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.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Western Grebe

Aechmophorus occidentalis

Medium-sized waterbird
Long neck
Dark gray upperparts
White underparts, lower face and throat
Black back of neck
Black cap extends below eye
Red eye
Long, thin, dull olive-yellow bill
White stripes on wing, visible in flight.

Listen to its call.

I photographed this bird at the marina near Kelowna's Water Park this past weekend. Nevertheless, as these grebes winter off the BC coast and harbours around Victoria from October to April, I think I am justified in including it here.

Learn more about the Western Grebe.

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