberia, were with a flock of their American cousins in Beacon Hill Park. While the males are distinct, the females of the two species looked quite similar. I'm not sure if this is a picture of a female Eurasian Wigeon or not but she seemed to be paired up with the male above. Also, the head of this female was browner than the heads of the other females around her, further evidence to suggest she was of a different species. And finally, she didn't seem to mind the snow this afternoon at all, leading me to conclude that she definitely wasn't from around here.

Learn more about the Eurasian Wigeon.

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