Tag Archive | Queen’s Park Cemetery

Birding Locations: Queen’s Park Cemetery

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Northern Goshawk, Queen’s Park Cemetery, January 28, 2017. All photos by Tony LePrieur, all taken at Queen’s Park Cemetery..

One of the smaller and perhaps underappreciated birding locations in Calgary is Queen’s Park Cemetery, located just northwest of Confederation Park near 4th Street and 40 Avenue NW.

Queen’s Park Cemetery.

The cemetery contains a great number of spruce trees, so it attracts many of the species that prefer to feed in or on those trees, such as the winter finches. Many other species of birds and mammals can also be found there, due to the presence of a creek which stays open year-round. The creek runs along the north end, and is bordered by the thickest growth of trees in the cemetery, both coniferous and deciduous.

Detail, north end of Queen’s Park Cemetery, showing the trees which border the creek.

Within the cemetery parking is limited, and it is best to park outside and walk in, or pull completely off one of the roads to park while allowing other vehicles room to pass. Stay away from funeral processions and ceremonies, of course.

The best birding tends to be where the trees are thickest, though you can find Black-capped Chickadees and Red-Breasted Nuthatches wherever there are trees. Crossbills also tend to move around the park (and into the surrounding neighbourhoods). In some years, Brown Creepers and Golden-crowned Kinglets are very common. A stroll along the roads can usually turn up a few of these in the winter.

Brown Creeper, November 15, 2015.

Golden-crowned Kinglet, November 1, 2015.

Black-capped Chickadee, November 1, 2015.

Pine Siskin, October 25, 2015.

The water that flows through the north end draws many birds to drink, feed, and bathe.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, January 15, 2017.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, January 15, 2017.

Another Sharp-shinned Hawk (or the same one from ten months before?), March 6, 2016.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, March 6, 2016.

Queen’s Park is one of the best places to find crossbills. This year there are few in the city, but White-winged Crossbills have been reported there recently.

White-winged (left) and Red Crossbills, November 15, 2015.

Also November 15, 2015.

Common Redpoll, October 25, 2015.

 Dark-eyed Junco, October 25, 2015.

Black-billed Magpie and Great Horned Owl, October 25, 2015.

This may be the same young Northern Goshawk as in the first photo, taken a week earlier, January 22, 2017.

Queen’s Park Cemetery is home to several mammal species as well. Coyotes den there, and White-tailed Jackrabbits and Eastern Gray Squirrels are common.

White-tailed Jackrabbit, December 18, 2016.

White-tailed Jackrabbit, January 22, 2017.

Coyote, January 15, 2017.

So far, eighty-two bird species have been reported here on eBird. That is a pretty good total for a park that isn’t on the river. Sightings in the past week include Rough-legged Hawk, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, White-winged Crossbill, and Pine Siskin. Get out and add to the total!

Winter Robins at Queen’s Park Cemetery

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

There is a small creek along the north side of Queen’s Park Cemetery that stays open all winter, so it attracts many of the local birds. In December Tony LePrieur watched three American Robins bathing in the creek and searching for food under the leaf litter at the water’s edge.

American Robin, Queen’s Park Cemetery, December 17, 2016. Photo by Tony LePrieur

American Robin, Queen’s Park Cemetery, December 17, 2016. Photo by Tony LePrieur

Most non-birders and some beginning birders are not aware that robins will overwinter in Calgary (and even in Edmonton). They are not here in big numbers (there were 57 reported on the recent Calgary Christmas Bird Count), and most of them tend to stay near the water and are quite a bit less conspicuous in their habits than they are in the summer. But they will come to your yard and feeders, especially if you have a heated bird bath. I saw one in my yard yesterday.

Queen’s Park Cemetery is a great winter birding location in north Calgary. More to come on this location in a future post.

Furry Friday: Tony’s Mammals

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

All photos by Tony LePrieur.

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Coyote pair, Weaselhead, October 18, 2015.

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Porcupine, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, October 25, 2015.

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

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

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

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Coyote, Weaselhead, January 31, 2016.

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Meadow Vole, Weaselhead, February 27, 2016.

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Meadow Vole, Weaselhead, February 7, 2016.

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Showcase: Residents, Winter Visitors, and Overwintering Birds

Tony LePrieur photographed these birds on January 30 and 31, 2016.

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Pileated Woodpecker (female), a year-round resident of Fish Creek Park.

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Downy Woodpecker (male), a resident of Carburn Park.

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White-winged Crossbill (female or immature), an annual winter visitor to Queen’s Park Cemetery.

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White-winged Crossbill (male), Queen’s Park Cemetery.

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White-winged Crossbill (female or immature), Queen’s Park Cemetery.

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Varied Thrush (male), an occasionally overwintering bird, Fish Creek Park.

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Varied Thrush (male), Fish Creek Park.

Sunday Showcase – September Birds of Calgary

Tony LePrieur photographed these birds on September 27, 2015. The robins and the White-throated Sparrow were seen in Queen’s Park Cemetery in NW Calgary, and the rest in the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.

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American Robin

::Aperture: ƒ/6.3|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 483mm|ISO: 500|Shutter speed: 1/640s|

 

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American Robin

::Aperture: ƒ/6.3|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 428mm|ISO: 1250|Shutter speed: 1/800s|

 

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American Robin

::Aperture: ƒ/6.3|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 1000|Shutter speed: 1/1000s|

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White-throated Sparrow

::Aperture: ƒ/7.1|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 100|Shutter speed: 1/800s|

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Great Blue Heron

::Aperture: ƒ/7.1|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 552mm|ISO: 400|Shutter speed: 1/800s|

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Male Wood Duck

::Aperture: ƒ/7.1|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 1000|Shutter speed: 1/1000s|

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Great Horned owl

::Aperture: ƒ/7.1|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 500|Shutter speed: 1/800s|