Tag Archive | calgary bird blog

Quite the act

Posted by Matthew Sim
Recently down here in Texas, the local Killdeer have started nesting and their nests can be found in many open spots, such as open lots and around athletic fields. Down at my high school, there were at least 2 nests around the track, which was quite surprising considering the amount of disturbance this location gets daily. While out for a walk last weekend, I found another nest near a local pond. I chanced upon this nest when the female Killdeer incubating her eggs scurried off her nest and proceeded to preform the Killdeer’s broken wing act to try and lure me away from her nest.

Killdeer

On the alert!

When Killdeer see a potential predator approaching their nests, they try to distract the predators from the nest by dragging one of their wings on the ground as though it were broken. They scamper away, stopping from time to time to make sure the predator is still following and then, when they feel a safe distance away from their nests, they fly off, returning to their eggs to continue incubating. It really is quite the trick!

Quite the convincing act!

Quite the convincing act!

act

I let myself be led away by this act but before I left I did make a brief attempt to find the Killdeer’s eggs, which I did, snapping a photo from a good distance away so as to ensure I didn’t disturb the Killdeer again before I left.

Killdeer eggs

Leucistic Rough-legged Hawk

Posted by Matthew Sim

We’ve done posts here on this blog about leucism before, which is when a bird has reduced pigmentation, meaning it has more white in it’s feathers than normal for the species. We’ve had some examples before, including a leucistic House Finch, American Robin, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and others. For the past few months, Calgary has had a very neat leucistic bird in the area. This Rough-legged Hawk frequents the area around Highway 40, just west of Calgary.

Leucistic Rough-legged Hawk

flying

Now compare this with a more normal Rough-legged Hawk.

Rough-legged Hawk

On January 1rst, I found this leucistic hawk on Highway 40 near its intersection with Range Road 40.

A walk in the Weaselhead

Posted by Matthew Sim

While currently back in Houston, Texas, I spent a very enjoyable 2 weeks in Calgary over Christmas. Despite the cold (!), I got out a couple times, including an afternoon walk in the Weaselhead Natural area, taking photos of the local bird life as I walked.

A couple of Ravens announced their presence with distinctive loud croaks; as well as some more unfamiliar vocalizations.

A couple of Ravens announced their presence with distinctive loud croaks; as well as some more unfamiliar vocalizations.

Redpolls were abundant at the feeders

Redpolls were abundant at the feeders

Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll

Waxwings ended up stealing the show though through sheer numbers

Waxwings ended up stealing the show though through sheer numbers

A small fraction of the waxwings.

A small fraction of the waxwings.

It was quite a nice walk and good to see so many waxwings.

 

 

Postcards from Texas: Yardbirds

Posted by Matthew Sim

As I’m sure many of you know, there can be some very busy points in our lives; right now I’m preparing for semester finals at school, keeping up with sports, preparing for a return to Calgary over Christmas and trying to keep up with the birding. While I can’t always get out, there is always time to notice the birds in my backyard. Here are some of the regulars.

Yellow-rumped Warbler; showing off that characteristic yellow rump!

Yellow-rumped Warbler; showing off that characteristic yellow rump!

Orange-crowned Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler; is it just me or can anybody else see a faint orange streak just above his eye?

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

By the time you see this I will be back in Calgary for 2 weeks; I’m looking forward to some good northern birding again!

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Dec 17

Have you seen an unusual bird in Calgary?

If it is on this Reportable_Birds (PDF), please report it to the Nature Calgary Rare Bird Alert line at 403 221-4519 and leave a message after the beep at the end of the recording. If you would like some help with species identification, email us at birdscalgary@gmail.com .  To report injured wildlife call the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society at 403 239-2488, or the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403 946-2361.

Compiled by Terry Korolyk

DECEMBER 13

STELLER’S JAY – west Bragg Ceek in Wild Rose Estates, Dan Arndt

DECEMBER 15

TRUMPETER SWAN – north of the Ivor Strong Bridge over Bow River , Jim Davis
LESSER SCAUP – male at Weed Lake, also a pair at Elliston Park, TK
NORTHERN PINTAIL – female, as above
NORTHERN SHOVELER – male, as above
GREEN-WINGED TEAL – female, as above
MALLARD – female, as above
GADWALL – female, as above

DECEMBER 16

CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE – Wildwood, in Penny Smith’s yard, call 403-249-5997
BOREAL CHICKADEE – as above
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER – Wentworth district west of Sarcee Trail, Joanne Nemeth, call 403-254-1878 or 403-801-8501 (TK)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD – still at home of Barb Castell, located on the north side of 262 Ave SW off Priddis Valley Rd. House is the 3rd one east of Priddis Valley Rd.
SONG SPARROW – along Fish Creek near the footbridge just west of Macleod Trail, Nimali Seneviratne
COMMON GRACKLE – at a home in Lakeview, Heather Jones 403-278-9389

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Thu Dec 20.

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Dec 13

Have you seen an unusual bird in Calgary?

If it is on this Reportable_Birds (PDF), please report it to the Nature Calgary Rare Bird Alert line at 403 221-4519 and leave a message after the beep at the end of the recording. If you would like some help with species identification, email us at birdscalgary@gmail.com .  To report injured wildlife call the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society at 403 239-2488, or the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403 946-2361.

Compiled by Terry Korolyk

Bird Sightings:

Dec:
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, 262 Ave SW east of Priddis Valley Rd, Barb Castell (403 931-3690)
COMMON REDPOLL partial albinistic, Dover SE Calgary, Terry Korolyk.

Dec 10:
REDHEADS (9), GREEN-WINGED TEAL (3), GREATER SCAUP (2 female), Berverdam Flats, Bill WiIlson (also on Dec 11)
NORTHERN PINTAIL male, LESSER SCAUP (4) as abovr.

Dec 11:
LESSER SCAUP (5) as above.
RUSTY BLACKBIRDS (3), AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, KILLDEER,Cave and Basin, Banff, Joan & Malcolm MacDonald.
NORTHERN GOSHAWK after a RING-NECKED PHEASANT female, ravine off Sarcee Tr, Strathcona, Ken.
BROWN CREEPER, Braeside SW Calgary, Shonna McLeod.
SNOWY OWL McKnight Blvd west of Rge Rd 280, Mary ?

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Monday Dec 17