BIRDS FROM A BACKYARD DECK
57 bird species; with pictures, information and some calls
at 108 Mile Ranch in the Cariboo region
Nature is not a place to visit. It is home. — Gary Snyder
First siting of nighthawks - and about 100 of them arrived, spending an hour catching insects around our treetops.
2013 SPRING: Four Western Tanagers have been here for a week. Surprisingly tame and making themselves at home.
And, soon after, a few Evening Grosbeaks.
I'd sooner be a small bird in a hawk-filled wood than a caged chicken on a factory farm.- Simon Barnes in How to be a Bad Birdwatcher
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For more information on any of the birds, use our BC Birds search.
American Robin Actually a thrush. Juvenile Robin
Black-capped Chickadee CALL
Brown Creeper Walks up tree trunks
Brown-headed cowbird (juvenile)
Canada Goose We see and hear them, flying above.
Cedar Waxwing This one's a juvenile.
Chestnut-backed Chickadee The rarest of our visitors.
Common Loon Flying overhead with its characteristic call.
Common Nighthawk A large flock spent an hour over our trees catching insects
Common Raven The big, black trickster.
Common Redpoll with a striking little red "helmet"
Dark-eyed Junco Said to look like a little hangman
Downy Woodpecker PECKING/CALL
Evening Grosbeak They really do have a gros, i.e. large, beak.
Fox Sparrow No, it doesn't hunt foxes; just looks a bit like one.
Grey Jay Also known as "Camp Robber" and "Whiskey Jack"
Hermit Thrush Famed for its call. House Finch CALL
Woodpecker and squirrel take turns at the drinking bowl.
Northern Flicker Another woodpecker. This one likes ants.
Northern Goshawk An impressive presence - on the edge of our woods.
Orange-crowned Warbler The crown is almost invisible
Osprey Usually found nearer the lake
Pileated Woodpecker The big one
Pine Siskin MATING CALL Eat the seeds out of dandelions
Purple Finch So pretty
Red-breasted Nuthatch CALL They walk down tree trunks
Red-naped Sapsucker Five years before I saw one of these.
Red-winged Blackbird CALL
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Not much bigger than a hummingbird.
Ruffed Grouse Known for their wing-drumming
Rufous Hummingbird CALL
Sharp-shinned Hawk North America's smallest raptor
Steller's Jay Info. CALL British Columbia's bird.
Swainson's Thrush CALL
Varied Thrush Regular visitors in the spring and autumn
Western Tanager Migration map
White-crowned Sparrow Juvenile
Wilson's Warbler CALL
Yellow-headed Blackbird Usually stays amidst reeds on the lake
Yellow-rumped warbler. If you're not sure, wait until it flies away from you.
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulette I could have worn. - Henry David Thoreau, in Walden
HOME-MADE BIRD FEEDERS
The picture (on the left) largely speaks for itself. The feeder is made from an old tennis ball container, a frisbee and a couple of wooden kebab skewers, which protrude equally on each side.
The size of the feed holes is important: big enough to let the seeds out but not so big that they fall out. I made these and the skewer holes with a red-hot piece of heavy wire (heated with a propane torch). I also drilled small holes in the frisbee (base) to allow for drainage of water/snow.
Be sure to use good glue.
I bought the cheapest frisbee I could find ($1). Total cost: of feeder: $1 plus a few pennies for the skewers and glue.
This feeder lasted eight years - until an injured and hungry bear took it down.
If you make one, send me a picture.
Jennifer in Pennsylvania:
I just recently bought a house and there were boxes of old pots and pans . . . instant feeder. The aluminum colander works great for drainage and to hold seed. I used an old coffee pot, a lid from a big pot to keep squirrels away and a thick wire hanger to hold it all together…after some holes were drilled. Thank you for the inspiration.
Or, if you prefer, make a papier mache feeder.
CHICKADEE SURVIVAL from Tracker by Tom Brown Jr.
Of all the birds, Stalking Wolf respected the chickadee the most, even more than the hawk or the owl. . . . above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable spirit.
The exuberance of the chickadee made him our idol. In the coldest weather, when other birds have gone into the brush to wait behind a dome of driven snow, for the weather to clear, the chickadee is always out, his chickadee-dee-dee ringing off the snow. When the fox has curled himself up under a small tree and let the snow drift him a blanket of insulation, the chickadee is out doing the loop-the-loops over the seedless snow. Calling louder than playing children that he is there and alive and happy about it!
A chickadee doesn't look like a good bet for survival; you could close your hand with one in the palm almost without hurting him. There are better fliers . . . But nobody flies with more reckless abandon than the chickadee, and nobody flies with more delight.
The chickadee lives by joyous faith in living. Whenever anything else curls up and prepares to wait, or die, the chickadee is out in the middle of it. I have heard them even in the middle of a blizzard, chirping with that dancing tone over and over into the cold air, as if it thinks that hiding from a storm is the craziest form of self denial.
His voice comes out of the cold silence like the last voice in the world, singing that everything which has gone under the snow is neither lost nor dead and that life survives beautifully somewhere else and will return. There is a joy in its song which says that everybody who is hiding from the storm is missing the best part.
Tom Godin - Bird artist in the South Cariboo.
Checklist of Cariboo Chilcotin Birds - Compiled by Anna Roberts, Phil Ranson and Jim Sims [PDF, 700k].
Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Society - preserving the wild
British Columbia Birding Hotspots
BC Interior Bird list - stay in touch with information and sitings
Building Bird Photography Skills - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The Great Backyard Bird Count - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The Gardener's Feathered Friends - From Gaia's Garden
Feeding Birds - From Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Attracting and Feeding Songbirds - backyard songbird conservation
Birdwatching books and tools - A broad selection
BC Breeding Bird Atlas - You can help
Cornell Searchable Bird Guide - or browse by name and shape or taxonomy
Hummingbird Nest - A remarkable series of photographs
Fir Snags and Hummingbirds - article by Dave Neads
Bird Map Canada - Interactive bird map of Canada
Important Bird Areas in Canada - Connecting birds and people
How to make your windows bird-safe
Project Feeder Watch - Annual survey of birds that visit feeders in winter.
Proposed Pipeline Threatens Important Bird Areas in Canada; Public Review Enters Final Stages - Birdlife International
Urban trees 'help migrating birds' - BBC News
Hummingbirds shake their heads to deal with rain - BBC News
New study says birds learn how to build nests - Reuters video
Hummingbirds reveal secrets of sipping - Reuters video
Millions of birds at risk as fall migration to oil-fouled Gulf Coast nears, conservationists worry - National Geographic
Songbird decline shows need to protect boreal forest, environmentalists say - CBC News
World's common birds 'declining' - BBC News
Worries for at-risk bird species - BBC News
Hummingbirds in trouble, biologist warns - CBC News
Robot watches out for ivory-billed woodpecker - Research
Why the pileated woodpecker doesn't get a headache - Research
Light from buildings lures many birds to their death - Provocations blog
Crows and jays top bird IQ scale - BBC News
Crows as clever as great apes, study says - National Geographic News
North American birds on the decline - Christian Science Monitor
Parasitic birds 'happy to share' - BBC News
Climate changes disrupt birds - BBC News
Flooding Farms on Purpose — For the Birds
Joshua Klein on the intelligence of crows
The information on this site is accurate to the best of our knowledge but we make no guarantees and recommend that if the information is important to you that you cross-check with another source.