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, May 5, 2011

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

Steel blue upper parts
Long, forked tail with white spots
Dark orange forehead and throat
Pale orange underparts
Tiny bill

Listen to its call.
Having had difficulty photographing swallows in the past, I was delighted to find a group of these birds sitting on the ground at Panana Flats this afternoon. 

Unfortunately, it wasn't until I had walked all around the area trying to get photos of them in the air that I noticed these ones.  Luckily, they don't flit around as much as some of the other types of swallows I've seen, so it wasn't a complete loss.
Learn more about the Barn Swallow.

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