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 4, 2015

Purple Martin

Progne subis


Very large, broad-chested swallows
Slightly hooked bills
Short, forked tails
Long, tapered wings
Adult male:
    Black with glossy blue-purple sheen
    Brown-black wings and tail
Female and immature:
    Dark on top with variable amounts of gray on the head and chest
    Grayish-white underparts

Listen to its call.

When I took a stroll on the docks at the Oak Bay Marina last weekend, there were Purple Martins all around the nesting boxes installed there as part of the B.C. Purple Martin Recovery Program. Unfortunately, when I returned with my camera just a few days later,  only one fellow made an appearance. I'm not sure if the others had departed already or if it was simply the wind keeping them inside. 
Learn more about the Purple Martin.

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