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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Violet-Green Swallow

Tachycineta thalassina

  • Small songbird
  • Coppery-green upperparts
  • White underparts
  • White throat, extending to side of head and above eyes
  • Violet rump with white patches on side
  • Forked tail  
  • Small bill
  • Long wings
Listen to its call.
I've seen lots of these birds around lately, both at Blenkinsop Lake and behind the Red Barn Market on West Saanich Road. There were large flocks of them flying over the water at both locations, foraging for insects. As this is their main diet and they catch their prey in midair, these birds' flight patterns are both erratic and acrobatic with rapid changes of directions. Talk about your moving target! I've taken shot after shot of them with very little to show for my efforts. I will continue in my quest for a decent shot, so be sure to keep an eye on my updated photos.

Learn more about the Violet-green Swallow.

Additional photos:

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