Tag Archive | calgary bird blog

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Dec 6

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:

Nov 29:
EURASIAN WIGEON, female, slough at Hwy 2A/22x, Terry Korolyk.
RED CROSSBILLS (100), west end UofC, Hank Vanderpol.

Nov 30:
WESTERN MEADOWLARK, Mallard Pt, FCPP, Janet Gill/ NC field trip.

Dec 1:
EASTERN BLUEBIRD, male, Ajax Coulee, Medicine Hat, Elaine & Milt Spitzer.
ESTERN BLUEBIRD, male and female, as above, Barry & Judy Anderson.
DARK-EYED JUNCOS (10), Queen’s Park Cemetary, Bill Wilson.
REDHEADS (20), RING-NECKED DUCK, GREATER SCAUP, LESSER SCAUP x REDHEAD, Policeman’s Flats, SE of Dunbow Rd, TK.
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, Lake Minnewanka, Banff NP, Joan & Malcolm MacDonald.
NORTHERN HAWK OWL, Lookout Parking lot,Barrier Lake, Kananaskis, J&M M.
LONG-TAILED DUCK, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, PIED-BILLED GREBE, Henderson Lake, Lethbridge, Colton Prins.
SNOWY OWL, flyover, Elbow River survey, Gus Yaki.

Dec 2:
CAPE MAY WARBLER, Medford Place, SW Calgary, Liz Sargeant.
HARRIS’S SPARROW, Wyndam-Carseland PP, J&M M.
LINCOLN’S SPARROW (2), SONG SPARROW, Botteril Bottom Rd, Lethbridge, CP.
RING-NECKED DUCK (2), GREATER SCAUP (2), AMERICAN COOT (2), south of Calf Robe Bridge, Rob Worona.

Dec. 1
PRAIRIE FALCON, TwpRd 314 and RR 260, by Corine Griffin

Dec. 2
PILEATED WOODPECKER and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, Glenmore/Weaselhead natural area, by Gus Yaki et al.

Dec. 3
HOARY REDPOLL, yard of Shonna Macleod in Breaside area of Calgary.

Dec. 4
TUNDRA SWAN(1), TRUMPETER SWAN(1), CACKLING GOOSE(2),GREEN-WINGED TEAL(F), NORTHERN PINTAIL(M), REDHEAD(7), RING-NECKED DUCK(M),GREATER SCAUP(2), LESSER SCAUP(7), AMERICAN COOT(1),KILLDEER(1), RED-TAILED HAWK(light morph). All seen by Bill Wilson on or near the Bow River between Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Carburn Park.

Dec. 5
BOHEMIAN WAXWING(200), Glenmore/Weaselhead area,Calgary, by GY et al.
AMERICAN ROBIN(50), same as above.

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Monday Dec.10.

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Saturday’s Shots; a look through the archives

Posted by Matthew Sim

I haven’t been able to get out to much birding or photography lately and while this is generally quite disappointing for me, it does hold one positive factor; a chance to look through my archives of bird photos. As I went through my archives this past week, I noticed two photos of loons I had taken at Kikomun Creek Provincial Park this August that had somehow escaped my notice. Here they are, hope you enjoy.

adult common loon

loon

Impressionism

 Posted by Matthew Sim

It was a bright, sunny winter afternoon in Calgary, nearly two years ago to the day. I had just retreated from a chilly walk around my neighborhood and was warming up when I happened to glance out the upstairs window. Upon doing so, I noticed a strange shape down on the snow. It took me a minute to figure it out, but once I realized what I was looking at, the story began to come together piece by piece. See what you come up with.

When you looked at this shot, you might have said that you see a bird’s impression in the snow. You would have been right. Now, you might have been a little more specific and described seeing a raptor’s impression. If you got this far, you did great. It’s not very easy to deduce much else. However, some may have gone even further, observing the shape of the raptor, comparing with descriptions in field guides and creating a list of possible suspects based on the fact that this was taken in Calgary, during the winter. If you came up with a few possible suspects, great work. But did you go any further?

