It’s no secret that I love natural history and biology. Getting outside to see what I can see always clears my head. I don’t own fancy binoculars or a scope for birding, just an average pair of binoculars and the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Western North America. I don’t own a fancy camera either, but my phone is alright in a pinch. I’m certainly not going to recieve any awards for my photography, and birds move awfully quickly, but I did manage to take a few photos from various outings this term, and the only passable photo was my Barred Owl that was found out past Sooke on the side of the highway.
On another day this term I came across another Barred Owl in the park behind my building. In the Highrock Park behind my building I often see Rufous Sided Towhees, Dark Eyed Juncos, Northern Flickers, and accipiters (a group of Hawks that prefer Forrest settings) like Sharp Shinned and Coopers Hawks in the mixed Douglas Fir and Garry Oak ecosystem. I think it’s important to note that making time for relaxation can be as simple as taking a short walk in an urban green space.
The other day I even found a fresh owl pellet complete with mouse bones! I’ll spare you the imagery, but dissecting owl pellets is a great classroom activity for students of all ages. Here is an excellent guide for how to do owl pellet dissections safely, and avoid exposure to harmful bacteria and viruses. Owl pellets are available form scientific suppliers.
This term I made sure to make the time to stop by Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary twice in the way home from classes. I also made time for another trip to Viaduct Flats and Esquimalt Lagoon. Located off Mackenzie Avenue-Swan Lake is excellent bird watching and it’s very accessible. There are other wonderful and easily accessible places in Victoria to take a time out and watch for some birds. These include:
-The Cedar Hill Golf Course
This blog has been named ‘Halcyon’ in part because it means to calm. In addition to Greek myths and the calling of the stormy sea-in biology the name halcyonidae was also given to the family of tree kingfishers, and I love that connection.
I’m really thankful for time to get outside and explore the identity of birds. I discovered that s a great app called Merlin ID online. You can explore and identity bird no hear their calls for identification purposes.The Merlin ID also talks about bird habitat.
I love to be out and about in nature, and then explore the species that I spotted when I’m home in the comfort of my den.
I get a lot of peace from casual bird watching, and it’s a nice way to spend time with family and friends.