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.

Monday, May 23, 2011

American Pipit

Anthus rubescens

  • Medium-sized songbird
  • Slender bill
  • White eye ring and eye brow
  • Gray-brown upperparts with fine black streaks on back 
  • Blackish wings with buff edges
  • Buff underparts with dark streaks on breast and flanks
  • White throat with dark streak on cheek
  • Black tail with white outer tail feathers
  • Black legs and feet

Listen to its call.

I initially thought these were small shorebirds when I saw them walking along the bank at Panama Flats. Their size and behaviour were similiar to the Western and Least Sandpipers I had seen in the same area the previous week. However, as I got closer, I noticed that they looked more sparrow-like but without the conical bill.  They also had a habit of bobbing their tails up and down as they pecked at the ground, while at the same time running along in a haphazard manner.  Sort of like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time!

Learn more about the American Pipit.

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