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All photographs by David Lilly

"C" means Cooper's Hawk

A well know naturalist here in Calgary, Gus Yaki said the best way to remember the difference between a Cooper's Hawk and a Sharp-shinned Hawk is to remember this phrase. 'C" for Cooper's Hawk because of the curved tail feathers. For the Sharp-shinned Hawk remember Square because the feathers on the sharp-shinned Hawk's tail is square.

This has helped me to distinguish between the two hawks even when you spot them sitting on a pearch. 

In the case of the hawk in three photos here it is easy  to see this a Cooper's Hawk  with the curved tail feathers very prominant, a juvenile because of the colouring on the underbelly.

Nikon D 500 with a Niko 200 - 500mm lens.

Vancouver Birding Trip

From the 3 Oct to the 7 Oct I visited Vancouver for some fall bird photography.

I was accompanied by fellow bird photographers Darryl and Michael.

My destination was George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary close to Ladner in the Delta region of the lower mainland of British Columbia. I also went to Boundary Bay and a couple of smaller parks in the same area.

A total of 48 species were seen. I did not get great photos of some of the birds. The Gallery to the right are some of the best.

A treat was the hummingbirds and the Sandhill Cranes. Northern Pintails were easy to approach as were most of the ducks. Greater Yellowlegs and Long billed Dowitchers were the dominant shorebirds.

Trumpeter Swans were starting to migrate and settle in for the winter. A flock of Snow Geese flew over, but did not stop.

Great Blue Herons were common as were Spotted Towhees.

On the second day we did manage to get a photograph of a Pacific Loon as it swam in a salt water canal.

The Difficult Northern Harrier

The Northern Harrier is difficult to photograph. 

I see it quite often, but it is always flying in the other direction and away from me.

The Harrier to the right flew by me as I was driving. I looked in the mirror and noticed it had landed on a post behind me.

I stopped and started to back up until I was almost even to the bird. I was lucky because I was on a dirt road with little traffic. At the same time as I was backing up I was preparing my camer and lens to get a few photos. I had already set my camera. It was just a matter of turning the camera on and focusing. I managed to get a couple of photos as it sat. Finnaly, after five seconds it flew away.

Nikon D500 with a 200 - 500mm lens

Blue -Eyed  Black - billed Magpie

I did not know the Black-billed Magpie had a blue eye.

The light was perfect for this portrait of this Magpie. When I started to post process I noticed this beatiful blue eye on this Magpie.

I don't know if this is the case for all Magpies. I cannot find any info in the bird books,

Nikon D 500 with a 200 - 500mm lens