Hummingcrow & Co.

birds

Seán   World Migratory Bird Day Spotlight: Rocky Point Bird Observatory  Kate

World Migratory Bird Day is upon us once again, as many of our feathered friends prepare to embark on their journeys across vast, treacherous autumnal flyways, connecting communities and ecosystems around the world (while we humans continue to manage our zugunruhe). In honour of this auspicious occasion, we thought we'd take some time to spotlight our incredible local bird observatory, where we've previously had the opportunity to participate in their migration monitoring and saw-whet owl migration programs.

Swainson's Thrush A very soft and warm swainson's thrush being held gently by Kate

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Kate  Catching Some Rays

On a particularly hot, sunny day earlier this summer, I was out identifying plants in the garden when, rounding a bend, I was met with this sight on a mossy mound of rock near the bird bath:

robins sunning

They were absolutely still, frozen in their respective poses:

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Kate   Little Paintings: Robin in the Bath

Seán and I have recently been scheming new ways to creatively capture scenes around the Hill, so I halved some card-paper offcuts I got from an art store. Now we have a nice stack of 3x3.5'' pieces that we're gradually making into tiny paintings.

One of my first attempts is a common sight around here: a fluffed-up, staring robin soaking in the bath:

robin bath in hand

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Kate   Pollinator Week: Got Nectar?

Looks like someone's had a busy day of pollinating while filling up on the sweet stuff!

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Seán   Bewick's Bird Card + Farewell-to-Spring  Kate

Bewick's wren illustration Wren by Seán, environment by Kate

We're so happy and honoured to have had the opportunity to join a community of artists and naturalists from around our region once again in highlighting 36 of our avian neighbors for the latest set of Art Bird Cards. This was a great opportunity for us to continue honing our digital art skills and we learned a lot in the process of collaborating on this illustration of a Bewick's wren (Thryomanes bewickii)—a year-round resident here atop Humm Hill.

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Kate  ...Who Calls?  Seán

Last week, as we were working in the garden, we suddenly heard a loud, spooky & exasperated-sounding voice ask, “Who, who, who, WHO COOKS FOR YOOOOUUU?!”*

“We cook for each other, actually...” we replied, timidly. “Who, who, who's asking?”

The answer to this question was perched upon the branch of a nearby Douglas-fir:

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Kate Encounter with Sleepy Young Ravens  Seán

The other day, while taking a stretch break from the anti-ergonomic act of photographing tiny lichens on a rocky slope, I looked up to find I was being silently watched:

juvi raven

I could tell it was a juvenile raven because of the fleshy pink “gape flange” at the base of its beak.

juvi raven blink

I watched as it rested there: quietly preening, yawning and occasionally blinking its spooky nictitating membrane at me.

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Kate  #Meanwhile

junco grass A Dark-eyed junco finds some eats amongst the grass & moss in the late-afternoon sun.

May 17, '09: rufous in kitchen

 

Kate  #Meanwhile

A robin alerts its kin of danger from a lichen-laden perch.

May 26, '12: robin with mouth full of worms lands on my head

Seán   Happy World Migratory Bird Day!

A male rufous keeping a wary eye out for rival Anna's hummingbirds

In honor of World Migratory Bird Day, here are a few photos of rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) which have visited us here over the past couple of years.

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