I got the idea for “Must-see birds” from Pat Bumstead’s and Bob Lefebvre’s Birds Calgary blog. Matthew Sim, who is another young birder, had the idea for the “Must-see birds” posts and writes them all. We don’t get many of the same birds here that they do in southern Alberta, so I thought I could start something similar for the central/northeast Alberta region. Here are my five must-see birds for the month of June (all photos by me), and thanks, Matthew for the great idea:
1. Wilson’s Snipe
A medium-sized shorebird with a very long bill, brown body, and white streaking on the back. I mostly see them in their courtship display (except this one who seemed quite content standing on this post),
2. Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore oriole is a very striking bird with its black head and bright orange breast. You wouldn’t think of this bird as a feeder bird but if you put out orange slices or some grape jelly, orioles will come to your feeder — a delight for anyone lucky enough to get to watch,
3. Eared Grebe
Eared Grebes can be found on sloughs, rivers, and lakes in most of Alberta. The Eared Grebe’s most distinguishing features are red eyes and wispy yellow plumes on the head, a mostly dark brown back, and a black neck.
4. Eastern Kingbird
The Eastern Kingbird is one of the most widespread flycatchers in North America. An easy field mark is the white tip on the tail and a black cap on the head. You can find this flycatcher on fence posts or on power pole lines.