backyard birdwatching in southern bc

I am pleased to report that the birds have now found the birdfeeders and have been visiting the yard regularly!  Every year we try to photograph and identify the different species and genders and I'm amazed at how many varieties live in our community.

new birdfeeders
A adding a new idea to the garden - a suet feeder full of yarn scraps for nest building.
bird nest building supplies

My grandmother used to put out scraps of yarn and string along the railing of her apartment balcony and spend hours watching the birds come and take the strands away.  She loved it so much she'd make a special trip to the store just to buy more when she ran out!

B "documenting" the new addition with his new camera

I wish I could have cropped the messy garden out of the photo.  I'll have to post an "after" photo of the side yard once I clean it up!

Here are a few of the regulars.... 
northern flicker
red breasted sapsucker
spotted towhee
varied thrush
chestnut backed chickadee
house sparrow (female) Isn't she precious?!?!
house sparrow (male)  They nest in our attic every year!
dark eyed junco
stellar's jay
purple finch (male and female)
rufous hummingbird
great blue heron
And I even captured this fellow (lady?) from our office window up in a tree overlooking the ocean.

These photos have been taken over the past few years, and over that time I've learned that with bird photography you never know if you are going to "get the shot" or not!  Sometimes they are so fast all I get is a blurry blob and then sometimes I get shots like the one above. :o)

Our bird visitors bring us so much enjoyment, gradually we are learning all of their names and how to quickly identify who they are.  We use this book for identification and it's excellent if you live in this area! 

I also created a "Birds of our area Photo Journal" that includes all of these photos, the name of the bird, the gender (if we can tell!), the date we took the photo and the location that we saw the bird.  

turkey vulture

This spooky looking character was spotted during a hike up a mountain not far from our home.  I had no idea that he was a neighbour of ours.  Yikes! ;o)

If you have a birdfeeder in your yard or have photographed some of your local species 
I'd love to see them.
Living on the west coast I dream of seeing a real cardinal one day!

Thanks for stopping by.
~ joey ~


  1. Pure magic! You go so many wonderful photographs :-)

  2. How fun! I love bird watching. in this house we don't have a really good way to watch the birds. No trees except our front where we can't see the birds. But it is fun to put bird seed out there for them. In a previous house we had an owl that would come every eve at dusk to sit in our tree. He was beautiful and I would sit and wait for him to come. We loved it.


  3. Thank you for your kind comment, but there have been a few missed photos too! Like the owl that only came to visit for a few minutes one night and the photo was too dark. :o(
    What an amazing experience Becca, seeing nature so close up is so exciting! I'd love to know if there was a reason why he kept returning to your yard (other than to say hello to you!) We have basically one branch to hang feeders from that can be clearly seen from the house so this year I hung the hummingbird feeder from a hook on the fence. We're still waiting for the Rufous to return I'm not sure where they are?!

  4. Very cool, because of course you get some different species than we do here in Southern New England. We often hear the birds more than see them. We do have a feeder, but I hung it off a tree right next to what we call the "scrubby," which is the wetland setback area full of brush and trees. Right now it's still mainly nuthatches, goldfinches (they're getting brighter!), chickadees, titmice, and cardinals. Our towhees will be back soon, but I haven't heard one yet. I love love love to hear the towhees. We hear owls all summer at night--barred owls--and sometimes I even hear a whip-poor-will. That always makes me smile!

  5. Oh Amy I would love to see a goldfinch! We apparently have them here but I've never seen one. Our book says that they breed from southern Canada south to CA, OK, GE (I hope I got those abbreviations correct?) And they winter in all but northern fringe of breeding area so we won't see them until later in the year. It said they often don't begin to lay eggs until early July. Sorry I'm being a bird nerd! Sounds like you are in a wonderful area to observe nature!
    ~ joey ~

  6. Wow Joey, this is such a beautiful post! We love our bird feeder and are so fond of our bird friends. We saw a pine grosbeak the other day which we hadn't seen yet this winter, and are awaiting the spring birds visiting again. Still a while before the hummingbirds and robins make their way up here!

  7. Hi Taisa,
    I just looked up a Pine Grosbeak in our book as I've never seen one. I like how the male is red and the female is yellow, makes for easy identification! Still no hummingbirds here either, I'll let you know when they get this far.
    ~ joey ~

    1. Taisa I have just discovered this site that tracks the hummingbirds.
      There have been a few rufous sightings within about 50km of us. They should be here very soon!!! :o)

  8. Oh what a lovely post! I'll have to show this to my little Winter-bird lover! You have got quite a number of birds we do not see here. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Hi Melanie!
    Thanks for stopping by! I hope your little one enjoys seeing who's been visiting our feeders. Isn't watching and learning about birds is a wonderful hobby for children? I'm so glad that we have some so I can play and learn too! tee hee! ;o)
    ~ joey ~


I really enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas about the posts that I write here. It's nice to just say hi too!
~ joey ~