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 Iโ€™ll add the link to my post.

A Black-billed Magpie in the parking lot at Lake Louise last month,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 320, 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

A Day in the Life

Feathers on Friday

Yesterday, coming home from a trip to town to the Provincial Park, I saw two Bald Eagles on one of the sloughs near our house that isnโ€™t frozen over entirely yet.

As you can see from the pictures, the landscape has changed very dramatically in the past week. We had our first snow of the season last Saturday, and it has been snowing almost daily since, with very cold temperatures for this time of year.

The adult Bald Eagle and the Lesser Scaup,

The juvenile coming in for a landing,

I watched the eagles until they left,

Must-see birds: March

In March there are still some very neat winter birds around, such as Northern Shrikes, Snow Buntings and the resident Pileated Woodpeckers, Great-horned Owls, and Ruffed Grouse. The only problem is that I have no pictures of these birds, so I’ve resorted to the more common birds. Here are my two Must-see birds for March (all photos by me):

1. Black-billed Magpie

The Black-billed Magpie is one of the most common birds in Alberta. The head and breast are black with a white belly, the wings are an iridescent blue-black, their tail is also very long. Black-billed Magpies can be found almost everywhere,

2. Black-capped Chickadee

The Black-capped Chickadee is one of the most common and widespread songbirds as well as a very common feeder bird. The chickadee has a black cap and bib with white cheeks and white-edged wing feathers. Their bill is short and perfect for opening sunflower seeds,

The First Bird of the Year

Happy New Year’s Day!

This morning I woke up filled with excitement. A new year and new birds to be seen. The first bird of 2012 was the Common Redpoll. I watched six Redpolls at my feeders for a minute and then two Black-capped Chickadees flew in, and two minutes later nine more redpolls came to the feeders. As I was studying the Redpolls I saw there was a Hoary Redpoll in the flock. A Black-billed Magpie flew past the feeders and frightened the Redpolls away. After only 10 minutes I had already seen four species of birds, a good start to 2012 especially six hours north of the US border in winter.

Common Redpoll,

Black-capped Chickadee,

The Common Redpoll is on the left and the Hoary Redpoll is on the right,

Christmas Bird Count Results

I had a wonderful Christmas Bird Count this year. I counted with two friends,ย we started at 9:30 am and went until 12 noon. We would have gone longer but one of our counters had to go to a hockey game in the afternoon.

We started by going around to theย acreages by my house. We were able to count five House Sparrows, 16 Common Redpolls, three Black-capped Chickadees, and two Black-billed Magpies. After the acreages, we drove to my grandparents house. On the way there, we found six magpies feeding on a dead Gray Partridge, and one of the best finds of the day, a Rough-legged Hawk sitting on a power pole. At my grandparents, we counted one Pine Grosbeak, one Common Raven, 23 Common Redpolls, and I was the only one to catch a very brief glimpse of a Snowy Owl flying through the yard. After birding around the yard, we went into the house and there, while looking out of the kitchen window we counted 24 Black-capped Chickadees, two Downy Woodpeckers and one Hairy Woodpecker feeding at my grandmother’s feeders. On the way back to my house on the same road we had traveled before, we picked up five Rock Pigeons at a farm yard. And about four miles from my house I spotted a Bald Eagle, a very good find!

Altogether this year’s Christmas Bird Count was very good, a lot of common species and a couple rare ones. And I can’t wait to see what next year will bring!

Here are some photos of my CBC:

Rough-legged Hawk,

Pine Grosbeak at my grandparents,

Common Redpoll,

Hairy Woodpecker at my grandmother’s feeder,

Downy Woodpecker,

Bald Eagle,