2020

Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

All throughout 2020, our local photographers have been capturing the best of our feathered friends and furred friends and neighbours. Check out their work that has appeared in the Pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser over the past months. This is Part V.

Above two photos: In addition to their omnivorous diet, Canada Jays enjoy a treat of cat or puppy kibble and will grab several pieces at once. They manipulate them in their mouths, coating them with very sticky saliva and forming them into a ball that will be cached, usually in a tree – under a bit of bark or lichen or within a cluster of conifer needles. Thousands of balls of food will be stashed during summer and fall and retrieved when winter snows cover most other food sources. Canada Jays are masters of memory and will remember the locations of most of their caches. Helga Knote photo

This male Hairy Woodpecker stopped by for a drink of fresh water. The red spot on the back of the head differentiates it from the female, which is simply black and white. Helga Knote photo

A Handsome Bighorn Sheep enjoying a family outing. Miriam Saville photo

A determined little Black-capped Chickadee spotted an opportunity for a free meal when someone left a handful of birdseed on one of the fence posts along the lake. Chickadees are one of our reliable winter birds and can often be seen flitting about in thickets and dense brush as well as frequenting bird feeders. Helga Knote photo

Just before ice completely covered Idlewild Lake, a small flock of Canada Geese gathered there to do a last bit of foraging in the shallows. One pair enjoyed a stretch and nap on the ice while the late afternoon sun kept temperatures mild. Helga Knote photo

This bald eagle made several unsuccessful attempts to snatch a waterfowl at Elizabeth Lake before flying off to the south. Stewart Wilson photo

This Downy Woodpecker was just beginning to drill into the tree trunk in its search for insects. Stewart Wilson photo

A Townsend’s solitaire caught in a quiet moment. Stewart Wilson photo

One of a pair of blue jays playing hide and go seek with the photographer on 15th Street South. Stewart Wilson photo

A Redhead, Common Goldeneyes and a Mallard. Craig Montgomery photo

A young tundra swan is too tuckered out to swim. Miriam Saville photo

A beautiful Snow Bunting pausing a moment to enjoy a snack. Miriam Saville photo

Mr. and Mrs. Goldeneye enjoying a morning swim. Miriam Saville photo

A young Mule Deer carefully picking its’ way through the brush. Miriam Saville photo

Muskrat heading for a swim. Miriam Saville photo

A flock of tundra swans take off from a frozen Elizabeth Lake. Tundra swans are smaller than trumpeter swans. They also have distinctive yellow patch on the black facial skin in front of the eye. Juvenile tundra swans have mostly pink bills. Stewart Wilson photo

Waterfowl including northern shovelers and mallards take flight at the spray irrigation ponds near Rampart. Stewart Wilson photo

Female Merganser enjoying a moment in the sun. Miriam Saville photo

Above and below: After watching waterfowl on open water at partly frozen Elizabeth Lake from its perch on a conifer branch, an immature bald eagle flew down landing on the ice close to a group of trumpeter swans and other waterfowl (at right). It remained there as a reminder and a threat while swans, coots, mallards and wigeons continued feeding a little more cautiously than before. Stewart Wilson photos

A Northern Pygmy Owl. Robert Woods photo

American Dipper pausing for a moment on a twig. Miriam Saville photo

Clark’s Nutcracker sitting on top of the world. Miriam Saville photo

This is one of a pair of squirrels which were chasing each other up and down trees and across the ground at Elizabeth Lake until they both stopped just as suddenly as they had begun to feed on some seeds. Stewart Wilson photo