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 22, 2011

Cliff Swallow

Petrocheidon pyrrhonota

Chestnut face and throat
Whitish forehead
Dark cap, back and tail
Buff-coloured rump and nape
White belly and chest
Short, square-tipped tail
Tiny bill

Listen to its call.

I saw this bird hanging out with a flock of barn swallows at Panama Flats yesterday. There don't seem to be any cliffs in the area but there's definitely a lot of mud around for these birds to use for building nests. Apparently, they gather mud from the flood plains and carry it back to their nests in their bills.

Learn more about the Cliff Swallow.

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