Category Archives: Bird Identification

What Kind of Hummer Is That?

The Pacific coast of British Columbia is home to two species of hummingbird, the Rufous (Selasphorus rufus) and the Anna’s (Calypte anna). Like many winter-weary Gabriolans, Rufous hummers spend the winter in Mexico. Then, in the spring, they begin their … Continue reading

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Birding Controversies: Wilson’s Snipe and Others

This month, I will amplify a blog that I posted a few days ago on my personal website. This time around, I was hoping to talk to you about the Christmas Bird Count I did in North Vancouver on Sunday, … Continue reading

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Holiday Gifts for Birders

The holidays are coming up and to give you some ideas for the birder in your life (or maybe drop some hints for what you would like!), I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite gifts to give. 1. … Continue reading

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Siren Sounds

It’s inevitable. There comes a moment.  A  time of knowing. Spring yearnings that gave way to summer sensations now yield to autumn harvest and the Southern Siren sounds. It’s time to go. This is not just true for the birds … Continue reading

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Embracing the Unexpected

The Toronto area offers surprisingly rewarding birding opportunities. Last week, we ventured out in search of shore birds and visited the usually enormously productive marshes in Whitby and Oshawa (45 minutes east of Toronto in ideal, traffic-less conditions). Sadly, when … Continue reading

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Summer Songs

We wait for it the minute it’s gone. Summer. Long, languid days followed by starry nights staring at the bonfire. Full moons. Crashing thunderstorms followed by placating rainbows.These are the songs of summer. We hum them in our minds all … Continue reading

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Ovenbirds Flipping Out

Stop and think of the most easily distinguished and most monotonous songsters in the Canadian woods during the breeding season. “Teacher – Teacher – Teacher – Teacher – Teacher!” Although Ovenbirds are familiar and welcome singers, they seem to be … Continue reading

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Showcase: Sandhill Cranes

More great photos from Rob English who says “I was lucky enough to come across these guys northwest of Cochrane. The male sure put a run on those geese. These two cranes were very co-operative as at one point they … Continue reading

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How Many Maritimers Does it Take to Find a Downy Woodpecker False Face?

The idea that “false faces” are used by birds for predator deterrence floats in the ether between biology textbook case study and mythical meme. The idea that evolution can produce false faces compels and amazes us but because of the lack of … Continue reading

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

Practice makes perfect

Sometimes I get asked how I was able to identify a certain bird, or how I knew what I was looking at. Heck, a lot of the time I ask myself how I’m supposed to identify many species. While there … Continue reading

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