BIRDS IN THE GARDEN
There are many eager bird watchers in the Garden, especially at times of migration. At the beginning, the Garden did not have many birds, but, as the vegetation matured, we found the red-winged blackbird announcing his territory in the trees by the swamp and the hummingbird enjoying the fuchsias in the Southern Hemisphere garden.
Backyard Bird Garden
- plant list
- birds found in the Backyard Bird Garden
- birds get thirsty too
- birds without borders
- gone to the birds!
It's official. Vancouver's city bird is the Anna's Hummingbird.
Here are some of the birds seen in our Garden as described by Erica:
Bald Eagle: Takes a rest on his travels.
Barred Owl: Roosts in large conifers near Cypress Pond and towards the west side of the Garden.
Brown Creeper: Searches the bark on trunks for food, travelling from the ground upwards; helped in this task by long toenails and stiff tail feathers for support.
Canada Goose: The less said about these pests the better!
Cedar Waxwing: Comes through our area in abundant compact flocks when migrating.
Chickadee - Blackcapped and Chestnut-backed: Cheerful little souls. [2015 - PB:] Both the Nature Conservancy and Wild Birds Unlimited recognize the beloved black-capped chickadee as the April bird. We are all familiar with this inquisitive, active little creature and its recognizable ‘chick-a-dee’ call as well as its two-noted ‘fee bee’ call. Chickadees are common and widespread; they are not of any immediate conservation concern. They are the provincial bird of New Brunswick and the state bird of Maine and Massachusetts. The black-capped chickadee was voted our city's Bird in 2015 [now replaced by the Anna's hummingbird], and its cheeky little head is visible on posters, buttons and parking decals. A few fun facts about chickadees:
- They weigh less than half an ounce.
- They are generally monogamous and mate for life.
- They do not migrate as they have some powerful survival mechanisms including the following: they cache food and remember where it is; they have dense winter coats; they find well-insulated roosting cavities; and they perform a regulated hypothermia to conserve energy.
Crow: No need to describe these noisy scavengers. Crows can be aggressive when protecting their young. Many of our local crows call Burnaby home.
Crested Myna: Famous immigrant from China; our area is its only location on this continent, and people travel from far and wide to get it on their bird list. [2013 - AR: Crested myna are no longer around our area. The last two are thought to have died February 2003. The species is extinct in North America but common in Taiwan and present in other parts of the world.
Dark-eyed Junco: Tame little ground feeders in large flocks.
Ducks - Mallard, Merganser, Gadwall, American Widgeon: Mallards are found on the lower, more public lakes in the Garden and the mergansers up by the Education Centre.
Evening Grosbeak: Chunky birds with yellow and white patches are seen migrating.
Finch - House, Purple: Very numerous and obvious at nest-building times of the year. Also American goldfinches.
Flicker: In the woodpecker family; has yellow or red 'armpits'.
Great Blue Heron: Responsible for the disappearance of our golden carp; however, this bird lends a statuesque quality to the Garden.
Gull: Visits us on his way to the City Dump.
Hawk - Sharp-shinned, Red-tailed, Cooper’s: Always in search of a meal.
Hummingbird - Anna's, Roufus: Hummingbirds work nonstop, pugnaciously defending their territory. Anna's hummingbirds now live in our area all year round, and their well-camouflaged nests have been found in our Garden. In fact, Anna's hummingbird is now our official city bird. The nests are woven together with spider webbing so that they will stretch as the fledglings grow. Video shows how the nests are built and how the fledglings are raised. Hummingbirds have a varied diet. How do hummingbirds avoid collisions? UBC researchers may have the answer.
Killdeer: Vulnerable nests are found on open land; parent feigns an injured wing if the nest is approached.
Kinglet - Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned: These tiny birds are often found in flocks of other birds, such as juncos; they wear little red and yellow caps.
Peregrine Falcon: While not often seen in our Garden, this rare creature was voted our city's bird for 2016. [PB]
Pigeon: Rock doves have soothing calls of "Coo, coo, two sticks across, and a little bit of moss, it'll do, do." Twenty-one amazing facts about pigeons.
Raven: Easily recognized by its large size and special haunting call.
Red-breasted Nuthatch: Very visible black eye stripe; works the trunk the reverse of a treecreeper, from top to bottom.
Red-winged Blackbird: Sings in marshy areas along the ponds. The female resembles a sparrow because of her colouring but is much bigger in size.
Red Crossbill: Extracts seeds from cones with specially formed bills.
Robin: Lives here all year, but some migrate south in the winter. They are members of the thrush family and are not related to the British robin but so named by homesick immigrants. There are many folklore stories about robins.
Song Sparrow: Aptly named, as it sings and fluffs up its brown blotched chest at nesting time.
Spotted Towhee: Shy ground feeder, usually found scratching for food under bushes.
Starling: Great eaters of cutworms to the delight of rhododendron lovers; also great at multiplying. In 1890 there were 80 who had immigrated from Europe to New York; five of them arrived in here in 1952; by 1966, 500,000 were sleeping under a major bridge!
Steller's Jay: Members of the crow family, they delight us with their brilliant blue plumage and irritate with their raucous calls.
Swallow - Violet-green, Tree: Busy catching insects during the summer months, swooping over the water.
Varied Thrush: Same family as the robin and similar in appearance, except for its black 'necklace' and lack of visibility; its offbeat whistle makes it easy to find in shrubbery.
Warbler - Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned: Spends the summer season here and visits the Garden.
Woodpecker - Downy, Hairy: In the same family as the flicker with very strong neck muscles in order to extricate grubs from tree bark.
All about birds - Cornell University
Birds found in British Columbia
Birds found in Canada
Vancouver's city bird: the hummingbird