Oiseaux de l'Ouest


 

Western Birds

 

Here are some pictures of the beautiful fauna and flora on the West Coast.  

Seabirds

Here is an American Bittern (Swan Lake). This very well camouflaged bird lives in reeds in marshy areas. A member of the Heron family, it eats frogs and small fish.

 

A spectacular male Bufflehead at Esquimalt Lagoon. This pretty diving duck is fairly common. Below is a female  Bufflehead.

An American Coot at Swan Lake. Following is a Coot near Duncan and a British Coot (with white forehead) in London UK.

 

A European coot and her very flashy chick in a Burgundy river.

Double-crested Cormorants at Swan Lake.

A Great Cormorant at Beaconhill Park

A Pelagic Cormorant at Sidney Harbour.

 

Sandhill Cranes at the George Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Vancouver

An American Dipper (Campbell River). This Robin-sized bird "flies"  underwater to catch fish or shellfish. Here is another one at Goldstream Park.

A Long-billed Dowitcher (Witty's Lagoon)






A Barbary duck (Mexican duck) near Palm Springs

A male Canvasback Duck

 

A male Harlequin Duck at San Diego. Below is a female.

Long-tailed Duck (Oldsquaw), San Diego 

Here is a spectacular male Mallard whose colorful feathers should please any female! Below is a female.

 

A male Northern Shoveller at Cedarhill Golf Course. Below is a female Northern Shoveller. Check out the beak.

 

A Red shoveller in London UK

A nervous Pintail on pond ice.

A Pintail Duck at Esquimalt Lagoon.  The following picture shows a male and a female.

A Redhead Duck in a London UK pond

A male Ring-necked Duck. Following is a female Ring-necked Duck and a male Greater Scaup.

A Ruddy Duck in San Diego

A male Tufted duck in London UK. Below is a female.

A male red-headed pochard from London UK


An

A male American widgeon



 

A male and a female Eurasian Wigeon at Beaconhill Park in Victoria BC. This bird is rare in Canada. 

A female Wood Duck at the Cedar Hill Golf Course. Next are pictures of male Wood Ducks.

 

 

The two males above are stretching their necks to attract the attention of females.

Here are two Wood Ducks in their molting phase : male, then female.

 

Here is a female White-cheeked Pintail, a wild duck from the Bahamas, in Victoria's Beaconhill Park. It probably escaped from captivity since 

it is not normally found in Canada .  

The same duck in a seductive (for a duck) pose.

A Bald Eagle in the Fraser Delta area. Below is an immature Bald Eagle from the same area.

This eaglet is just about ready to fledge from his nest located near the Oak Bay Firehall.

This is the mother of the eaglet above, being harassed by a crow. Perhaps the crow is mad at her for raiding her nest.

A Cattle Egret from Maui.

A Great Egret, Salton Sea

A Snowy Egret in Chula Vista, California. The following one is hunting for crabs by beating seeweed with its paw.

A Marbled Godwit in Chula Vista.

 

Male Common Goldeneye

Female Common Goldeneye

A Barnacle goose near a Burgundy lake. It's much smaller than a Canada goose.

 

A Bar-headed Goose at Esquimalt Lagoon.This is the highest flying type of bird: it reaches 10.2 km to cross the Himalaya 

Range in its migrations. This bird is very rare in Canada and probably escaped from captivity.

A Canada goose in flight at Esquimalt Lagoon

This Canada goose, seen at Esquimalt Lagoon, is a hybrid between a domestic goose and a Canada Goose.

A family of Egyptian geese in London UK

A Pink-footed goose from Kew Garden

This Nene, a rare bird in Maui, is a distant relative of the Canada Goose. It is the State Bird of Hawaii.

Snow Geese in the Fraser River Delta in Vancouver. Adults birds are pure white and younger geese have darker colours. Below is a flock of Snow Geese in flight.

There are many thousands of Snow geese on the shore in Vancouver. They spend the winter near the Fraser River and migrate to a Siberian island to breed in the summer.

A Black Brant Goose at Island View Beach, Saanich

A White-fronted Goose at Mirror Lake near Mount Hood in Oregon

A pair of Great Crested grebes on Lake Luzern in Switzerland are doing a nuptial dance.

A Horned Grebe, San Francisco

 

A Pied-billed Grebe at Blenkinsop Lake

A Western Grebe in Lake Utah.




























A Pigeon Guillemot in breeding colours at Sidney Harbour.

A juvenile Pigeon Guillemot near the Victoria Breakwater

A Heermann's Gull in San Diego.

A young Glaucous Gull with its favorite seafood

A Black-crowned Night Heron from Maui

A Great Blue Heron at Victoria's Swan Lake. 

