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Winter took me by surprise again

Winter took me by surprise again

Winter took me by surprise again

BC Nature Study and Outdoor Education

The Ah!  Winter took me by surprise again.  Friday morning, we woke to 5cm of snow on the ground.  Though I enjoy winter and snow I am impatience for spring to come.  I want to rake the yard, open the greenhouse and plant some seeds.  Patience, Patience,  Patience!

Some new birds have arrived in the past week, but for the most part, I find that the birds that are here are staying longer.  I believe the cold temperatures have caused them to slow their migration north and to higher elevations.  This longer stay accounts for people noticing birds that normally pass through our area quickly but now have had the opportunity to observe them over several weeks.

File:Brewer's Blackbird female RWD.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Brewers Garden April 2017 -7707 | Brewer's blackbird, Nanaim… | Flickr

Brewer's blackbird - Wikipedia

Brewer’s Blackbird

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brewers_Blackbird/id

This beautiful iridescent purple, blue-black bird has been spending time around Lac La Hache for the past few weeks.   You will often find him in moist roadside ditches feeding on insects or perched on the overhead wires. Sometimes you can spot them gleaning insects off of the backs of cattle.   He is easy to spot when the sun shines on its feathers and by his silhouette-slightly rounded belly, yellow eyes, and narrow tail.  The females will choose the nesting site, usually close to water among the cattails and waterside shrubs.  They usually nest in colonies, returning to the same general area every year.  Though they separate from their mates after the nesting season they usually reunite with them the following spring.  Check out the following similar species.

Rusty Blackbird

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Rusty_Blackbird/id

These birds are not common in our area but are sometimes seen around the 100 Mile Marsh and 108, Sepa Lake.

Rusty blackbird - Wikipedia

Euphagus - Wikipedia

Brown-headed cowbird - Wikipedia

Cowbird - Wikipedia

Brown-headed Cowbird

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown-headed_

These birds have a unique way of raising their young.  The female concentrates on producing as many eggs as possible during the nesting season, sometimes as many as 3 dozen.  These she lays in the nests of other birds.  She abandons her young to be raised by these foster parents.  The cowbird nestlings are often larger than their host families chicks.

Kestrel

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Kestrel/id

These are my favourite birds.  They are the smallest and most common falcon in North America.  They are easy to identify with their colourful plumage.  I often see them sitting on the overhead lines checking the fields for insects, mice, voles, and small birds.

Common kestrel - Wikipedia

Greater kestrel - Wikipedia

Noreen Beer

Author & Outdoor Educator

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