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Birds Calgary by Swainsons - 1M ago

May and June are the busiest months if you are trying to find new species for the year. Here is an update with photos of some of the birds Gavin McKinnon has added to his list in May. He is trying to record 300 species within Alberta in 2019.

Sharp-tailed Grouse Eared Grebe Red-breasted Merganser Pectoral Sandpiper Least Sandpiper Gray-cheeked Thrush Red Knots and Black-bellied Plovers Wilson’s Snipe Dusky Grouse Lazuli Bunting Snowy Plover Piping Plover

As of the end of May, Gavin had 216 species in Alberta. It will be interesting to see how many species he has at the end of June – although that is halfway through the calendar, I have been told by people who have attempted this before that you have to be at about 240 by June 30 to have a good shot at 300 species, depending on how many “easy” ones you missed in the spring and can get in the fall.

You can see photos and updates for January and February here, and March and April here.

The post The Road To 300: May appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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The next Birds & Beers event in Calgary is on Thursday June 27, at the Horton Road Legion, from 6 to 9 pm. We will be in the big auditorium and will have a special presentation: “Birding and Botany on the Southern Alberta Walk with Gus Yaki” by Marshall Netherwood.

Pronghorn, a typical southern Alberta prairie species. Photo by Bob Lefebvre

Royal Canadian Legion, Centennial Calgary Branch#285,

9202 Horton Road SW

Thursday June 27, 2019, 6:00-9:00 pm

In 2017 Gus Yaki led a walking group across Southern Alberta from the Saskatchewan border to Waterton Park. Marshall Netherwood has prepared a presentation on some of the birds and plants he saw and photographed on this trip.

Everyone is welcome to attend Birds & Beers. As is usual when we have presentations, these begin after 7 pm. So come at 6 pm (or earlier since the kitchen will be busy), order a meal and have a drink, visit with your fellow birders, and then stay for the presentation. If you can’t make it early drop in later for the show.

The post Birds & Beers, June 27, 2019 appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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Birds Calgary by Swainsons - 1M ago

Note: You have to RSVP by June 19 to attend.

This Thursday there will be an exclusive sneak peek screening of the Great Big Nature project. Brian Keating and Bryan Smith, executive producer of MiMedia, invite you to learn more about their latest project. The video series will be launched later this year, but you have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the unique storylines and segments during a special viewing fundraiser.

Come out to hear Brian Keating talk about this exciting new project, and help to get it off the ground. They have a fund-matching opportunity up to $50K, until July 20th, therefore people can double their impact by donating now!

The fundraiser is Thursday June 20, 2019

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Place: La Cité Des Rocheuses (Community Centre and Theatre)
Address: 4800 Richard Rd SW, Calgary, AB

Light appetizers and drinks will be served.
Please RSVP by June 19th to j_bode[at]ducks.ca

The post Great Big Nature appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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Birds Calgary by Swainsons - 1M ago

Local photographer Judi Willis found this Yellow Warbler and its nest this week in the Calgary area.

Yellow Warbler. Photo by Judi Willis

Here is one of the pair in the nest:

Yellow Warbler on Nest. Photo by Judi Willis

This is a pretty typical spot for a Yellow Warbler nest – usually in a fork of branches in a bush like this willow, and commonly only ten feet off the ground or so. The nest seems large for a Yellow Warbler, with a lot of material hanging down (animal hair?).

Below is the nesting bird again.

Yellow Warbler. Photo by judi Willis

The post Yellow Warbler and Nest appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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Birds Calgary by Swainsons - 1M ago

Here are some beautiful birds photographed by Raymond Toal in a garden in Beaver Mines, in the far SW corner of Alberta, near Waterton Park. All photos taken on May 26, 2019 by Raymond Toal.