A Great Blue Heron in Victoria. Below is a confused Heron on pond ice.

A Gray heron in London UK

A Kingfisher at Maple Bay.

A Pacific Loon at the Victoria Breakwater

A Red-throated Loon (winter colours) at a local beach.

A male and a female Common Mergansers near Jordan River in BC. Below is a female at Swan Lake in Victoria.


The Hooded Merganser is a strange-looking bird. The one above has raised its hood. The one below has folded it. 

The female Hooded  Merganser below is much less flashy than the male.

Here is a nice pair of Hooded Mergansers.

A male Red-breasted Merganser (San Diego).

A female Red-breasted Merganser at a Saanich beach.

A Moorhen from London UK

An Osprey in Gyro Park in Victoria. It's ready to pounce on a fish.

horizontal rule

Here is a web page on an osprey family at the University of Victoria (UVIC).

Click HERE

A Black Oystercatcher on a Sooke beach.

Brown pelican in San Diego

White Pelicans at Salton Sea in California

A Black-bellied Plover in Saanich.

A Pacific Golden Plover in Maui.

A Dunlin Sandpiper.

A Sanderling Sandpiper

These Sanderlings race after a receding wave to catch small creatures, on a San Diego beach. 

A Spotted Sandpiper in San Diego.

A Rock Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpipers

A pair of Lesser Scaups at Esquimalt Lagoon.

A male Lesser Scaup at Esquimalt Lagoon. A female is shown below.

A male White-winged Scoter in a Whidbey Island pond.

A female Surf Scoter in Victoria. Below it is a male Surf Scoter.

A flock of Sea Scoters offshore.

A Black-headed Seagull in winter coat at Victoria's Swan Lake.

A Bonaparte's Seagull (First year's colours)

A Heermann's Seagull.

A Herring Seagull on the thin ice of Swan Lake

Here are two pictures of a strange bird we glimpsed in our garden. Although, technically, these are not 

very good pictures, they clearly show that this is a Common Snipe. This sandpiper-like bird has 

characteristic white stripes down its back.

A Black-necked Stilt at Salton Sea in January 2017

A Surfbird in Victoria. Compare this with the Black Turnstone below. The Surfbird has a patch of yellow at the base of its beak.

A pair of Mute Swans at Esquimalt Lagoon. Following is a nice Mute Swan about to take off.

A Trumpeter Swan at Esquimalt Lagoon.

 

A Female Blue-winged Teal (Witty's Lagoon). Below is a male bird.

A male and a female Green-winged Teal at Cecilia Park in Victoria. 

A young Arctic Tern at our local beach. The Arctic Tern is an incredible flyer that migrates from the Actic to the Antarctic.

A Caspian Tern at Esquimalt Lagoon.

A Gull-billed Tern in San Diego.

A Least Tern in San Diego.

A Royal Tern (San Diego)

A Black Turnstone near Courtenay.

A Willet in San Diego.

Back to beginning

Terrestrial Birds

A male Brewer's Blackbird at Esquimalt Lagoon. Below is a female.

 

 

A male Red-winged Blackbird at Swan Lake. The female follows.

 

Two male Yellow-headed Blackbirds at Dragon Lake.

A bushtit

This bushtit was drinking from our hummingbird feeder.

A Bushtit nest (Height =20 cm.) This impressive nest is the collective creation of a number of Bushtits. These tiny birds are the size of a small chicken egg.

 

A male and a female Northern Cardinals from Tucson. They are the same species that is common in Eastern Canada.

 

This beautiful Red-crested Cardinal from Maui is a relative of the Northern Cardinal.  

 

A Chestnut-backed Chickadee in our backyard. It's the Western version of the Black-capped Chickadee. Surprisingly, this one was stealing the hummingbird's nectar.

 

A Brown Creeper at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. This is a very well camouflaged bird.

Male and female Red Crossbills from Saltspring Island. Below is another female at our bird feeder

A Mourning Dove on the beach off Parker Street.

 

 A pair of Collared doves near our house. The male is is on roof shingles. The identical looking female is on a chimney. Their neck collar (a black band) is not very visible from this angle.

horizontal rule

 

A Spotted Dove from Maui.

A Zebra Dove in Maui.

A male House Finch on our feeder and in the snow. The female is seen below.

A Gilded Flicker in Arizona. Unfortunately, the light was not very good for picture taking.

A male Red-shafted Flicker (Western form) at Victoria Harbour. Below is a female at our feeder.

A Buff-breasted Flycatcher in Arizona.

A Western Flycatcher in California.

