White-breasted nuthatch

Red-breasted nuthatches are fairly common in Calgary. When I walk on the sidewalks, I often hear their “yank, yank, yank” calls coming from within the many front-yard spruce trees. Two to four Red-breasted nuthatches visit the backyard feeders every day. But I only occasionally see the slightly larger White-breasted nuthatches. I’ve seen one twice at the black sunflower seed feeder and I’ve glimpsed a few … Continue reading White-breasted nuthatch

Bombycilla garrulus!

Bombyx (Latin/Greek): silkworm; cilla (Latin): tail; garrulus (Latin): chattering, talkative.¬†Chattering birds with silkworm tails! I had my first encounter with Bohemian Waxwings today on the southwest side of the Glenmore Reservoir. Oh, they make such lovely music! A flock of them (20-30 birds) were flitting about at the top of a spruce tree, the tips of their wings flashing in the sunlight as they flew … Continue reading Bombycilla garrulus!


In the last week of October, I decided to check out the north side of the Glenmore Reservoir. I’d explored the west side a few times (the Weaselhead Flats) and I’d walked along the eastern shore one evening to see the sun set behind the Rocky Mountains. Down the bluff from the paved walking and cycling trails, there is a narrow, pebbly, dirt path that … Continue reading Chipmunk!

Common Redpolls in Lafarge Meadows

I headed to Lafarge Meadows yesterday because I’d never been to that part of Fish Creek Park before and a recent post on Birds Calgary had piqued my interest. American White Pelicans? Yes please! The post also mentions a lone Hooded Warbler. Hooded Warblers don’t usually visit Calgary; the theory is it got lost on its way to Mexico and ended up in the Lafarge … Continue reading Common Redpolls in Lafarge Meadows

An owl in the backyard

Exactly one week after I saw my first Great Horned Owl in the Weaselhead Flats, another Great Horned Owl appeared in my backyard. As I was preparing dinner and the evening light was just starting to fade, I looked out the window and saw a large, tree-bark coloured, barrel-shaped bird casually perched on an exposed tree branch. Cool! J and I headed outside and J … Continue reading An owl in the backyard

Ruby-crowned kinglet

I had an excellent morning birding at Elbow Park Park (a nameless park in the Elbow Park neighborhood) this Wednesday. I got there a little after 10 am and the sun was shining. Because the temperature is a bit cold in the mornings these days, the birds were still busily moving within and between the many trees and bushes. The big, big highlight: I got … Continue reading Ruby-crowned kinglet

Common Merganser Dancing

While I was standing on the shore of the Elbow River at Sandy Beach Park this morning, a group of seven immature Common Mergansers floated past me and settled onto a large, flat rock for a bout of preening. Immature Common Mergansers resemble females but their facial markings are a bit different and their eyes are a lighter colour. The “dancing” bird was jumping onto … Continue reading Common Merganser Dancing

Franklin’s Gulls

A few Wednesdays ago (Aug 26), I took the long walking way to the grocery store. The air was smoky from forest fires raging in Washington state, but it was better than the day before. I made a westerly loop to the Bow River Pathway, just west of the Crowchild Trail bridge. I photographed many birds – swallows, ducks, hawks, warblers, etc. I even snapped … Continue reading Franklin’s Gulls