Tag Archive | winter birds in calgary

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Jan 19

Have you seen an unusual bird in Calgary? If it is on this Reportable_Birds (PDF), please report it to the Nature Calgary Rare Bird Alert line at 403 221-4519 and leave a message after the beep at the end of the recording. If you would like some help with species identification, us email us at zoxox@shaw.ca  To report injured wildlife call the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society at 403 239-2488, or the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403 946-2361.

This report was prepared on Thursday January 19.

Since December 25
— VARIED THRUSH, SW Calgary yard, Bob Lefebvre

since January 10
— MOURNING DOVE, SW Calgary yard, Aileen Pelzer, Gus Yaki

recently
— COMMON GRACKLE, 2 MOURNING DOVES, SE Calgary yard, Pat Bumstead

January 14
— CLARK’S NUTCRACKER, Harvie Heights, Richard Clarke
— GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH 100+, Exshaw feeder, RC
— PINE GROSBEAK 10, Harvie Heights, RC
— PINE SISKIN 100+, same, RC

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Monday January 23.

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Jan 16

Have you seen an unusual bird in Calgary? If it is on this Reportable_Birds (PDF), please report it to the Nature Calgary Rare Bird Alert line at 403 221-4519 and leave a message after the beep at the end of the recording. If you would like some help with species identification, us email us at zoxox@shaw.ca  To report injured wildlife call the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society at 403 239-2488, or the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403 946-2361.

This Bird Albert was recorded on Jan 16, 2012.

JAN 12

NORTHERN HAWK OWL – 2 in Water Valley area; one seen 3 kms south of Water Valley on Twp Rd 292, the second at the north end of the Grand Valley Rd 9.6 kms southeast of Water Valley and 2.5 kms north of the Larson Pasture Road (Twp Rd 284) junction, seen by Ross Lein and Val Haynes
NORTHERN PYGMY OWL – in a logged area at the southwest corner of Grand Valley Road – Larson Pasture Road junction, seen by RL and VH
HERMIT THRUSH – in west Fish Creek PP about 300 metres west of Bebo Grove on the gravel path, Hank Vanderpol

JAN 13

GOLDEN EAGLE – Linda Vaxvick saw one on Hwy 27 just west of Hwy 837

JAN 14

LESSER SCAUP – immature reported by Bill Wilson at the 22X Bridge in Fish Creek PP
TURKEY VULTURE – seen by Steve Ayrheart on Hwy 1A just east of 84 Street between Calgary and Chestermere Lake
GREAT GRAY OWL – near Water Valley, seen by Richard Clarke, phone Richard at 253-8063 for location
BELTED KINGFISHER – in Griffith Woods Park , Steve Kassai
AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER – as above
GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH – 100+ reported by RC at Barrier Mtn Dr in Exshaw

JAN 15

LESSER SCAUP – reported by Gus Yaki and the FFCCPP at the same location as reported the previous day
MOURNING DOVE – 2 in Pat Bumstead’s yard in Calgary Lynnwood, call at 403-279-5892
AMERICAN ROBIN – 8 in PB’s yard on Jan 15
DARK-EYED JUNCO – appearing in Margaret Brunner’s yard in Calgary for the past week
COMMON GRACKLE – in Pat Bumstead’s yard for the past week

The next scheduled update of the bird alert is on Thu Jan 19.

My not-so-Common Redpolls

This topic has come up a lot this winter; all the wintering finches here this year. I am going to add on to this topic once again.

My yard in southeast Calgary has gathered a fairly respectable list; about 90 species of birds have visited it in the last 10 years. The Common Redpoll is on this list, having been seen in my yard once in 2009 for all of about 10 seconds. For whatever reason, my community is not favored by redpolls. This year, though, they were everywhere, including my yard.

On December 23, I had a redpoll in my yard for almost half an hour. And not only was it in my yard, but it visited my feeders as well.

We have been seeing so many finches this winter likely because it is an irruption year; a year when food sources (such as catkins and cone crops for finches and lemmings for Snowy Owls) are hard come by on these birds’ normal wintering grounds.

