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.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brown-headed Cowbird

Molothrus ater
Small blackbird
Short, conical bill
Dark eyes
Male: (above)
   Iridescent black body, wings and tail
   Brown head and neck
   Greyish-brown plumage, lightest on the head and underparts
   Fine streaking on belly

Listen to its call.

If you believe all of the greeting cards, Mother's Day should be spend taking it easy, perhaps sleeping late and enjoying a relaxing breakfast in bed. So, why then was I already out at Michell's Farm Market by 7:30 this morning? Generally, the best time for bird watching is early in the morning when most birds are wide awake and active. Since early morning isn't the best time to find teenagers awake and active (at least not in my house), I decided to join the birds. I saw a group of these birds on Dooley Road foraging for seeds under a bird feeder.

Learn more about the Brown-headed Cowbird.

More photos:

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