Archives

Furry Friday: Muskrat

Tony LePrieur photographed this Muskrat in the Weaselhead Nature Area on November 20, 2016. Muskrats are semi-aquatic rodents related to voles and lemmings. They feed mostly on aquatic vegetation such as cattails. They are active all year and can be found in the winter in Calgary along the rivers, and around lakes and ponds. They are well adapted for the cold and for swimming under the ice.

image3

image2

image1

You can see more of Tony’s photos on his Flickr page.

Do you have photos of Mammals from the Calgary area that you’d like to share? Send them to birdscalgary@gmail.com and we may post them for Furry Friday!

Sunday Showcase: Autumn in Calgary’s Parks

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Catching up with some great autumn photos of Calgary Birds and Mammals, taken by Tony LePrieur from September 25 to October 16, 2016. The locations were the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Carburn Park, Fish Creek Provincial Park, and the Weaselhead Nature Area.

unnamed

Boreal Chickadee, Bebo Grove, FCPP, September 25, 2016. The bird has no tail. Birds don’t molt all their tail feathers at once, so this indicates it probably survived an attack of some kind.

unnamed-1

Great Horned Owl, Bebo Grove, FCPP, September 25, 2016. These resident owls are fairly common it the city. Pairs will be spending the days resting on their winter roosts now, and by February (or sometimes even January) they will be on their nests, incubating eggs.

image1

Great Blue Heron, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, October 16, 2016. The herons have usually all migrated by mid-October, but a few may stay later.

image2

Harris’s Sparrow, seen at the south end of the big bridge over the Elbow River in the Weaselhead on October 16, 2016. The bird was seen for at least a week, from October 16 to October 25. These Sparrows mostly migrate well east of Calgary and are a bit of a rarity here. They sometimes overwinter, so it is worth looking for.

image3

American Tree Sparrow. These arctic breeders are passing through here now and some overwinter here.

image5

Dark-eyed Junco. These sparrows are pretty common here in the winter and can be seen in residential areas right now, often feeding on the ground under bird feeders.

image6

American Robin bathing.

image61

American Robin. They passed through here on migration in huge numbers a few weeks ago, but there are always quite a few that overwinter here, mostly in the river valleys.

image7

Northern Flicker (male). A migratory woodpecker, but again there are always lots in Calgary in the winter – either some local breeders that overwinter, or birds that bred farther north and migrated this far. They will readily come to suet and nut feeders.

image8

Downy Woodpecker (male). A year-round resident that also will come to feeders.

image10

Coyote.

image1

Black-backed Woodpecker. A bit of a rarity in the city, they are occasionally seen in the west end of Fish Creek Park, from Bebo Grove to Shannon Terrace. This one was photographed there on October 23, 2016.

image2

Pileated Woodpecker (male). Another resident woodpecker.

image3

Rough-legged Hawk. This is the common buteo in our region in the winter. They have arrived in good numbers from their northern breeding grounds. Most commonly seen outside the city, especially west of the city.

image4

Black-capped Chickadee. Year-round resident.

image5

Muskrat. They are active all winter in open water.

image6

Mule Deer buck.

See more of Tony’s Photos on his Flickr page.

Share your bird photos from the Calgary area. Just email them to birdscalgary@gmail.com.

Furry Friday: Pikas

Tony LePrieur photographed these American Pikas recently at Rock Glacier trail near the Highwood Pass in Kananaskis Country.

image1

image2

image3

image4

image5

image6

See more of Tony’s Photos on his Flickr page here.

If you have good photos of Calgary-area mammals, send them to our email address and we may post them on an upcoming Friday.

Furry Friday: Bear 104

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Despite living in Calgary for thirty years, up until this spring I had never seen a Grizzly Bear. I had never gone looking for them specifically, but I do sometimes get out of the city and into the foothills and mountains, so this was becoming a nemesis mammal for me. In early June as we were driving west out of the city to do a bird survey on the Livingstone Ranch Golf Course, we spotted a young Grizzly in a field opposite Calaway Park, just outside the city limits. This was an unusual place to see one, and since we were driving at 100 km/hr, not a very satisfying sighting.

On July 24 I went for a drive on Highway 40 through Kananaskis Country, and just north of Highwood Pass spotted this bear, feeding on berries at close range.

img_4237

Bear 104, Kananaskis Country, July 24, 2016.

The bears in this busy area are carefully monitored and are tagged and tracked .

img_4233

I spent about forty-five minutes watching this bear as it fed.

img_4248

img_4222

img_4298

Showing the claws:

img_4443

And the tongue:

img_4333

And a little wet after wallowing in a small stream:

img_4369

 

Sunday Showcase: Summer in Alberta, Part 3

Birds and Mammals photographed by Tony LePrieur on August 7, 2016 in Fish Creek Provincial Park and in Carburn Park in Calgary.

image8

Juvenile American Robin feeding on Chokecherries.

image1

Black-crowned Night-Heron (adult).

image2

Black-crowned Night-Heron (a first-summer bird, not yet in adult plumage).

image3

Eastern Kingbird.

image4

A wet Black-billed Magpie.

image7

Orange-crowned Warbler.

image6

White-tailed Deer.

image5

North American Beaver.

 

Sunday Showcase: Summer in Alberta, Part 2

Tony LePrieur took these photos on the weekend of July 23-24, 2016. The Stilts were at Frank Lake; the rest in Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary.

image2

Black-necked Stilt chick.

Black-necked Stilts are a relatively new arrival in Alberta. They were first observed to breed in Canada in 1977, and are now found in several provinces. They breed as far north as the Edmonton area now. We are lucky to be able to see them breeding at many areas in the region, including at Frank Lake and Weed Lake.

image1

Black-necked Stilt adult.

image4

House Wren.

image5

This looks like a young LeConte’s Sparrow.

image3

And some mammals: North American Beaver…

image6

… and White-tailed Deer fawn.

 

Furry Friday: Young Moose

Diane Dahlin photographed these two young Moose west of Calgary on April 30, 2016.

IMG_9561

IMG_9566

IMG_9572

::Aperture: ƒ/5.8|Camera: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS|Focal length: 150.5mm|ISO: 100|Shutter speed: 1/200s|

You can see more of Diane’s photos at I Kiss Horses Photography.

Furry Friday: Tony’s Mammals

A selection of mammals seen in and around Calgary in the last few months.

All photos by Tony LePrieur.

0S4A4258 -1

Coyote pair, Weaselhead, October 18, 2015.

0S4A4471 -2

Porcupine, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, October 25, 2015.

image2

White-tailed Deer, Carburn Park, January 31, 2016.

image1

White-tailed Deer, Carburn Park, January 31, 2016.

image3(1)

White-tailed Jackrabbit, Queen’s Park Cemetery, January 31, 2016.

image7

Coyote, Weaselhead, January 31, 2016.

image7(1)

Meadow Vole, Weaselhead, February 27, 2016.

image3

Meadow Vole, Weaselhead, February 7, 2016.

0S4A8217 -1

American Mink, Fish Creek Park, November 16, 2015.

Weasel Nov 15 1

Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 15, 2015.

Weasel Nov 15 2

Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 15, 2015.

0S4A8016 -1

Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 16, 2015.

image8

And finally, a Feral Rabbit at Frank Lake, April 10, 2016.