Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Birds at Haig-Brown House

Fox Sparrow

This week has brought some of the nastiest winds Campbell River has seen in a while. A south-easter ripped across Discovery Passage and into town, uprooting 130 foot high firs and tearing large limbs off countless trees.

When the weather abated this week I got out to take some shots of the birds that are singing in the garden here. The Fox Sparrows here on the West Coast are so much darker than ours on the prairie, and they have an almost uniform brown tone on the back, reminiscent of a Hermit thrush, which also has the russet tail. Here is another shot of a Fox sparrow taken right in front of the house:

Of course some Fox sparrows have been here all winter, but now the odd one sings (listen to a sample here from the Cornell Laboratory page on the Fox Sparrow). The Song Sparrows are much more vocal (listen to a sample here on the Cornell Laboratory page on Song Sparrow).

The Spotted Towhees have also been singing this week (listen to a sample here from the Cornell Laboratory page on Spotted Towhee). Here is a male, with what looks to me like very light spotting compared to our interior Spotted Towhees in Saskatchewan.

Finally, though they do not sing, these two twitterpated bald eagles were making a racket in one of the big firs, high above the Haig-Brown world, where Roderick once estimated he had seen hundreds, even thousands of eagles roosting atop his favourite fir over the years.

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