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, October 8, 2016

Swainson's Hawk

Buteo swainsoni
Large, slim hawk
Long, pointed wings
Dark flight feathers
Light-phase: (photographed)
    Dark brown upperparts
    Reddish-brown bib
    White belly and underwings
    Dark head with white surrounding bill, extending down to throat and up to eyes
Tail has about six narrow dark bands and one wider sub-terminal band
     Dark brown overall
     Reddish-brown belly and underwings    

Listen to its call.

This hawk was flying fairly low over a field at Rocky Point Bird Observatory yesterday.  Birders more experienced than I (me?) identified it as a light-phase, second year bird as its bib is incomplete with a patchy mix of brown and white feathers.

Learn more about the Swainson's Hawk.

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