Birding with Bird Boy

Just a few hours before we left last week on our last-minute ski trip to the mountains, I emailed my friend Ethan, whom you might know already as Bird Boy, to let him know I’d be in the area and ask about birding around Banff and Canmore.

As it happened, Ethan and his family were just returning from a trip of their own, so the timing was perfect. Ethan has a couple of posts on his blog about birding in England — you can find them here and here. Ethan’s family invited us to dinner on our last evening and the next morning before we headed out, Ethan showed me around Canmore for some birding. Thank you all very much for your hospitality, a very enjoyable evening, and all the birding!

Ethan and I walked along some of Canmore’s trails and talked about being young birders, the birds we still need to see, and the feral rabbits that are taking over the town!

Along with Banff, Canmore is very nature and outdoor-centric, so there are many good natural areas and walking trails in the city. We saw Mallards, Pine Siskins, Mountain Chickadees, Northern Flicker, Coyote, Red Squirrels, a Pileated Woodpecker, and more. You can find our full eBird checklist here.

The Mallards provided us with some good photography chances and while we watched them, a coyote walked by on the other side of the bank,DSC_1457DSC_1463DSC_1453DSC_1449Mountain Chickadees are more prevalent than Boreal Chickadees, but we got to see a few Boreals up close and I got this shot,DSC_1476Ethan was a terrific guide and it was so nice to spend time birding with him. It’s now your turn, Ethan, to come visit here in the Lakeland region and I’ll show you Sprague’s Pipits, Sandhill Cranes, and maybe a Harris’s Sparrow!IMG_0009

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

There were lots of headless Mallards in Canmore when I went birding with Bird Boy on our way back home after our week of skiing and birding.

A male Mallard,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/,2500 ISO 2000, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

A female Mallard,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/,2500 ISO 2000, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

JG Birds+

Backyard Bird Blog

The Morning Side of Life

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

Keeping with the Banff theme — after my parents and I drove back to Banff from Lake Louise, we met up with local birder Neil (father of Bird Boy) who was kind enough to take a very late and long lunch to show me around the area.

I was hoping to see an American Three-toed Woodpecker on our trip and Neil was able to locate two on our walk! We watched the woodpeckers for a while then went off to find a Townsend’s Solitaire that never showed.

Thank you again, Neil, for your time and for showing me around and finding a lifer for me.

A male American Three-toed Woodpecker,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 3200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 3200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 2500, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 2500, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

JG Birds+

Backyard Bird Blog

The Morning Side of Life

Anotherdayinparadise

Birding News #18

:: Rare Bird Alert in Canada: A Purple Sandpiper was found May 9th at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in Calgary, Alberta.

:: Rare Bird Alert in Canada: A Little Egret (Code 4) has been spotted in Fair Haven, Newfoundland.

:: Birds in Egypt are being threatened because hunters are putting out nets to trap the birds for illegal proposes. You can sign a petition here set up by the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union to encourage making the trapping of birds in Egypt illegal.

:: A group of blind birders in Michigan are teaching others about the joys of birding through birding by ear.

:: Bird Studies Canada has a new citizen scientist program for monitoring Barn Swallows as part of NestWatch.

:: The Bahamas National Trust is taking measures to protect crucial wintering habitat for the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler.

:: Bird songs are used in more ways than you might think!

:: An environmental adviser with an Alberta electric utility company has established  Canada’s first Avian Protection Plan, to prevent bird collisions with the power lines.

Great posts in birding blogs this week:

:: From Linda at Photo Feathers: A Canoeing Adventure at The Biggest Week

:: From Dan at Birds Calgary: Wednesday Wings: Chasing Rarities — Purple Sandpiper — First Alberta Record

:: From Larry at Brownstone Birding Blog: Spring Census Mystery Bird Makes Number 100

:: From Tami at CabinGirl: A Curious, and Hungry Chestnut-sided Warbler

:: From Mia at On The Wing Photography: Ospreys of Flaming Gorge

:: A new friend I met at the Snow Goose Chase has just started a bird blog so please head over to his new blog, Bird Boy!