A Willow Flycatcher from Bald Mountain near Cowitchan Lale in BC

The Gray Francolin, a partridge-like bird in Maui

A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in California.

 

A Male American Goldfinch. The female is shown below.

A Lesser goldfinch from Tucson

A Long-tailled Grackle (Salton Sea)

A male Black-headed Grosbeak (Salt Spring Island). Below is a female.

A female Blue Grouse on a dirt road near Shawnigan Lake in BC. It was calling its chicks and one (below) responded. The Blue Grouse is dropping in numbers on Vancouver

Island but is still fairly common in the US North-West. The male is said to be very flashy but I have never seen one although I have heard its booming mating call (it beats its

chest and makes a sound like a big drum) a few times.







A female Harrier at Boundary Bay in Vancouver




This Cooper's Hawk, perched on a boulder in our backyard, has just caught a House Finch. Struggle for life!

Another Cooper's Hawk on our fence. It is looking for dinner.

The nictitating membrane, a concealed eye lid that sweeps horizontally like a windshield wiper.

A Ferruginous Hawk at the Living Desert Museum in Tucson.

A Sharp-shinned hawk on our backyard fence. Its head and neck are smaller than those of the Cooper's hawk above.

 

 

Anna's Hummingbirds (Four males, then one female).

 

A male and a female Costas' hummingbird. Note the head feathers.

 

 

Two pictures of a male Rufous hummingbird. He is a flashy guy!

A close-up of a female Rufous hummingbird in our backyard. Check out her tiny tongue!

 A Gray Jay (also called Whisky Jack) at Mount Washington in BC. This bird was a very persistent beggar: he was very keen to get a share of our sandwich!

A Pinyon Jay at Joshua Tree National Park inJanuary 2017. This gregarious bird lives near pine nut trees (pinyon or  piñon in Spanish) in California deserts.

 

A Steller's Jay in Tofino. Below is one in our backyard.

A Western Scrub-jay in Oregon.

A male Oregon Dark-eyed Junco (in Saanich). The top picture is the summer form and the second one is the winter (duller)form.

An American Kestrel in San Diego, above, and in Tucson.This is a robin-sized raptor.

A Kildeer. In the next picture, it fakes an injury to protect its nest.

 

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Victoria

A Yellow-crowned Kinglet in our neighborhood.

A Black-billed Magpie in Telluride, Colorado. 

A Western Meadowlark at Victoria's Cattle Point.

A Northern Mockingbird in California.

This Myna from Maui is a very smart bird that can be taught to speak like a parrot.

The well camouflaged Nighthawk

 

A Clark's Nutcracker (Whistler)

A Red-breasted Nuthatch at Swan Lake. Below is another one at our feeder.

A White-breasted nuthatch in Patagonia AZ

 

A captive Eagle Owl near Bellagio in Italy.

Barred Owls at Horth Hill Park near Sidney BC. The mother (first 2 pictures) is bringing a plump field mouse to her offspring (third picture).

Another barred owl, from Northern Saanich Peninsula

A Burrowing Owl at the Chula Vista Nature Preserve.

A Chukar Partridge on Haleakala Volcano in Maui (at 2300 m altitude)

A Grey Partridge on a Maui beach

A Female Peacock and her chick at Royal Roads University. Below is a male at Victoria's Beaconhill Park.

 

Nuptial display by a male Peacock. The back view follows.

The spectacular White Peacock, a genetic variation from the usual Colored Peacock at Victoria's Beaconhill Park.

 

A male Phaenopepla followed by a female of the same.

A Golden pheasant in Kew Garden UK

A Black Phoebe, San Diego

 

A Say's Phoebe in Tucson

A Rock Pigeon at Esquimalt Lagoon.

A Band-tailed pigeon at Salt Spring Island.

Another Pigeon at Esquimalt Lagoon.

A Woodpigeon from Kew Garden

A male and a female Gambel's Quail at Phoenix, Arizona

Raven at Hurricane Ridge. Note the distinctive large beak, very different from a Crow's, above.

 

 

A Roadrunner in Palm Springs CA

A Robin from Kew Garden UK

Two robins in our backyard

A beautiful feral rooster in Maui

A Red-breasted Sapsucker at  Goldstream Park (top) and Langford Lake (bottom).

Another one at Dean Park.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers

A male Pine Siskin at our feeder.

 

A Black-throated Sparrow in California.

A Chipping Sparrow at Rythet Bog

A Fox Sparrow at Swan Lake

 

A Golden-Crowned Sparrow (Swan Lake).Following are two more pictures from our backyard.

A male House Sparrow

A Java Sparrow from Maui

A Song Sparrow.

A White-crowned Sparrow in our backyard.

