Great Blue Heron Fishing..

The photo above and the one following were taken from the walking path beside the river at Goldstream Provincial Park beside the Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island.  This heron was only a few feet away from me, and so intent on fishing that it either didn’t know I was there or else ignored me. I was behind a bush but not completely out of sight.

The photo below is a closer look.  In a previous post I noticed those brown feathers on the top of the wing and thought that it was an injury, but now it is obvious that this color is natural on herons.

There are many Great Blue Herons in this area but this is the closest encounter I have had.

Parent and Child

The photo above of a crow parent and child was taken through the front window of our car at Quamichan Lake.  As we drove into the parking lot I saw this young crow nuzzling his parent and couldn’t resist a photo as the parent was very patient.  The photo below was taken after I exited the car, surprisingly they didn’t fly away.  I do think that the parent crow is a male, he has that manly look, but I could be wrong.

An Eagle and a Rabbit

Today  we drove to check out a campground a couple of hours north of us.  The campground has a small lake stocked with trout and I saw this adult Bald Eagle in a tree above the lake and wondered if the eagle ever went fishing.  But there are also a lot of rabbits in this campground, one of them is in photo below..

and then I wondered if the eagle preferred fish or rabbit?

Worried About These Fledglings

Here are two very new House Sparrow fledglings that I am really worried about.  I photographed them sitting atop the roof of our neighbour’s shed.  Their eyes are closed and they are not moving much.  They both look weak to me.  In the photo below their eyes are half-open but they are still not moving around.  This is a terrible place for them as the crows are around now with fledglings in the area.

Just after I took these photos a female flew to the roof with another fledgling right with her, begging for food but these two remained where they were.

Lord, give them strength…

Contemplating Life

This little Hummingbird seems to be thinking about things, perhaps contemplating life or wondering where she will go for her next meal.  Going by the white patch behind the eye, I’m pretty sure that this is either an adult female Anna’s Hummingbird or a juvenile male Anna’s Hummingbird.


Vulture Among the Bushes

This photo was taken a couple of years ago on a road less traveled and this is the only time I have seen vultures since we moved to the Cowichan Valley.    This vulture and a couple of others were  feasting on a dead deer when we came across them.  They immediately flew into the trees and this is the best photo I could get, not the greatest but an opportunity I might not get again.

There is a place near here that has vultures and other birds of prey on display but I have never been there because I would much rather see them in the wild.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

My first entry in this week’s challenge of Focus was a disappointing (to me) photo of a bear that turned out to be blurred.  This entry is one of my favorite photos, that  being a female House Finch in a Deodara tree.  It is the background that appeals, more of the tree blended with the sky in an out-of-focus way that is lovely to me.

For information on how to enter this week’s challenge, follow the link below:


Heron With Injury

The Great Blue Heron pictured above was photographed at the Cowichan Estuary in a ditch beside the road, not the prettiest background.  It was one of the more shy herons I have seen and allowed 2 photos before it flew away.  It wasn’t until I uploaded the photos to my computer that I noticed that there was an injury at top of wing, cropped photo below.  Not good quality but you can see the injury.

I wonder how it happened?

About Feeding Birds in Summer..

Who knew that there are so many birds in summer coming to feeders?  Not me, that’s for sure.  I feed the birds in winter but thought that in summer there would be only House Sparrows.  Right now I am going through  at least 2 lbs of seed per day.  Little did I know the number of birds and different species that would come..besides House Sparrows there are House Finches (as above, male in breeding color), Brown-headed Cowbirds (male and female) a Red-winged Blackbird, Black-headed Grosbeak (male and female) Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, one male Goldfinch, one young Starling, these not to mention 3 squirrels feeding from seed dropped on the ground.  And also Hummingbirds, many Hummingbirds, below is one of the many:

So now I have a decision to make: husband thinks that I am doing them no favors by feeding them but I love to see and hear them in the yard.  But by providing birdseed am I harming them because they don’t have to search for their natural food? I saw a mother House Sparrow carrying a moth to her nest and that got me to thinking the birdseed feeding.

So what do you think?  is it a good idea to feed or a bad idea?  I am undecided.



A Canada Goose Family at the Cowichan Estuary

Yesterday I saw many Canada Goose families at the Cowichan Estuary.  There they have a safe place there to raise their.  I was standing on a dike looking down at the water where these Geese were, they just slowly moved away from me.

We see adult Canada Geese all the time at different places in the Cowichan Valley but it’s not common to see them with young. I was happy to find them.

One Aggressive Little Hummingbird

Here are two photos of  Rufous Hummingbird.  He takes on anyone who comes near the Hummingbird feeder while he is there.   He is the tiniest of the Hummingbirds that come to our feeder but he is surely the most aggressive.  Other species who come to the feeder are chased away when he arrives on the scene.

Apparently this little fellow migrates 3,000 miles, can you imagine?

For more information on Rufous Hummingbird, follow this link to All About Birds.

Sweet Little Fledglings

These little sparrows are fledged from the nest but they are still demanding food. I wonder how long the mom is going to feed them?  Below on the right is the sweetest baby ever but it is slow to follow mom to the feeder.. I hope that it becomes independent quickly before the crows catch him.

Below are mom on right and two of the babies, see their baby beaks?

Below is mom again and the baby who is slower at learning that things have changed and he must feed himself.

Female Brown-headed Cowbird: A Closer Look

Following my last post, here are two photos of the female Brown-headed Cowbird, this is the mate of the male featured in my last post.  She is beautiful in her own way, I especially love the black beak and striped chest.  In the photo below she is looking at me, you have to love when they do that.

Thankfully they are not as shy as they were at first and do not mind my presence as long as I sit still and quietly photograph.  There were two fledglings higher up in the tree but as Cowbirds lay their eggs in other bird’s nests, I don’t know whose young they were.  They were definitely not House Sparrows or finches.

Male Brown-headed Cowbird: A Better Look at Black Beauty

This male Brown-headed Cowbird, whom I call Black Beauty, (2 photos) has become a many-times daily visitor to our bird feeder along with his mate.  I posted earlier about them but here are better photos of the male, taken yesterday.

They are not very big birds but the male can be aggressive, seen yesterday chasing a larger female Black-headed Grosbeak away from the feeder.  They do, however, co-exist peacefully with sparrows or finches at the feeder.

For more information follow the link below to All About Birds.

Black Beauty

These birds are new to me as of a few weeks ago.  They come daily to our feeder, above are male and female Brown-Headed Cowbird.  I wonder why they have such a strange name being members of the Blackbird family.  My photos do not do justice to the beautiful shiny black feathers of the male’s body nor the chocolate-brown of his head.

Below is another of the males.

for more information on the Brown-headed Cowbird, follow the link below at All About Birds.