It’s neat for me to be able to see birds I don’t usually see in my backyard, such as the not-so-Common ( in my neighborhood) Redpoll.

Posted by Matthew Sim

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Jan 9

Have you seen an unusual bird in Calgary? If it is on this Reportable_Birds (PDF), please report it to the Nature Calgary Rare Bird Alert line at 403 221-4519 and leave a message after the beep at the end of the recording. If you would like some help with species identification, us email us at zoxox@shaw.ca  To report injured wildlife call the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society at 403 239-2488, or the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403 946-2361.

This report was prepared on Thursday, Jan 9.

Sunday, JANUARY 8
–SNOWY OWL (5 + 9) – 5 observed by Terry Poulton on TwpRd 262, E of RgeRd 262 (near Bruce Lake). 9 owls seen by Terry Korolyk included 6 on RgeRd 253 & TwpRd 262 between Hwy 564 and RgeRd 255; 1 on TwpRd 240 at Cheadle; 2 E of Shepard (one on TwpRd 232, the second on RgeRd 284 just S of TwpRd 232)

Saturday JANUARY 7
–LESSER SCAUP (1f 1m) – N of Hwy 22x bridge over the Bow R by TK
–AMERICAN KESTREL (1m) – E of Hwy 22 on TwpRd 320 at RgeRd 42 (NW of Cochrane) by Ron Kube
–AMERICAN DIPPER (1) – Big Hill Springs PP by Steve Kassai
–GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (2) – location as above by SK
–PINE GROSBEAK (2) – location as above by SK

Friday, JANUARY 6
–WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL (1f) – seen by Carol Coulter in her yard in SE Calgary

Wednesday, JANUARY 4
–RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (1) – last reported sighting – by Jeff Bank, coming to a feeder at Karen Scott’s, adjacent to SW corner of George Lane Park in High River

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Thursday, Jan 12, 2012.

Calgary Area Bird Photos

Blog reader and photographer Duane Starr has sent us a couple of  links to his beautiful bird photographs.

You can see his collection at Northern Hawk Owl slide show or view a variety of Calgary birds here, including some great shots of the tiny Brown Creeper.

Thank you Duane, for sharing your work!

Posted by Pat Bumstead

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Jan 2

Have you seen an unusual bird in Calgary? If it is on this Reportable_Birds (PDF), please report it to the Nature Calgary Rare Bird Alert line at 403 221-4519 and leave a message after the beep at the end of the recording. If you would like some help with species identification, us email us at zoxox@shaw.ca  To report injured wildlife call the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society at 403 239-2488, or the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403 946-2361.

This report was prepared on Monday Jan 2.

Bird Sightings:

–RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (1) – seen by many observers in High River’s George Lane Park or coming to Karen Scott’s feeder at 506 – 4 St (bordering the park)

Sunday, JANUARY 1
–SNOWY OWL (many) – 18 seen by Ron Kube on a trip to Rockyford and return to Calgary (route was E on Hwy 564 to Rockyford then return W on Hwy 9 and back roads, S on RgeRd 253 to NW of Strathmore, then returning to Calgary on Hwy 564 and RgeRd 262; 4
owls seen by Terry Poulton on TwpRd 262 between RgeRds 242 and 254; another owl seen independently by both Terry and Eddy
Matuod on Country Hills Blvd and Barlow Tr in NE Calgary; and finally a Snowy seen by Eddy on Symon’s Valley Rd, 800 m S of Big Hill Springs Rd
–PRAIRIE FALCON (1) – corner of 144 Ave NW and RgeRd 15 by EM
–NORTHERN HARRIER (1) – Calgary Zoo’s private facility SE of Calgary by Dwight Knapik

Saturday, DECEMBER 31
–SNOWY OWL (7) – between Beiseker and Drumheller by David Pugh
–NORTHERN HAWK OWL (1) – Hwy 596 just W of Turner Valley by Daniel Arndt

Friday, DECEMBER 30
–PRAIRIE FALCON (1) – Inglewood Bird Sanctuary by Jim Walling
–AMERICAN DIPPER (1) – Fish Creek PP just east of Macleod Tr by Bob Lefebvre
–NORTHERN GOSHAWK (1) – Fish Creek PP, just S of Bebo Grove by Bill Wilson

Thursday, DECEMBER 29
–LESSER SCAUP (1f) – channel on W side of Bow River just SW of Glenmore Tr bridge by BW
–NORTHERN PINTAIL (1m) – S of Deerfoot Tr, N of Beaverdam Flats by BW
–DUCK sp (1) – unusual duck somewhat like an American Black Duck but with a white speculum and white throat with few markings seen near the footbridge to Prince’s Island Park by K O’Connell

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Thursday, Jan 5, 2012.

