2020

Urban wildlife Part VII: The East Kootenay birds of 2020

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

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 VII.

Pictured above: A Northern Flicker contorting to get at the suet. Kathleen Opal photo

Finding water during winter is especially challenging for birds in winter. This black-capped chickadee found some meltwater by a storm drain outlet at Elizabeth Lake.Stewart Wilson photo

Above: Male Bufflehead taking off. A buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds, the tiny Bufflehead spends winters bobbing in bays, estuaries, reservoirs, and lakes. Males are striking black-and white from a distance. A closer look at the head shows glossy green and purple setting off the striking white patch. Females are a subdued gray-brown with a neat white patch on the cheek. Bufflehead nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America. Miriam Saville photo

A coot on a walkabout at a parking lot at Elizabeth Lake. Its long lobed toes help it move through water where it is usually found, but the area of open water is shrinking as is the number of waterfowl. It may not be long before it migrates. Stewart Wilson photo

Pine Grosbeaks are our largest finches and a welcome sight in the winter. The males are a showy pinkish red, with younger, immature males often sporting shades of orange, while the females are grey with yellow or russet tones on the head and rump. They eat mostly seeds, buds and fruits of various trees, shrubs and other plants and will visit feeders at this time of year. Helga Knote photo

Female Mallard shaking water off her feathers after a quick afternoon bath. Miriam Saville photo

A Gray-Crowned Rosy-Finch. Helga Knote photo

Juvenile Bald Eagle soaring over Bull River.Miriam Saville photo

Magpie pausing for a moment on a fence post. Miriam Saville photo

A kingfisher on a perch overlooking Joseph Creek as it flows into Idlewild Lake. Stewart Wilson photo

Small and compact, the Pygmy Owl has a large circular head without ear tufts. Hunts during the day and is often mobbed by songbirds, making it easy to identify. Miriam Saville photo

A Pileated Woodpecker posing before flight. Kathleen Opal photo. Kathleen Opal photo

An American dipper (water ouzel) surfaces after feeding on aquatic insects on the St. Mary River by St. Eugene Mission Resort. This hardy bird is able to stay underwater for a short time as it walks along the bottom of the riverbed searching out food hiding under small rocks. Stewart Wilson photo

Above and below: A small family group of Wild Turkeys have discovered the fallen sunflower seeds beneath our bird feeders and stayed for a while to take advantage of a free meal. The low winter sun illuminates the iridescence of their feathers, a striking rainbow of colours. After a couple of hours of foraging, a wing and tail stretch is in order! Wild Turkeys are a non-native species that was introduced into the Creston Valley in the 1960’s and have spread throughout the East and West Kootenays, with a few even being spotted in the South Okanagan. Helgo Knote photo

One of a quartet of pine grosbeaks feeding on berries at Elizabeth Lake. Stewart Wilson photo

Female Bufflehead. Miriam Saville photo

A pair of snow geese joined Canada geese as they flew up from the St. Mary River at the Mission against the backdrop of the Rockies. Later the same pair were spotted on one of the fairways at the St. Eugene Mission Resort. Stewart Wilson photo

Above: Joanna Popoff’s kindergarten students from Gordon Terrace Elementary did not see a muskrat at Elizabeth Lake but were excited to walk on the ice close to shore to get a closer look at its lodge and learn more about how it builds its home and which materials it uses. Below: The Gordon Terrace students did spot this downy woodpecker on their field trip to Elizabeth Lake and watched closely as it tapped away on the trunk of the tree looking for something to eat. Stewart Wilson photos

A herd of more than thirty elk were having a large family gathering at St. Eugene Golf Resort by the St. Mary River. Stewart Wilson photo

This wolf spider was moving slowly across the ice at Elizabeth Lake. It is able to survive winter conditions because it shelters in burrows when the temperature drops below -5. Stewart Wilson photo

This water boatman frozen in ice may survive winter thanks to antifreeze proteins which prevent its body from freezing completely. Stewart Wilson photo

This chrysalis was spotted on the wall high above the entrance to the post office. Stewart Wilson photo

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