Friday, July 31, 2015

July 2015-Bushtits, Nighthawks, Chukars, Western Tanager, Ruff, Dusky Grouse,

Following are some of the birds that kept us busy in July.  We visited Reifel Sanctuary, Kamloops and many local spots.  Once again I have included some tidbits of information I found online.

In the early part of the 20th century the Anna's Hummingbird only bred as far north as Southern California.  The planting of nectar producing plants and warmer weather as expanded its range, along the coast,  as far as the Yukon.
We watched an interaction between this Racoon and Heron for about 15 minutes.
They went about their activities without paying too much attention to each other at the Great Blue Heron Reserve in Chilliwack.
The Raccoon appeared to be catching Crayfish.
A late singing Marsh Wren at Reifel.  Eastern and Western Marsh Wrens look and sing differently leading to the possibility
they may be 2 different species.
One can't visit Reifel without getting a picture of Sandhill Cranes.

A disorientated young Chukar was calling to its group in Kamloops.  
An adult Chukar waits and calls back to the young one.
Chukars are a widely distributed, introduced species predominately from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Lewis's Woodpecker very seldom digs into wood for bugs.  Instead it flycatches and gleans insects from the trees surface.
There are many species of tanagers in the world but the Western Tanager is the most northerly.  At the northernmost part of its range it only stays for 2 months-just long enough to breed, raise young and return south.
I remember as a child growing up in northern Alberta seeing 100's of Common Nighthawks in the evening skies.  Now I am lucky to see a few a year such as this one in the Kamloops area.
Ruffs always cause a bit of excitement but it was soon learned this was an escapee from Simon Fraser University.  It is called a "faeder' or female mimic.  While the more ostentatious males squabble over females these mimics take advantage of the diversions and jump in to breed with the females.  This was taken at Boundary Bay, Delta.
We found a family of Dusky Grouse east of Sun Peaks.  This young one stopped to pose.  I would like to get  a picture of an adult male displaying some day.
Bushtits seem to like each other's company.  The yellow eye identifies a female while males have dark eyes.  Male birds may also help a pair of Bushtits to raise their young.

End of this blog.  Scroll down for previous blog.


  1. Lovely blog post Len. If you want to see adult male dusky displaying try mount kobau. cheers.

    1. Thanks Mellie. Good tip on Kobau. I will keep it in mind for next spring.

  2. Just an excellent series of pictures and commentary. I love the tanager and nighthawk and the racoon is a very cool observation.