A European Starling in Arizona.

A Barn Swallow

Purple martins (a kind of swallow). All the birds are male except the last one.

A Tree Swallow at Glendale Garden.

Three pictures of a Western Tanager at Finnerty Garden, Victoria

 

A Curved-bill Thrasher in Arizona.

A Varied Thrush eating arbutus fruit in Saltspring Island.



A Great Tit from London UK

 

An Abert's Towhee in Arizona.





A juvenile male Spotted towhee. One can tell it's a juvenile because the eyes are yellow-brown. The towhee below is an adult (red eyes)




An excellent picture of a male spotted towhee



 A female spotted towhee in Victoria: its colours are similar to the male's but duller.

A Turkey Vulture at a Saanich beach. Below is a better picture of a captive Vulture taken at the Living Desert Garden and Zoo in Palm Springs

A Verdin (male) in Arizona.

A male Yellow Warbler at Rythet's Bog

A male Yellow-rumped Warbler at Swan Lake. Below is another one in Palm Springs in California

 

A male Cedar Waxwing in Portland, Oregon.

Here is another one at the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Vancouver.


A male Gila woodpecker from Tucson

A Hairy woodpecker near our house

A male Pileated Woodpecker. Below is a female (she has no red beard).

A Pileated Woodpecker in flight. Its striking white feathers cannot be seen when it is at rest.

 

A Bewick Wren in Tucson

 

A Cactus Wren in Arizona.

A Marsh Wren at Swan Lake

horizontal rule

A Rock wren near Palm Springs

A Winter Wren at Rythet's Bog in Victoria.

Back to beginning

Mammals

 A wary female black bear and her offspring in Northern Vancouver Island. 

A female coyote in the Rocky Mountains. Below is a coyote from the Palm Springs area.

A mule deer (with big ears contrary to the usual White-tail or Black-tail deers) at Hurricane Ridge in Washington State

A very nice male Deer in our neighborhood. Deers abound here.

Here is a doe and her very young offspring in Strathcona Park.

An unusual scene: this deer was swimming in the sea at our local beach. Maybe he was itching from insect bites.


A Hoary Marmot at Whistler (its nickname is whistler because it whistles when alarmed)

Some migrating Monarch butterflies in Tucson.

A Mountain Goat and its kid near Jasper

A female Bighorn sheep and her baby at Lake Maligne. Below are some male Bighorn sheep at a mountain near Palm Springs.These two pictures were taken with a very

good telephoto lens since the sheep were hundreds of meters away.

 

 

A Muskrat near Nanaimo

A basking River Otter in Victoria Harbor

An inquisitive raccoon on Newcastle Island near Nanaimo.

A Fire salamander from a wet meadow in Italy near Bellagio. The yellow parts of its skin produce a very toxic venom that can severely injure or even kill mammals including humans.It's beautiful however!!

An artistic picture of a Harbour Seal at Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf.

A young seal near San Diego and another one at East Sooke.

Young seals at Witty's Lagoon.

A Golden-mantled ground Squirrel at the Newberry  National Volcanic Monument in Oregon

A Garter Snake on a Saanich rural road.

A Round-tailed squirrel from Phoenix, Arizona

A Tasselled-eared squirrel from Mount Lemmon, Arizona

 

A Western Painted Turtle in our neighborhood. 

A large (2 m long) Sea turtle basking on a beach in Maui

Three basking turtles and a duck in our neighborhood. Notice the baby turtle on top of a bigger turtle.

A Humpback whale off Maui.

Wild Spring Flowers

Blue-eyed Mary

Skunk Cabbage

Camas Lily, a very common edible bulb.

Western White Fawn Lily

Indian Pipe. A strange, ghostly flower. 

Marsh Marigold (Rolston Trail)

Fairyslipper orchids (Calypso bulbosa)

Satin Flower

Shooting Stars

Spreading Stonecrop (Sedum divergens), a nice wild succulent plant.

White Trillium

Other Pictures

A blue dragonfly on our fig tree.

A very nice Starfish (25 cm wide) on our local beach at a very low tide. Following are other kinds of Starfish that I photographed on the West Coast in recent years. Unfortunately,

most starfish of the West Coast have recently died due perhaps to a viral disease.

A spotted brown Starfish

A Sunstar (a many-armed Starfish)

A small red Starfish (10 cm across) 

A thick Spotted Starfish

Another Starfish

A Sea Anemone (Diameter is 5 cm. Height is 10 cm.) hanging from a rock at low tide

 

A nice Woodland Snail (6 cm from head to tail)

Back to beginning

Back to the Web page portal

Updated on 30 April  2017