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.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pacific Golden-Plover

Pluvialis fulva
Medium-sized plover
Moderately long legs
Large head
Large, dark eyes
Golden and black speckled back
Breeding plumage:
    Black from face to belly, bordered with white
    Black speckling along the white border by the underparts and under tail
Non-breeding plumage:
    Buff wash with dark speckling on the breast
    Light barring on chest and flanks
    Yellowish head and breast

Listen to its call

When I initially spotted this shorebird, I thought it was a Black-bellied Plover as they are fairly common around Victoria. It wasn't until I was reviewing my photos later that I realized my mistake. There are a number of differences between the two species, one of which I found a bit ironic. There is more black on the belly of the Pacific Golden-Plover then on the Black-bellied variety.  

Learn more about the Pacific Golden-Plover.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

Large falcon
Long, pointed wings
Long, narrow tail, rounded at the end
Black, hooked bill with yellow base
Yellow feet
Black claws  
   Slate grey upperparts
   Barred underparts 
   Black crown and 'moustache' along cheeks
   White chin and throat
Juveniles: (photographed)
   Brown upperparts
   Heavily streaked underparts
   Brown crown and 'moustache' along cheeks

Listen to its call.  
I was photographing peeps on the beach last week when this bird suddenly swooped in looking for dinner, resulting in mass exodus. Fortunately, both for me and the tiny sandpipers, he went away hungry -- but not before I was able to get some nice photos.


Learn more about the Peregrine Falcon