Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the problem with birds …. (IDs 12-13)

is that they can fly and I cannot. So just as I crawl into the middle of a bunch of bushes to get closer to a Blue Jay, it flies to the other side of the creek. They also like to crawl all the way to the top of trees, far away from the reach of my zoom. This makes my life very difficult!

Well, I did warn you that I’m a beginner. Remember I said I heard an owl the other day? Yeah…the reason I didn’t find it is because, as I learned today, mourning doves make calls that sound pretty much exactly like owls. OK, so this is definitely an educational experience!

And indeed it is. This morning a new bird showed up in the backyard. It was mostly black, and looks all black from a distance, but up close, its head is a brilliant and quite an impressive blue. And, I never actually knew what these birds were. It took me quite a while trying to find it in my 512-page bird book (since my neighbours all hate this bird, I looked under all the headings of “annoying” birds…crows, starlings, etc.) until finally I found him…the Common Grackle. For me, I was not so annoyed: one more ID down!

ID#12: Common Grackle; March 17, 2010; my backyard (Kanata)

So it seems like the park became infested with Common Grackles overnight. It’s bizarre how quickly the bird scene changes.

Today was teleworking day which means I got to watch birds all day from my living room, and roam out in the park at lunch. A great day for my count. I figure with the time I have left this year, I need to average one ID every 3 days. And I had 2 new IDs today (okay, very common birds, so what?). Ya!

ID#13: Mallard duck; March 17, 2010; Cattail Creek Park, Kanata

I saw a few other new birds today (lots of pretty yellow ones!), but no pictures good enough to ID them for sure. I’ll be out again tomorrow to find them!

P.S. Thank god for rain boots.

1 comment:

Ruhh said...

You'll have to join up with the Ottawa Duck Club. They often go out on Sundays to do work on Wood Duck nesting boxes among other things. Check out their website at If you do join them, tell em I sent ya!

Also a good weekend outing is the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary We like to go there and stay at this really cool bed and breakfast called the Nightingale I highly recommend it as a great weekend getaway.