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 14, 2012

Hammond's Flycatcher

Empidonax hammondii

Greyish-green with wing-bars
Yellowish wash on belly
Dusky grey chest
Grey head
Distinct, white eye-ring
Short, dark bill
Short tail
Long wings

Listen to its call.

While staying with family at a cottage on the Shuswap last week, one of the children heard a sharp 'peek'ing sound and spotted a baby bird on the ground. It was probably only a week or two old. Its feathers were not yet fully formed and its tail was just beginning to grow, so it was not yet able to fly. We noticed the parents flitting around the area keeping an eye on the little one. After determining that the juvenile wasn't hurt or in danger, we left them in peace. The next time we checked on the birds, a second baby had appeared and the parents were leading the two of them to a new location ... on foot.  So cute!

Learn more about the Hammond's Flycatcher.

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