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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Branta bernicla

Small goose
Black head, neck and chest
White, partial neck ring
Dark back and belly
White tail

Listen to its call.

According to the 'checklist of birds' for Victoria, these birds are supposed to be uncommon at this time of year.  Maybe somebody should tell them that. The last couple times I've been to Island View Beach, there have been dozens of them there. Unlike the ducks I've seen around the coast, these birds really seemed to like playing in the waves.  The one below was enjoying a bit of body surfing last weekend.

Learn more about the Brant.


  1. On Saturday, March 22, at Edmonds, Washington, I saw at least 60 Brandts in the water right at the edge of the beach feeding eagerly on seaweed of some sort. They were also bobbing to get something of the bottom in ca. < 1 foot of water. They seemed to be used to the few people walking on the beach and one could approach to about 15 meters to them. -- R. Littleton

  2. Edmonds Beach,on the South side of the harbor. March 7th, 2018...probably 80 of these unique geese hanging out in the waves! I took a bit of film and pix as they were so intriguing and they sounded like ducks but looked like small geese with a little black beak. It was like they were communicating with each other and having a good time.

  3. I saw them at the beach today, too. They seem to enjoy riding the waves at Edmonds beach. 3/14/2018