Rufous Hummingbird White-crowned Sparrow Lazuli Bunting (female) Lazuli Bunting (male) Evening Grosbeak (male) House Wren American Goldfinch (male) Black-headed Grosbeak (male) Black-headed Grosbeak (female)

The post Birds of Beaver Mines appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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Here is an update on Gavin McKinnon’s quest to reach the 300-species club in Alberta in a calendar year. You can read more about this and see some photos from January and February in an earlier post here. All photos by Gavin McKinnon.

Northern Pintail

Gavin had about 75 species at the end of February, and by March 31 he had almost doubled that to 147 species. You might think it would be easy to get to 300 if you were almost halfway there by the end of March, but after the bulk of the spring migration is over in late May it gets much tougher to add new species. You need to be pretty close to 300 species (about 240-250) by the end of June to have a good chance to get to 300 by year’s end. It will be interesting to see how high his number gets in the next few weeks. As of this writing, on May 23rd, he is at 209 species in Alberta. (Gavin has a Canadian total of 282 species so far this year, the eighth-highest total on eBird. He has made some trips outside the province, including a recent one to Point Pelee.)

Some of Gavin’s highlight species in Alberta in March and April were Eurasian Wigeon, Boreal Owl, Virginia Rail, Hudsonian Godwit, Purple Finch, and Peregrine Falcon. Here are some more photos.

Bohemian Waxwing Great Horned Owl Purple Finch Ruffed Grouse American Avocet

Stay tuned for the next update on Gavin’s Big Year!

The post The Road to 300: March/April appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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This weekend the renowned birder Tom Hince will be giving seminars at the Wild Bird Store in Calgary on the subject of the world-famous birding hotspot, Point Pelee, Ontario. This is a place that many local birders have visited for its amazing variety of migrating birds, and that the rest of us would love to visit some day.

The Friday seminar is now full but you can still get tickets for Saturday by phoning the number above or dropping in to the store.

Here are the FAQ’s about this presentation:

What Will I Learn From This Seminar?

For avid birders, a trip to Point Pelee should be a must do on your list! In “The Park That Birds and Birders Built” seminar, Tom will discuss Point Pelee Park, its importance and why you should visit the park. He will also let the audience know how to prepare and plan for a visit to the park.

Besides Point Pelee, What Else Will I Learn From This Seminar?

Besides Point Pelee, Tom will talk about his birding experiences around the world including birding in the Cold Lake area. As Tom has spent a lot of time in this area, he will discuss his Cold Lake birding experiences. This will also include a discussion on finding warblers and other eastern songbirds in the area.

Will There Be Time To Ask Questions?

Yes, of course! During and at the end of the seminar Tom will take audience questions. Tom Hince is an ornithologist and professional birding guide. He has traveled various areas of the world looking for and studying a great number of birds. If you have a birding question that’s been bugging you, make sure you ask it at the seminar!

Will Refreshments and Snacks be Served at the Seminar?

Yes both refreshments and snacks will be served at the seminar! In addition, The Wild Bird Store has secured some great door prizes for both seminar days. We will have ballots and a draw box set up before you enter the seminar room so make sure you enter!

I Understand Tom Hince Has A Book. Will There Be Copies Available for Tom to Sign?

Yes. We will have a limited number of Tom Hince’s “A Birder’s Guide To Point Pelee” available for sale at the seminar. He will sign books after the seminar.

Call now to book your spot at this event!

The post Tom Hince Seminar at the Wild Bird Store appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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The next Birds & Beers meeting in Calgary will be on Thursday May 30. In addition to good food, good drinks, and good conversation, there will be a presentation by Gavin McKinnon on his trip to Ecuador and the birds he saw and photographed there.

Plate-billed Mountain Toucan Rusty-margined Flycatcher

Birds & Beers is a casual social get-together where birders can relax and visit. Everyone is welcome, including children if accompanied by an adult.

Royal Canadian Legion, Centennial Calgary Branch#285,

9202 Horton Road SW

Thursday May 30, 2019, 6:00-9:00 pm

You can come earlier than 6 pm if you want to avoid the rush at the kitchen. We meet in the big ballroom, and the presentation will begin around 7:15 to 7:30. You are also welcome to arrive just for the presentation.

