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.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Black-necked Stilt

Himantopus mexicanus

Large /medium-sized shorebird
Black upperparts
White underparts
White spot above each eye
Red eyes
Long, black, needle-like bill
Long neck
Very long, thin red-pink legs

Listen to its call.

Having read reports of sightings of these birds at Maber Flats recently, I decided to venture out to Brentwood Bay in search of a new entry for my collection. With our trusty road map in hand, we followed the directions posted on the Victoria rare bird alert transcript. After driving around in circles for what seemed like forever, we discovered that our inability to find a road leading to the area was not due to our navigational skills afterall. The roads weren't there; they only existed on paper. Talk about misplaced trust. I thought those kinds of things only happened when you used a GPS.

Learn more about the Black-necked Stilt.

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