Warmer weather and a Red-breasted Nuthatch

  Yay! The two week super chill has left the city! I celebrated by going for a walk through the forest in a balmy -6 ℃.   Though I visit the north end of Mill Creek Ravine Park regularly and often hear nuthatches (Red-breasted or White-breasted… I can’t always differentiate their calls), I don’t usually get a good look at them and I rarely get … Continue reading Warmer weather and a Red-breasted Nuthatch

The Coopers: Part 3

On July 15th, 2017, around 3 PM, I walked along the trail leading to the Cooper’s Hawk nest. The first fledgling I saw was the youngest looking. Another fledgling, of seemingly intermediate maturity (less remaining white down than one sibling but more than the other), was calling its parents repeatedly, because it was hungry, or because it was not comfortable with my presence. It called … Continue reading The Coopers: Part 3

They’re back!

According to eBird data, Common Redpolls are not seen in the Edmonton area between June and September, except for the sighting of a single bird on July 5th, 2014. Their breeding grounds are north of Alberta, in Alaska, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta (Semenchuk 1992) does mention occasional nesting in Edmonton. This species also breeds in … Continue reading They’re back!

The Coopers: Part 2

I was pretty excited about seeing white fluff in the nest on June 27th, so I visited again two days later with hopes of glimpsing wee beaks and eyes. My photo adventure started at 12:41 PM and my first photo was not promising. White fluff??? I watched for two minutes, but no wee hawks appeared. Another cute creature caught my attention though. A nearby yellow … Continue reading The Coopers: Part 2

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

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