Karen and Roger Bolton had the unusual experience of seeing a Northern Goshawk eat a Blue Jay in their yard in Glamorgan, SW Calgary, on December 7, 2013. These powerful raptors are scarce in winter in the Calgary area. They feed on game birds like pheasants and partridge; rabbits, and rodents, as well as songbirds. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)
Bernard Tremblay got these amazing close-up photos of a male Pileated Woodpecker feeding on a fallen log yesterday, November 30, 2013, in the Weaselhead Nature Area in SW Calgary. After a few minutes the woodpecker was scared off by a Merlin.
The camera used was a Nikon 7000 + AF-S Nikkor 300 mm lens + Nikon AF-S teleconverter TC -14E 1.4 x. The camera settings were: 420 mm 1/1600 sec f5.6 ISO 2000.
Male Pileated Woodpecker. The red crest extends all the way to the base of the bill; on the female the red doesn’t reach the bill. There is also a red mark from the bill to the throat, which is black on female birds.
Here you can see the long tongue which it uses to extract carpenter ants from trees.
Kim Selbee sent us these photos of birds taken in the Bragg Creek area. Although Bragg Creek is only about 25 km SW of Calgary (as the crow flies), some of the species coming to their feeders are rarely seen in the city.