BIRD STUDY GROUP – Meets the first Wednesday of the month, 7:30 pm, Room 211, BioSciences Building, University of Calgary. The next meeting will be Wednesday January 4. The program will be a review of local Christmas Bird Count results.

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Dec 26

Have you seen an unusual bird in Calgary? If it is on this Reportable_Birds (PDF), please report it to the Nature Calgary Rare Bird Alert line at 403 221-4519 and leave a message after the beep at the end of the recording. If you would like some help with species identification, us email us at zoxox@shaw.ca  To report injured wildlife call the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society at 403 239-2488, or the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403 946-2361.

This report was prepared on Monday December 26.

Bird Sightings:

October – December 26:  –RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: Around since October 2011, the woodpecker continues to be seen in the same location as previously reported, in High River.

Dec. 24:

–NORTHERN HAWK OWL: Just west of Turner Valley along Hwy.546. Seen previously on Dec. 19.

–NORTHERN SHRIKE: Glenmore Reservoir, south escarpment W.of yacht club. By Bill Wilson.

–EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE: Deer River Green, SE Calgary, by Dave Breckon.

–PEREGRINE FALCON: W. of Black Diamond.

–TUNDRA SWAN(1): Frank Lake. Previously reported from the High River CBC.

Dec. 25:     –VARIED THRUSH:(1), seen in yard of Bob Lefebvre in SE Calgary.

Dec.26:      –SNOWY OWL(3), east of Calgary, by Terry Korolyk.

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Thursday, December 29.

Winter Killdeer

Last weekend on the Christmas Bird Count, I came across a very photogenic Killdeer. These abundant shorebirds, usually only stay the summer in Calgary, several birds, however, also stay the winter.

Despite our frigid winters, these hardy Killdeer seem to manage all right, we see them throughout the winter which must mean that they are surviving. They are definitely finding food, as can be seen in the photo below.

This Killdeer seemed to be finding enough food

At one point, I even saw this particular bird with a small morsel of food clenched in its beak.

This Killdeer was fearless and approached me; which is quite a nice change as a photographer! It also engaged in the species peculiar method of moving; they run for a few feet, stop, look around, flick their tail up, bob their head up and down a couple times, and then repeat this cycle over again.

Just finished a short run, the Killdeer stops, looks around and...

Bobs it's head out of the photo, leaving the photographer with an unusual result; but a good story!

Each year, Killdeer are seen wintering in Calgary, somewhere on the Bow River. Though it may seem like a daft idea to many of us, this species obviously are doing just fine!

A Merry Christmas to you from all of us here at the blog!

Posted by Matthew Sim

Carburn and Southland Park Christmas Bird Count

This year, I also did the Christmas Bird Count; I was assigned the S1 route, encompassing both Carburn and Southland Park. We started the morning birding from the Eric Harvie bridge in Southland, right beside the dog park, before splitting up, 2 groups going south along the river (one on each side) and 2 groups going north along the river. The day was off to a good start as we observed 2 adult eagles and 2 immature eagles flying low overhead; the rising sun was beautiful, adding to the good beginning and silhouetting the many ducks and geese on the Bow River.

We observed thousands of Mallards, Common Goldeneyes and Canada Geese throughout the day with several hundred Buffleheads as well. There were also several Barrow’s Goldeneyes in these waterfowl flocks.

The Common Goldeneyes weren’t quite as numerous as the Mallards however they were still present in large numbers.

