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The world of stilts.

Posted Saturday 20th July 2013 at 19:51 by Rick and Elis
The Himantopus stilts are elegant birds, they adorn any wetland they visit with a certain grace and beauty as they potter around the water's edge looking for food.
Taxonomically they are less agreeable. Some regard them as being just two species (HBW 1996), the global black and white stilt known as Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus and critically endangered Black Stilt H. novaezelandiae even then the latter was considerd a colour morph of H. himantopus by some (Oliver 1930). I say...
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I Touched A Hummingbird Today!

Posted Wednesday 17th July 2013 at 04:47 by vancouverislandbirder
Wow! What an experienced.

This morning I went on the deck to replace the sugar water in the hummingbird feeder and as I was returning with it still in my hand, a hummingbird came up & start feeding.

I've never been so close to these beautiful creatures before! I stood still and it fluttered in a blur just inches away, as curious as I was.

It popped up & down and kept feeding.

Slowly I brought my outstretched finger closer &...
Comfort Cove Cottage on Vancouver Island
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Green Sandpiper's Mid- Year Report

Posted Monday 15th July 2013 at 18:11 by Green Sandpiper
Can't believe we're almost through July already, and as we're reachign the traditional quiet months for birding (moulting, skulking birds make it hard to find them- or at least, makes it more of an achievement) I thought I'd take stock of my year so far. That, and I'm off on holiday for a fortnight, so its as good a time as any.

I've deliberately set out to be more adventurous this year, visit new places, differetn habitats, different regions, with a view to seeing more and better...
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A Family Moment with Hawks on Vancouver Island

Posted Saturday 13th July 2013 at 18:57 by vancouverislandbirder
Yesterday I went for a walk in a nearby park. The sun was hot but the breeze was just strong enough to keep me cool.

I love hiking by myself. After a long day, the solitude helps me keep everything in perspective.

Because I was not getting too tired or wet with perspiration, I decided to make it to the top of an not-so-used trail to the lake lookout.

At the top, I was greeted with a spectacular display from a family of hawks. And I was looking down...
Comfort Cove Cottage on Vancouver Island
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Sniping again at taxonomy.

Posted Wednesday 10th July 2013 at 13:37 by Rick and Elis
The taxonomy of these four snipe is almost as complicated as identifying them!

For a start there was some misunderstanding about the genus. For a long time this group were called Capella after Frenzel 1801. The name Gallinago had been used by Koch in 1816, but the protocol for nomenclature dictates that the earliest name is the valid name. It was later recognised that Gallinago had been used by Brisson 1760 and thus, predating Frenzel, the genus acquired the name it has to this day....
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