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, November 26, 2014

Marbled Godwit

Limosa fedoa

Large shorebird
Long, slightly upcurved bill; pink at base with dark tip
Evenly buff-brown
Dark barring
Long legs

Listen to its call.

This sandpiper was probing for food in the mud on this coastal beach. Okay, so the beach wasn't exactly in Victoria. (It was in San Diego). Although rare, sightings of these birds do occur in the Victoria area most years.

Learn more about the Marbled Godwit.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Eared Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis

Small waterbird
Slightly upturned, black bill
Red eyes
Peak over the eye
Summer plumage
- black neck
- buffy-gold "ears" on side of dark head
Winter plumage (shown in photo)
- dull and dingy
- gray neck
- whitish ear patches near back of head
- "fluffy" rump/tail area

Listen to its call.

This little fellow was swimming in the ocean with a group of Western and Clark's Grebe. Although the Eared Grebe breeds in shallow lakes and ponds, in winter they prefers salt water.

Learn more about the Eared Grebe

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Acorn Woodpecker

Melanerpes formicivorus

Medium-sized woodpecker
Mostly black upper parts
White belly with black streaking White rump
Black wings with white patches
Creamy-white face
Black around bill and eyes
White eye
- Red cap starting at the white forehead
Female (photographed)
- Black area between the forehead and red cap

Listen to its call.

I was browsing through the Rare Bird Alert early today when I read about a number of sightings of this bird, a first for Vancouver Island. Excited about getting a new bird for my blog, I grabbed my camera and went to try my luck at spotting her. And I was lucky enough to do just that. To be fair, I wasn't the first one to catch sight of her sitting quietly in a tree enjoying the sunshine. 

Learn more about the Acorn Woodpecker.