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

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

Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 2

Gwyndolyn’s eggs hatched on May 4th. I didn’t see them hatch, but I’ve read that goslings are born precocial, with open eyes and little bodies fully covered with down. Within 24 hours of hatching, goslings leave their nest and are able to walk, swim, dive and feed. The following photos were taken between 6:55 and 7:01 am. All the little heads get a glimpse of … Continue reading Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 2

Migrating swans at Glenmore Reservoir

I’ve been quite busy with school work since mid-September, so I haven’t spent much time birdwatching this fall. My last midterm was last Wednesday and the weather forecast for the weekend was warm and sunny, so I headed to Glenmore Park for some blissful wildlife stalking on Saturday afternoon. Along with a few other wild creatures, I spotted two migrating Trumpeter Swans. In the spring … Continue reading Migrating swans at Glenmore Reservoir