We continued to walk further down the river, spotting Redpolls, plenty of waterfowl, Killdeer, magpies and… RUSTY BLACKBIRD!!! As we were hiking along the river, we flushed up a brownish-black bird about the size of a Robin from the bank. It landed nearby at the top of a poplar where we all got good looks at it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my photographs of this species! This blackbird, is an unusual bird in Calgary, explaining, perhaps, my excitement at the sighting (also, this was only my second time seeing this species).

We headed back to the meeting spot, the Eric Harvie Bridge, where we saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk and discovered that another group had found an American Wigeon. We then headed to our next stop, Tim Hortons! After warming up and getting refreshments at Tim Hortons, we headed out near the Glenmore bridge, where at a pullout, we walked out and did some more birding, turning up a Killdeer and a Hairy Woodpecker.

The next and final stop for our group was Carburn Park. Our goal at Carburn, was to find an American Pipit  that had been reported here a little while earlier. Though we couldn’t agree to the location where this bird had been seen, we did manage to find it. This happens to be the first pipit recorded on the Calgary CBC since its beginning, 59 years ago.

Also in Carburn, we found a pair of Great Horned Owls, that were extremely well camouflaged against the tree branches they were perched on, several more Barrow’s Goldeneyes and another juvenile eagle. I decided to head home early and only found out later that the rest of the group had also found a Northern Pintail and a Wood Duck in Carburn. I birded around my neighborhood, which was inside our count circle, and managed to add both species of crossbills, a robin and a Merlin to our list, among other species.

The pipit and the Rusty Blackbird were definitely the highlights of the day for me, however they were only two of the 33 species and 7924 individuals recorded by 10 counters in this particular area. Here are the complete results:

Canada Goose, 1500; Wood Duck, 1; American Wigeon, 1; Mallard, 3000; Northern Pintail, 1; Bufflehead, 150; Common Goldeneye, 2800; Barrow’s Goldeneye, 20; Common Merganser, 20; Bald Eagle, 5; Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1; Merlin, 1; Killdeer, 5; Rock Pigeon, 25; Great Horned Owl, 2; Downy Woodpecker, 5; Hairy Woodpecker, 2; Northern Flicker, 3; Black-billed Magpie, 125; American Crow, 3; Common Raven, 12; Red-breasted Nuthatch, 3; White-breasted Nuthatch, 3; American Robin, 1; Dark-eyed Junco, 1; Rusty Blackbird, 1; House Finch, 4; Red Crossbill, 12; White-winged Crossbill, 26; Common Redpoll, 25; House Sparrow, 110; American Pipit, 1.

Posted by Matthew Sim

Rare Bird Alert Calgary: Dec 19

Have you seen an unusual bird in Calgary? If it is on this Reportable_Birds (PDF), please report it to the Nature Calgary Rare Bird Alert line at 403 221-4519 and leave a message after the beep at the end of the recording. If you would like some help with species identification, us email us at zoxox@shaw.ca  To report injured wildlife call the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society at 403 239-2488, or the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403 946-2361.

This report was prepared on Monday December 19.

December 17
–RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: Been around for over a month at feeders behind 506-4str., High River, behind George Lane Park.
–BLUE-WINGED TEAL:(F) Bow River at Policeman’s Flats, end of Bow River Bottom Trail, off Dunbow Rd, by Terry Korolyk.
–AMERICAN WIGEON: same as above.
–GADWALL: near 22x bridge on the Bow River, by TK
–LESSER SCAUP: same as above.
–NORTHERN HAWK OWL: SW of Turner Valley, at 226 Ave and 112 Str, by Ross Lein.
–TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE(3): Beaverdam Flats, by Steve Karsai.
–NORTHERN GOSHAWK: same as above.

December 18:
The following species were all seen during the Calgary Christmas Bird Count:

–AMERICAN PIPIT: Bow River at Carburn Park.
–GRAY-CROWNED ROSY FINCH: at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.
–CANVASBACK: Bow River near downtown Calgary.
–PIED-BILLED GREBE: mouth of the Elbow River.
–NORTHERN HARRIER: along 50th Ave on eastern edge of the city.
–HARRIS’S SPARROW: substation on 50th Ave. SE., and another also in SE Calgary.

The next scheduled update of the Bird Alert is on Thursday December 22.