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Free Ticket Winner for Film The Messenger

The winner of the pair of free tickets to the film The Messenger is David Severson. Thanks to all who entered.

If you plan to attend the show you can still use the discount code to get $2 off admission. The code is Birdcon-15! (include the exclamation point). The Messenger is an important film and has been getting excellent reviews.

The film plays at Eau Claire Cinemas on Friday October 2 at 7:15 pm and Saturday October 3 at 12 noon, as part of the Calgary International Film Festival. See this site for more information and to view the trailer.

The Bird Boy Blog

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Many of you may already be readers of the blog Bird Boy (we have a link to it on our sidebar). It is written by Ethan Denton, an enthusiastic young birder and photographer from Canmore. I recommend that all birders in Southern Alberta subscribe to it.

For participants in the eBird Calgary 2015 birding competition, there is a special reason to check it out: Ethan and his father Neil have entered the competition, and they have put together a page on which they will highlight which birds you should be looking for. They will update the page each month with new information from the eBird database. Check out the January page here.

Hawk Owl Dan Arndt

Northern Hawk-Owl. January is usually the month with the best chance to find one.

Photo by Dan Arndt

Thanks again to Ethan and Neil for all your hard work on this, and good luck in the competition!

Show Us Your Butts: Contest Winner!

Posted by Dan Arndt

 

The competition was stiff, but in the end, it seems that the simple elegance of a dozen swans dipping simultaneously won the day, and I’m sure you can definitely see why!

 

Swans at Jumpingpound Creek Sloughs - April 9, 2012 - Photo by Michael Pott

Swans at Jumpingpound Creek Sloughs – April 9, 2012 – Photo by Michael Pott

Two weeks ago, I handed over the prize, “10,000 Secrets Every Birder Should Know”, by Sharon Stiteler, and I asked Michael if he had any other photos he’d like to share. I hope you enjoy these photos that he sent in as well, and congratulations again, Michael!

Wolverine - Alaska - August 2013 Photo by Michael Pott

Wolverine – Alaska – August 2013
Photo by Michael Pott

Great Blue Heron - Alaska - August 2013 Photo by Michael Pott

Great Blue Heron – Alaska – August 2013
Photo by Michael Pott

 

Show Us Your Butts: Contest Finalists!

Posted by Dan Arndt

It’s been quite a challenge this week narrowing down and picking our favourite for this contest, and now it’s your turn!

Take a look at our selected Top 11, and vote on your favourite bird butt!

Rufous Hummingbird Butt

Rufous Hummingbird Butt

Swan Butts

Swan Butts

Mallard Butts

Mallard Butts

Killdeer Butt

Killdeer Butt

Osprey Butt

Osprey Butt

Starling Butts

European Starling Butts

Canada Warbler Butt

Canada Warbler Butt

Green Jay Butt (taken in the US)

Green Jay Butt (taken in the US)

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch Butts

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch Butts

Osprey Butt in action

Osprey Butt in action

American Dipper Butt

American Dipper Butt

 

 

And while we did receive a few mammalian submissions for this Bird Butt contest, I would like to give a pre-emptive honorable mention to Rob English, who provided us with this great photo of a Red Fox butt!

Red Fox Butt

Red Fox Butt

Thanks for reading, voting, and have a great birding week!

 

 

 

Contest: Show us your butts! Bird butts, that is!

In a lead up to one of our summer Birds and Beers events, and because I find myself with an extra copy of a new book, we’ve decided to put on a contest!

"1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know" by Sharon "Birdchick" Stiteler

“1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know”
by Sharon “Birdchick” Stiteler

So first, the book: I was sent a copy of the book “1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know”, by Sharon Stiteler back in May because I had two of my photos featured in the book. For whatever reason, I was sent a second copy a few days later for some reason, and after a brief back and forth with Birdchick, I was told I could do whatever I wanted with it.

The book is great. It’s funny, it’s an easy read, and it’s chock full of both useful and incredibly interesting tidbits of info, without being a typical field guide or a “Birding Basics” style book. It’s a book that’s easily accessible to both an experienced birder, as well as someone with even just a mild interest in birds in general.

The two photos that I submitted for the book are one of a Gray Partridge, and another of a Boreal Chickadee, both taken right here in the city of Calgary.

Here they are in their original form, in all their glory:

Gray Partridge Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@370mm + Tamron 1.4x teleconverter 1/1000sec., f/8.0, ISO 1000

Gray Partridge
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@370mm + Tamron 1.4x teleconverter
1/1000sec., f/8.0, ISO 1000

Boreal Chickadee Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm 1/1250sec., ƒ/8.0, ISO 5000

Boreal Chickadee
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm
1/1250sec., ƒ/8.0, ISO 5000

And here’s a shot of both of them in Sharon’s new book:

My two entries in 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know

My two entries in 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know

So, since I have an extra copy, one lucky reader will be receiving it with their best photo contest entry, so… show us your butts!

Why bird butts? Because this book isn’t necessarily for someone who’s already an excellent birder, photographer, or both. Anyone can take a photo of a bird butt, whether it’s with a fancy DSLR rig, or even just with your iPhone on a patio watching the House Sparrows or gulls fight over the remains of a french fry.

And everyone has one. That perfect shot of a Swainson’s Hawk you had all lined up, and just as you press the shutter it turn to the side and presenting its cloaca. Or that American Redstart that flitted out of the frame as the shutter closed, leaving on the rump and tail feathers in the shot. You could also go with the classic dabbling duck with its rump in the air as it feeds on the pond grasses just below the surface!

Sora Butt Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm 1/500sec., f/6.3, ISO 1600

Sora Butt
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm
1/500sec., f/6.3, ISO 1600

Our top 10 photos will be selected by our panel of experts, and the winner chosen randomly from there. The winner will be contacted by email and will be presented their winnings at the Birds and Beers event currently being planned for the end of August. Email your photo submissions to: birdscalgary@gmail.com by 9 AM, on  August 21, 2013 to be entered into the contest.

So with that… good birding, and good luck!