The Coopers: Part 1

On May 14th, I followed some Chipping Sparrows and Clay-coloured Sparrows into the woods of Emily Murphy Park. When I lost track of them, I continued on the trail, scanning the surrounding trees and shrubs for other feathered creatures. Spring was still springing, and the tiny, new, wrinkled, light-green leaves had yet to become hiding places for the forest birds. So it was easy to … Continue reading The Coopers: Part 1

Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 4

A little recap… Gwyndolyn and her goslings left the nest on May 6th 2016. For a while, George and them were the only goose family at the pond, but soon another family joined them. Part 3 ended on the morning of May 23rd, with cold rain and both mother geese brooding their goslings under their wings. Part 4 starts a week later, on a much … Continue reading Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 4

Pelican fly-by

Last night, a bit before 7, J and I had just sat down for dinner when J got a work phone-call. I continued twirling my spaghetti, took a mouthful and gazed dreamily out the window. Our fourth floor, kitchen/dining room window faces north toward a narrow strip of mixed-deciduous-coniferous forest, followed by a strip of tall, downtown buildings and a wide top strip of sky … Continue reading Pelican fly-by

Young black-billed magpies

I saw my first young black-billed magpies (Pica hudsonia) on May 24 2016 in a Tatarian honeysuckle bush near Parking Lot 10 of the University of Calgary. One sibling was on his own and the three others were together. A few days later, on June 4th, I saw youngsters from another family, a couple of blocks away. Young black-billed magpies are born altricial, with closed … Continue reading Young black-billed magpies

Edmonton

I’ve moved to Edmonton! The new centre of my universe is a neighbourhood called Strathcona. Edmonton is almost 300 km north of Calgary, so spring hadn’t quite sprung when I arrived in late April, though it was already springing in Calgary. The oppressive taupe of the leafless trees lacked visual appeal but the already green grass promised greener days ahead. And, indeed, a week later, … Continue reading Edmonton

Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 3

On the morning of May 6th, Gwyndolyn’s nest was empty. The whole family was swimming across the south pond in an approximate line, with mom in the lead. I can only count 7 fluff-balls in the photo, but there were 8. Their destination was the tasty and rarely human-disturbed grassy strip that forms the central portion of the peninsula which separates the north from the … Continue reading Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 3

Common mergansers

I love seeing the sleek, black-and-white figures of male common mergansers in breeding plumage on the partially frozen waters of the Bow River. There seems to be a certain symmetry between the winter river and the birds. On overcast days, the river appears black and white and grey, its thick ice covered in blankets of pure white snow and its water, wild ribbons of greys … Continue reading Common mergansers

The Parents

Remember Gwyndolyn’s goslings? They were born on May 4th. Interestingly, one hour after photographing Gwyndolyn and her new goslings, I photographed a pair of American coots copulating on the edge of her little island. I guess they felt inspired! Less than a month later, they were the proud parents of at least 7 coot chicks, two of which were photographed in my last post (those … Continue reading The Parents

Chickadees

January started cold in Calgary this year. For the first two weeks, temperatures were near -20 degrees Celcius. I went down to Bowmont Park once to feed the Black-capped chickadees, but I didn’t hear a peep from a single one. Luckily, temperatures were balmy last weekend (a touch above 0) and the chickadees were singing happily. About ten of them took turns picking sunflower seeds … Continue reading Chickadees