Avian cornucopia (part 1)!

The past couple of weeks have been quite interesting for me when it comes to capturing certain elusive species on camera. Perhaps the mild winter here, combined with the harsh conditions elsewhere, have pushed a larger number of birds than usual in our region. Or maybe I just forget each winter that there comes a time when we simply see a large quantity of birds in the Lower Mainland. Be that as it may, I have been fortunate to get some decent (not great, but good) photos of several small (and one very large) species.

My faithful readers have already seen some photos of one of the biggest (Bald Eagle – here), one of the smallest (Anna’s Hummingbird – here and here) and one of the most penguin-like (Pigeon Guillemot – here) birds in this part of the world, but I recorded a few other birds along the way and would like to share a few of these shots with you today.

This first shot is of one of my favourite passerines in British Columbia, the Varied Thrush (en français : Grive variable | Scientific name: Ixoreus naevius):

University of British Columbia (near Theology Mall) | January 27, 2014

University of British Columbia (near Theology Mall) | January 27, 2014

The next shot is of a bird that can be very difficult to get on film in this area because it is normally found close to the top of our very tall trees: The Ruby-crowned Kinglet (en français : Roitelet à couronne rubis | Scientific name: Regulus calendula). But this one agreed to hang around my camera just long enough for me to take a few pictures, including this one:

Mosquito Creek Park (North Vancouver, BC) | January 29, 2014

Mosquito Creek Park (North Vancouver, BC) | January 29, 2014

And here is its close cousin, the Golden-crowned Kinglet (en français : Roitelet à couronne dorée | Scientific name: Regulus satrapa):

Mosquito Creek Park (North Vancouver, BC) | January 26, 2014

Mosquito Creek Park (North Vancouver, BC) | January 26, 2014

The following bird might be hard to spot at first because it blends so well in the tree trunks that it creeps along in other to find a prodigious amount of insects, namely the Brown Creeper (en français : Grimpereau brun | Scientific name: Certhia americana):

UBC Vancouver (near the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) | January 27, 2014

UBC Vancouver (near the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) | January 27, 2014

I was also managed to capture a few Bushtits (en français : Mésange buissonnière | Scientific name: Psaltriparus minimus) in action, descending upon a few trees in flocks of 30-50 birds busily eating whatever they can find:

University of British Columbia (near Theology Mall) | January 27, 2014

University of British Columbia (near Theology Mall) | January 27, 2014

And finally, here is a bird that is barely bigger than the previously mentioned hummingbird, the Pacific Wren (en français : Troglodyte du Pacifique | Scientific name: Troglodytes pacific us), which makes up for it diminutive size by having an impressive call and song that make it sound much bigger than it is:

University of British Columbia (in front of the Asian Centre) | January 27, 2014

University of British Columbia (in front of the Asian Centre) | January 27, 2014

As the title suggests, I will publish a second posting with a few more photos. Please visit my blog on Tuesday morning…

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4 thoughts on “Avian cornucopia (part 1)!

  1. Thank you for your beautiful photos. Your blog makes me realize how little I know about the variety of birds that we have in Canada. The winter here in Toronto has been difficult to say the least. Extremely cold, lots of snow and the worst …..ice.

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome! It is indeed surprising to know that there are over 400 bird species in Canada (but then again, Costa Rica has almost 900 and has an area slightly smaller than Nova Scotia) — southwestern Ontario is, BTW, once of the country’s hotspots when it comes to birds. And I don’t want to make you jealous, but the harsh winter in most of Canada has helped us B.C.’s southwest: Many birds have found a refuge here from the cold and snow in the rest of the country.

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