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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Flocking Together

on a rainy August day
the crows sit and wait

For the past week, the crows have begun to flock together as they prepare to leave for more southern climes.  If their boisterous and interesting vocalizations are anything to go by, they are catching up on all the gossip and news of the summer.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I think this is a White-throated Sparrow because of the yellow lores.

Zonotrichia albicollis 

Photos were taken at 8:30 a.m.  This is usually a good time to observe the birds, and it's also lovely to be outside in the freshness of the early morning.  The smaller birds can be seen hopping about in the bushes looking for food or else in the branches of the birch trees and saskatoon bushes.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Calliope guards her flowers....

 checking this way,

that way,

then gone!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana

Male Western Tanager perched in a spruce tree
(note reddish wash on head)

In the breeding season the male's head is a vivid red, but he will lose this red colouring later on as winter approaches.

The Western Tanager is the only species of tanager that breeds in British Columbia.  Their breeding range extends almost to 60° North in the Northwest Territories.  This is the first Western Tanager I've seen all summer.

I heard him singing in a tree close to the open patio door.  Other than the bees, butterflies and occasional hummingbird, nothing moved in the sweltering heat of a slow afternoon.  He didn't move either, just sat in a bit of shade and sang the same song over and over, for what seemed a very long time.