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.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tree Swallow

Tachycineta bicolor

Dark upperparts   
    Adults: Glossy blue
       (females duller than males)
    Juveniles: Dusky brown
Dark cap down to level of eye
Clean white underparts
Juveniles have gray breast band
Forked tail
Tiny bill

Listen to its call.

I seem to have gotten into a rut lately, always looking for new birds in the same old places. So, I decided to switch things up a bit this morning and try my luck at Rithet's Bog. Not having had much success there in the past, I was surprised at the hubbub when we arrived. There was a plethora of birds, more than I had seen in one place in a long time. Swallows were in abundance, included the ones in these photos. 

These young birds may lack the striking iridescent blue of the adults that have swiftly flown by me on previous occasions, but they are certainly much more cooperative as models.
Learn more about the Tree Swallow.

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