Build it and they will come – Bird Identification Post is a follow up post to my DIY Bird Feeding Station post. We are lucky enough to have had birds come to our hanging feeders tat are scattered around our yard but many of the birds in our area prefer to perch as opposed to eating from a hanging feeder. After making the bird feeding station, we are now seeing birds that we haven’t seen in a while, return and feed.
At last count, we have a group of 16 different species of birds that we see on a regular basis and 5 new additions that are new this year!!!
I got into bird watching several years after seeing such fabulous pictures taken by my daughter Jenna. She had a Cannon Rebel camera with an extra long 75-300 mm lens and was capturing breathtaking photos of birds in her area. Being the wonderful daughter that she is, she found one for me as well and the rest is history! I was hooked! I have been able to gather pictures of most of the more common birds in our area that I will sharing in this post!
First, let’s start with a morning video of the song birds that serenade us every morning. It really is glorious to wake up to these little guys!
Here is an American Goldfinch stopping in for a bite to eat.
Next in line are some Blue Jays and their cackling calls. Please disregard the moaning and panting pup in the background!
Alright, now lets get to some of the other birds in our presence.
- Canada Geese: Always a pleasant site, these Canada geese hang around in the lake in front of our house. We sometimes get a gaggle of geese but more often we see these two hanging around together.
2. Blue Jays: Large groups of Blue Jays are often referred to as a “party”, “band”. Sometimes, there are so many here, you cannot count them all.
3. Morning Grosbeak: These heavy set finches are yellow and black with large patches of white plumage. The male has a yellow eyebrow. The female Evening Grosbeak is gray and brown overall with a yellow collar.
4. Grackles: Grackles are known for their iridescent or metallic blue heads. They have a long bill, yellowish eyes and long tails. This is not a shy bird and is commonly found scaring off other birds or stealing their food. A group of Grackles is called a plague.
5. Red Breasted Grosbeak: I am so exited to say that this guys has returned to our feeders. Red Breasted Grosbeaks have black heads and a white underbelly and sports a rose-red breast. A really neat fact about the male Red Breasted Grosbeak is that he will incubate the eggs for several hours.
6. Red-Winged Blackbird: The males have shiny black plumage and have red and yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they feel.
7. Black-capped Chickadee: Groups of chickadees is called a “banditry”. Chickadees have pale grey underparts, with a black cap and bib with white cheeks. They also have white edges of their feathers. Adorable!
8. Black Eyed Junco: A group of Junco’s is known as a “crew” or “flutter”. I personally think these are the cutest birds out there. The are small and chubby grey birds that have white underbellies.
9. Bald Eagle: Now, this guy doesn’t eat at our feeders but he is often seen above the lake, searching for food. He is simply fantastic! We believe that there were at least 2 in our area.
10. Thrasher: This was the only “good” picture we could get of what we believe to be a Thrasher. He was a shy bird that stayed in the brambles and fly off with any sound. We have only seen him a handful of times! The Thrasher is related to the Mockingbird and has the ability to imitate songs of other birds!
UPDATED PICTURE MAY 22, 2017 of the Thrasher…
11. Starling: This bird is a new one for us. This year is the first time we have seen him around. His plumage is dark with a metallic sheen and they have a long yellow bill. Just so lovely!
12. Belted Kingfisher: This guy is so handsome, although it is hard to see that from this picture. I cannot seem to get a good picture of this little guy. Belted Kingfishers have a large head, long heavy bill with a slate blue head and white collar. It often looks like he has a mohawk, LOL.
13. House Finch: These birds have a red breast and heads with brown backs and tails. Their heads are long and flat.
14. Common House Martin: This guy is also a new addition this year. Again, not a great picture but I was so glad I got it. House Martins are in the swallow family and are known for their forked tail. An interesting things about the Common House Martin is that they create their nests out of mud and mud pellets!
15. Tree Sparrow: This is what I believe this bird to be. Please correct me if I am wrong, I am no expert! They have adorable plump tails and oftern fluff out their feathers!
16. American Goldfinch: Goldfinches are known as the “lightning” bird with their bright yellow and shiny black feathers and notched tail.
17. White Crowned Sparrow: The White Crowned Sparrow has a black and white head, pale beak, and gray chest. We often see flocks in the brambles beside the house!
18. Blue Heron: I think this is one of my FAVORITE pictures that I have taken so far! Isn’t he magnificent!!!! It, like the Bald Eagle, doesn’t eat from our yard, but has been present feeding on the shores of the lake in front! The often stand motionless, seeking out their prey!
19. American Robin:(picture added May 22, 2017) This is a widely recognized bird with his warm orange underbelly and dark head. These large song birds have long legs and seem to bounce around your yard looking for insects, worms and seeds.
20. Wild Turkeys: (picture added May 22, 2017) This isn’t the greatest picture however despite being very large, THEY ARE FAST and hard to get a picture of. Clearly this one wasn’t happy to see me either lol.
21. Common Loon: (picture added May 22, 2017)These guys are very agile divers that feed on small fish with their dagger like bills.
22. Turkey Vultures: (picture added May 22, 2017) These scavengers have a very keen sense of smell in order to find fresh carcasses! Vultures have a hooked beak, featherless red head and wing tips that resemble fingers.
These last four birds round off the 22 different bird species found around our area in Quebec. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of these guys, but, I am not giving up hope yet.
I also need to mention that I am in no way a bird expert and some of the information may be incorrect. I have done my own searches to gather information and would welcome a correction, if needed.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures and videos,
Until my next post,
UPDATE: May 22, 2017
Since this post, I have been able to get pictures of the birds that I was originally missing AND we identified 3 NEW BIRDS!!! We added a new mixture of seeds which included safflower seeds and peanuts. Apparently it made a difference!
23. Northern Flicker: This brown spotted bird is in the woodpecker family, however, you will not find it in trees as you would with other woodpeckers. The Northern Flicker has a long and slightly curved bill and prefers to eat ants and beetles. Its bright yellow tail feathers are mostly visible in flight.
24. Indigo Bunting: The Indigo Bunting, sometimes also called “blue canaries”, are bright blue in color with short pointy beaks. The eat insects, berries and seeds.
25. Barn Swallow: This we believe to be a Barn Swallow. It’s not a great picture but I am glad we got it nevertheless. Barn Swallows have blue wings, back and heads with a tan colored underparts. They have a very long forked tail that allows them to dart gracefully while in flight. These little guys eat insects right out of mid air!!!
So exciting to have 3 new birds around us. Can’t wait to see if we can attract even more!!!
Here are a few more great shots taken recently…