Author Archives: Sharon McInnes

Birding in San Miguel de Allende

By Sharon McInnes Earlier this month I went to San Miguel de Allende (SMA), in the mountains of central Mexico, to attend the 10th anniversary SMA Writers Conference, where keynote speakers included Gloria Steinem, Jane Urquhart, and Alice Walker.  It … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada, Nature Photography | Tagged | 11 Comments

Celebrating the Birds of Gabriola

Last month 28 Gabriolans participated in the 115th Audobon Christmas Bird Count. Here’s a sampling of the bird species that were counted on the island. Many thanks to the Gabriola Island photographers – Doug Green, Garry Davey, Eileen Kaarsmaker, and … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada, Bird Identification, Nature Photography, Woodpeckers | Tagged | 1 Comment

Kinder Morgan & The Birds of Burnaby Mountain

Nov. 26 2014:  On Gabriola Island a lot of us have been paying close attention to what’s happening on Burnaby Mountain, just across the Strait of Georgia. Maybe you’ve heard? Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based multinational oil company is drilling in the … Continue reading

Posted in Conservation | Tagged , | 16 Comments

On Being Heard Above the Din

By Sharon McInnes, Gabriola Island, BC I know the Spotted Towhee squawking in the back yard isn’t actually talking to me. Still, I feel like he is, and can’t help but talk back. “Hello. What’s up?” Maybe it’s a character … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Behaviour, Bird Canada, European Birds, Songbirds | Tagged | 1 Comment

Seven Steller’s Jays and a Hungry Hawk

By Sharon McInnes Gabriola Island, BC Since you’re reading this on BirdCanada, you’re probably already interested in birds. You might, like me, not only watch them but also go to some lengths to create a bird-friendly habitat in your back … Continue reading

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A Visit from a Vulture

Recently a young Turkey Vulture (cathartes aura) has become a frequent visitor in the yard of a Gabriola Island couple. Not knowing the sex, they call it Vic the Vulture – for either Victor or Victoria. Vic usually comes around … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada, Bird Identification | Tagged | 2 Comments

Those Incredible Cormorants

I was on vacation in Mexico years many ago when I noticed the tall black seabirds standing on the rocks, their wings held out from their sleek bodies like ballerinas. At the time, I wondered if the pose was unique … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Identification, Nature Photography, Shorebirds | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Sparrows, sparrows, everywhere . . .

I remember the first time I saw a Dark-eyed Junco. We’d just moved to Gabriola Island, seven years ago, and were still busy unpacking boxes when I stopped for a break, looked out the window, and noticed several black-hooded feathered … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada, Bird Identification, Canadian Birds, Nature Photography, Songbirds | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Big babies, little mamas

Last summer I watched an exhausted-looking Chestnut-backed Chickadee valiantly feed a demanding Brown-headed Cowbird chick about four times its size. Here’s the cowbird, waiting (impatiently) while the harrowed chickadee gathers food to bring back to him. The year before I’d … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Behaviour, Grasslands Birds | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Those Ravishing Red-winged Blackbirds

One of the most abundant and studied bird species in North America, blackbirds have captured the imagination of poets and musicians, from Shakespeare to Paul McCartney, for centuries. Maybe that’s because they maintain such an air of mystery – in … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Identification, Canadian Birds, Nature Photography, Songbirds | Tagged | 7 Comments