If you did, you might have come up with a Sharp-shinned Hawk. You would be right. The wings are too rounded for Merlin or any other falcon, shape too small and body shape not to the right proportions of a buteo such as a Rough-legged or Red-tailed Hawk and the shape is once again far too small for either an eagle or a goshawk. Therefore it must be a Sharp-shinned Hawk. My neighborhood in Calgary has a healthy population of 4-6 Sharp-shinned Hawks so this make sense. From here, we can piece together a story,

Imagine a Sharp-shinned Hawk flying maybe 30-40 feet high, perhaps a little lower, circling at times. From its vantage, the raptor notices a small movement in the fresh snow below. Diving down, it attempts to nab a vole caught out in the open, plunging deep into the unmarked snow. Then what? Tough to say, and it will be a great mystery; we can only speculate at the final result but here is a breakdown of the photo.

I still wonder about the impression in the top right; what happened? Did the vole escape the hawk’s clutches the first time only to succumb to the second attempt? Did the hawk attempt to lift off without getting enough momentum the first go? Or was the impression in the corner caused  by snow falling off a tree limb?

It was quite interesting to see all the same, regardless of what the result was.

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Nov 12

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 Sighting

Nov 6:
PACIFIC LOON, SURF SCOTER, female, south end of Tilley Res. east of Brooks, Robert Warple.
GYRFALCON, dark morph, west of Vauxhall, RW.

Nov 8:
SNOWY OWL, Cross Iron Blvd, east side of Hwy 2, Anthony Miller.

Nov 9:
HARRIS’ SPARROW, 4 miles s of Okotoks, Wendy Adam.
CASSIN’S FINCH male, Wintergreen Woods Est. Bragg Cr., canuckbirder.

Nov 10:
SHORT-EARRED OWL, GREAT GRAY OWL, nw of Cochrane between Grand Valley Rd/Twp Rd 280/Jack Eby Rd/ Hwy 579, Dan Arndt.
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, WESTERN GREBE Beaverdam Flats, Gus Yaki/FFCPP.
TUNDRA SWANS (2), Bowness Pk, k25jh, and 2 at SW corner McLeod Tr/Hwy 22x, Terry
Korolyk.

Nov 11:
TUNDRA SWANS (2), Beaverdam Flats, GY etc.

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Thursday Nov 15.

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Nov 1

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:

Oct 28:
SHORT-EARRED OWL at Twp Rd 252, Jumping Pound area, Gord Smith.

Oct 29:
WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS (2), adult male SURF SCOTER, Glenmore Res. Bill Wilson.
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, Ellliston Pk, Gus Yaki, FFCPP.
PALM WARBLER in Queensland SE Calgary, Odel Duncan.
RUSTY BLACKBIRDS (2), Gus Yaki etc. Carburn Pk.

Oct 30:
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, Elliston Pk, GY etc.
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, SURF SCOTERS (2), Glenmore Res. BW.
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (3), Elliston Pk, GY etc., and 2 Bow River, Hull’s Wood, Jeff Bank.
THAYER’S GULLS (2) 1st yr, 22X bridge, Terry Korolyk.

Oct 31:
NORTHEREN SAW-WHET OWL OR BOREAL OWL, NW Calgary, Robert Nelson.
RED-THROATED LOON, Glenmore Res. David Pugh.

Nov 1:
RED-THROATED LOON at a slough 22X/Hwy2, TK.

SNOW BUNTINGS have been reported.(date ?)
SAVANNAH SPARROW, S Calgary, Carol Coulter (date ?).

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Monday Nov 5.

The next meeting of the Nature Calgary Bird Study Group will be held on Wednesday November 07 in Room 211 of the Biosciences Building of the University of Calgary. Doors are open at 7:00 PM and the meeting will begin at 7:30 PM.

Dan Arndt and David Pugh, both members of the BSG advisory group, will be sharing their experiences with technology in the field of birding.

Sunday Showcase: More Starlings

Posted by Matthew Sim

This summer while I was up in Calgary, I noticed a lot of starlings as well, especially in Fish Creek P.P. On one of my excursions to the park, I positioned myself beneath a Starling’s nest hole and managed to capture a few shots as the bird descended to feed it’s young.

Preparing for landing…

Landing; note food in beak

At nest hole; seems to be startled by the ferocity of its two young!