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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Common Murre

Uria aalge

Medium-sized seabird
Charcoal black upperparts
White underparts
Long, straight, black bill
Dark head and neck
White lower face and nape
Dark line curving down behind eye

Listen to its call.

Leaving Sidney Spit last Saturday after my discovery of two new birds, I received an added bonus on the ferry trip home when we passed a flock of these birds.

These large auks are mainly found in open marine waters and gather in large flocks far offshore; they only stay on land to breed.  Hmm...It's a good thing I took a little trip on the water then.

Learn more about the Common Murre.

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