Tag Archives: Bird Photography

House Finches

House finches, unlike starlings or sparrows (these birds are considered to be invasive), are native to Canada and can be found all over North America.

Male house finch (I’m reasonably certain that this isn’t a purple finch; despite the name, purple finches are red).

The red colouring comes from the foods they eat: the more carotenoids they ingest from fruit, flowers and seeds, the redder they will become. That’s why there’s so much variation in colour and they get mixed up with other types of red coloured finches such as redpolls and purple finches. Personally, I always think that they look like someone spilled raspberry juice on them!

Finches love peanut butter and nyjer (thistle) seed, and if you also have a water source in your yard, you will attract many of them, sometimes 20 or 30 at a time. They’re busy, non-aggressive little birds who love to chat non-stop with each other and are beautiful to watch.

Happy Thursday.

Duck Duty

While visiting our nearby Japanese Garden a couple of days ago, I saw a male duck sitting very quietly on one of the platforms set into the garden pond for the placement of a sculpture or plants.

When I got closer, I could see that there was a depression in the platform where the dirt had been pushed away and I realised that daddy duck was incubating his offspring.

Ducks form seasonal pair bonds that last until the males have to leave to find a protected spot to do their molting, usually after the young ones hatch.

The ducks have been in a bit of upheaval because their favourite little creek has been running high (a situation that’s improving for them), but this duck seems to have settled on this spot for his family.

Happy Monday. Have a ducky one.

Canada Jay

The Canada jay or gray jay is a member of the corvid family and is ubiquitous throughout this country. In fact, except for Alaska and a small portion of the American Rockies, the gray jay is found nowhere else in the world.

Intelligent and cute-looking, the gray jay has also been immortalized in Indigenous lore as a trickster. Given how smart they are about getting food, that’s probably true! I have frequently seen them while out hiking and they always try to charm me into giving them something to eat. Shy they are not!

Happy Monday.

Chickadee Cuteness

I find chickadees endlessly watchable. They are so cute, friendly and smart, and are marvels of northern survival and adaptation. How these delicate-looking little birds manage to survive in -40C (-40F) is amazing, but it starts with their winter planning and storage efforts and their ability to find protected and suitable shelter.

Happy Friday, happy weekend.

Early Spring Ducks

When I was in the Okanagan Valley earlier this month, the ducks were very active after what had been for them a cold winter. This duck pair had separated themselves from the larger group and were probably looking for a good nesting spot.

In areas, the grass was still a washed out winter colour.

Most of the other ducks congregated in noisy communal happiness, enjoying the warmer weather and greater abundance of food.

Happy Thursday.