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
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
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
Happy DADABD (Day After Draw a Bird Day)! Thanks to Ron Dudley of Feathered Photography for letting me use his image of a Black-billed Magpie attacking a Swainson’s Hawk as a reference. I love the flight position! I used other photos to help me whimsically assign colours to the feathers. Black-billed Magpies are the birds I see the most in my Edmonton neighbourhood these days, … Continue reading Draw a Bird Day – Magpie in Flight
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
Happy Draw-A-Bird-Day! Last month, I had fun with a few pencil sketches of birds and other animals. Using a classic yellow HB pencil with pink eraser reduced my “expectation anxiety”. I did, however, use 4 different erasers to create this sketch. The pink one and the classic white Staedtler wrapped in blue and the essential kneaded eraser (because I can mold it into any shape … Continue reading Draw a bird day – hawk!
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
Happy Draw-A-Bird-Day! Thanks to Tony LePrieur for permission to use his photo of a male Audubon subspecies Yellow-rumped Warbler as a reference. The photo was published in a Birds Calgary blog post titled Birds of Bridlewood and Carburn Park. As Bob Lefebvre noted, the other subspecies, Myrtle, is more commonly seen in Calgary. I saw many in juvenile plumage but only two adult males in … Continue reading Draw A Bird Day – Yellow-Rumped Warbler
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
So far, my favourite Edmonton bird-sighting, and my first lifer this year, was one Western Grebe who was in the company of three male Mallards. Wow! The three Mallards promptly disappeared (they swam to a nearby hidden shore), but the Western Grebe stayed put and continued looking in my direction. Since it was looking at me, I assumed it was swimming toward me but somehow … Continue reading Western Grebe!
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
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