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.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tundra Swan

Cygnus columbianus

Small swan
White plumage
Black bill with yellow patch at base
Black legs

Listen to its call.

Following the advice of the Victoria Natural History Society's rare bird alert, I drove down Island View Road this afternoon in search of geese and swans. Sure enough, there was a large wedge* of swans in a field precisely where they were reported to have been seen earlier this week. Amongst the group, I noticed these two with a yellow patch in front of their eyes. I feel a bit guilty about taking the easy way out today but I did get to see some new birds. 

*Normally, people refer to a group of swans as a flock, which was what I was going to write. However, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the correct name for a group of swans is a wedge.

Learn more about the Tundra Swan.

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