Here are a couple more photos that Gavin took in Ecuador. There will be plenty more at Birds & Beers!

Golden-naped Tanager Collared Aracari

The following Birds & Beers event will be on Thursday June 27, at the same time and place. There will be a presentation by Marshall Netherwood on “Birding and Botany on the Southern Alberta Walk with Gus Yaki.” The fall Birds & Beers schedule will resume in August. Details to follow.

The post Birds & Beers, May 30, 2019: Ecuador appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Here are some birds that Tony LePrieur photographed at Frank Lake on April 27. All of these species can still be found there throughout the breeding season, along with dozens more. All photos by Tony LePrieur.

American Avocet, Frank Lake, April 27, 2019.
American Coot, Frank Lake, April 27, 2019. Willet, Frank Lake, April 27, 2019. Black-necked Stilt, Frank Lake, April 27, 2019. Killdeer, Frank Lake, April 27, 2019.

The next day, after an overnight snowstorm in Calgary, there were quite a few migrating songbirds at Carburn Park. Tony was able to get some great shots of Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Carburn Park, April 28, 2019.

These are the Myrtle subspecies of Yellow-rumped Warbler. The Audubon’s subspecies has a yellow throat and lacks the dark mask. Most of the ones we see here are Myrtles heading for the boreal forest. Audubons breed farther west, but we do see both on migration.

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Carburn Park, April 28, 2019. Yellow-rumped Warbler, Carburn Park, April 28, 2019.

There are still flocks of Yellow-rumps moving through the city now. Keep an eye out in parks and even in your yard!

The post Spring Birds at Frank Lake and Carburn Park appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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Advertisement

Here is a wonderful opportunity to go to one of the birdiest places on earth and learn to photograph the local birds with an expert who is a native of Costa Rica. There are only three spots open for this trip so act now!

Costa Rica Bird Photography Workshop, December 2019

Conducted by Max Ortiz Aguilar

Resplendent Quetzal

Max Ortiz Aguilar is a professional Nature Photographer who lives in Calgary. Since 2014 he has maintained a website, www.photosbymoa.com, where he has his portfolio of photos available for sale and for licensing as digital downloads. Last year Max joined the Friends of Fish Creek birding course to learn more about the local birds, and he has since been contributing to this blog.

Keel-billed Toucan

You should plan to arrive to Costa Rica on December 3rd, and departure will be on December 15th. To give you the best customer service and to guarantee the best experience Max will be offering only 3 spots. In this way he will be able to give you his full attention and this will make things easier for everyone when you are in the field.

See Max’s website for a detailed itinerary of all the amazing spots you will visit during this workshop.

Black-crested Coquette

Included:

  • Photography mentoring by Max (in the field and post processing)
  • Online working sessions before and after the workshop
  • Multi-flash photography setup for hummingbirds
  • Single accommodation at all locations
  • All meals, including morning and afternoon snacks
  • Tours and park fees
  • Fees for local guides
  • Transportation (including to and from the Juan Santa María airport in Costa Rica)

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Macro photography sessions
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Laundry
  • Insurance
  • Other Miscellaneous Items

Cost: Total cost per participant is $5,000 USD (all taxes included). To book, a 50% deposit is required. This deposit is non-refundable but it is transferable. The other 50% must be paid by September 15th, 2019. Please visit Max’s site for details, and contact him if you have any questions.

Here are some more of the amazing birds you can see and photograph in Costa Rica:

Yellow-throated Toucan Green Honeycreeper King Vulture Scarlet Macaw Ornate Hawk-Eagle Baltimore Oriole, one of the species you can see both in Calgary and Costa Rica. Red-headed Barbet

Book this trip of a lifetime today!

The post Costa Rica Bird Photography Workshop 2019 appeared first on Birds Calgary.

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