Fall feathers

Winter started early in Edmonton this year. We had a few snow days in mid-September and a few more in early October. The last two weeks though, have been relatively warm, with sunny afternoons in the low to mid-10s (Celcius). Early afternoons aren’t the birdiest in the Mill Creek Ravine woods, but I usually bring my camera just in case. Yesterday, I saw a Wilson’s Snipe! I’ve never seen one in that area before. I guess it picked an unusual stop on its migration south. Unfortunately for me, he/she mostly stayed behind tall dry grasses and naked shrubs, so I couldn’t focus my lens on the bird and snap a pretty photo. I also saw two beautiful woodpeckers – a male Hairy Woodpecker and a male Downy Woodpecker. The Downy Woodpecker gifted me a little camera action.

A little note on the Downy Woodpecker’s scientific name: it used to be Picoides pubescens but it is now Dryobates pubescens. Some time after 2015, most woodpeckers in the genus Picoides were moved to Dryobates or Leuconotopicus. The word Dryobates has a Greek origin and means woodland walker. Pubescens comes from Latin and means hairy or ripening. Downy Woodpeckers are the smallest woodpeckers in North America, but not in the world. (Wikipedia)

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