Winter Birding, Calgary-style – a Photo Essay

Well winter is well and truly upon us, but thankfully in Calgary it has been fairly mild (at least compared to the record snowfalls last year) and the we’ve had some great winter bird visitors within the city limits already.

Firstly, it was fantastic to see the return of some of the winter finches, after being almost entirely absent last season. Among my favourites would have to be the Pine Grosbeaks for their gorgeous colours and their love of fruits which make for luscious backgrounds in the depths of freezing winter:

I believe this is an immature male Pine Grosbeak

I believe this is an immature male Pine Grosbeak


A female Pine Grosbeak


Another female Pine Grosbeak getting stuck into the frozen berries!


A male Pine Grosbeak in its striking scarlet plumage

A male Pine Grosbeak in its striking scarlet plumage

Redpolls have not been around in great numbers yet, but I have at least seen a few:Redpoll

The Cedar Waxwings of summer have departed, while their cousins the Bohemians have taken up residence in their massive flocks:Bohemian_Waxwing (by Tim Hopwood)

But of course, we shouldn’t forget the hardy birds that call Calgary home from the always-cheerful Black-capped Chickadees:Chickadee

to the ever-challenging-to-photograph Brown Creepers:BrCreeper

and the Pileated Woodpeckers which are a treat for the eyes no matter what the season:Pileated_Woodpecker#2 (by Tim Hopwood) Pileated_Woodpecker#3 (by Tim Hopwood)

A couple of personal highlights this winter has been seeing not one, but two of the smallest owls in the province – the Northern Saw-whet Owl:NSW1

and a pair of diminutive Northern Pygmy Owls that have gained celebrity status in the local birding community:NPO1 NPO2 NPO3


Check out those eyes! This Snowy was just on the outskirts of Calgary.

And last, but by absolutely in no way least, it wouldn’t be a proper winter in Alberta without the arrival of the majestic Snowy Owls which birders and non-birders alike seem to be enchanted by:

I look forward to sharing more winter bird photography in my next monthly blog!

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6 Responses to Winter Birding, Calgary-style – a Photo Essay

  1. wonderful bird shots in gr8 detail. thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Tim Hopwood says:

    Thank you, Dianne 🙂

  3. see you says:

    really awesome photo collection thanks for this great share

  4. Dianne says:

    Absolutely beautiful photos, Tim!

  5. David B says:

    Stunning photos! I can’t believe the crispness… great job.