Back in England I never really paid that much attention to birds, other than when a woodpecker would occasionally visit the garden. But e...
Back in England I never really paid that much attention to birds, other than when a woodpecker would occasionally visit the garden.
But ever since seeing a hummingbird on the farm in Ontario, birds have started to pique my interest.
Living in a city, I don't get to see much variation, but these are the three I've managed to snap from my balcony this week.
Pigeons are possibly one of, if not, the most underrated birds. Let's face it, nobody likes walking through town and having a pigeon with gammy feet flying at their face.
However, pigeons are considered to be a very intelligent bird, and are one of the few species that have been found to pass the Mirror Test - a test of self-recognition. They can also be trained to recognise different letters of the alphabet, and distinguish between photos presented to them.
Pigeons mate for life and tend to rebuild their nests in close proximity to their old ones, resulting in a lot of pigeon droppings and being labelled as pests in modern society. But pigeon poo was once thought of as the best kind of fertiliser, and an important ingredient of gunpowder.
After a bit of research, I'm fairly sure this is a female Swainson's Hawk. The Government of Alberta has given the Swainson's Hawk the classification of 'sensitive' on the Wild Species at Risk Status, due to the use of pesticides on their wintering grounds in Argentina.
They usually feed on ground squirrels, mice and occasionally small birds.
At last, a visitor to my bird feeder!
I heard a few chirps outside and went to investigate, thankfully he stayed long enough for me to get a few photos as they usually just grab a few seeds to take away and hide in a number of different locations, in order to eat them later.
Apparently, in the autumn Chickadees are able to let their old neurons die and replace them with new ones, wiping out old memories and creating a new storage space. This helps them remember changes within their flock and environment, as well as locations where they've hidden food.
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary has just reopened after being closed for a couple of years due to flooding in 2013. Hopefully I can get over there soon and add some more birds added to my memory card.