Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bald Eagles and Hummingbirds

Talk about a size difference, from very large to the tiniest bird!  We did get a slightly better view of that Bald Eagle in the distance that I ended yesterday's post with, but then when we got back to the interpretive centre, the feeders were overflowing with Hummingbirds!

Here's a much better and heavily cropped picture  of the Bald Eagle.  I may get used to seeing these regularly when we visit B.C., but it would be an exciting sight here in southern Ontario!

We turned away finally, and continued down the trail, hearing the chirps of small birds around us.  They turned out to be Dark-eyed Juncos.  There is huge regional variation in juncos across North America, but the two most common 'races' are the slate-coloured variation here in the east, and the Oregon variation in the west with the more clearly black head and brownish back and sides rather than dark grey and white back and sides.

Then we heard a high-pitched screaming high in the sky behind us, and saw another eagle fly in to join the first.

Forgive my enthusiasm, but I have never seen two mature Bald Eagles together in southern Ontario, my entire life.  This was pretty neat! 

Then there were the hummingbirds.  Do you know B.C. has 8 possible species of hummingbirds?  There were half a dozen visiting two feeders, and my first impression was that we were seeing 2 or 3 different species.

Part of the identification challenge is that the colours only appear in the right light.  Notice the pink when it lifts its head.
Then look at this one!  I'm used to one simple species here in Ontario, though others are sometimes sighted, but this was becoming a challenge.

Take a look at the two visions of this hummingbird, as it turned its head.  I think the bright pink identifies it as an Anna's Hummingbird.  But with plumage varying between male and female, and between immature and adult individuals, I'm left thinking these may all be the same species.

So what is this one?  I think I have a lot to learn!

I have to include this picture, the outdoor classroom, overlooking the lagoon.  As a former teacher, I was really impressed with how they were set up for school visits, at all grade levels.

Both our daughter and son-in-law are white-water kayakers;  They were interested in driving a little further to check out these rapids on the Chilliwack River.

Take a closer look at all the kayak gates!  This is one of the training runs for Olympic and World Cup level kayakers, and it's open to all.  There's a nice park on the shoreline, and varying rapids downstream for different levels of ability.  I'm thinking they'll be trying this out come spring!

Look up Tamihi Rapids, and check out the videos of kayakers practicing here.  This is challenging kayak terrain!  Meanwhile, back here on the ranch, it was a cold raw winter day, with about 10" of the white stuff on the ground now.


  1. Great shots! I love the eagles and hummingbirds!

  2. Those Hummingbirds are awesome! We don't see the Annas here:)

  3. Incredible hummingbird shots! You communed with nature and family on that visit!

  4. Lovely photos of the river and birds, but 10 inches of white stuff? On no ,, keep warm.

  5. YaY - YaY on the bald eagles, i share in your excitement!! your images are so pretty, so full of "natural" - i too like the outdoor classroom!!!

    So what is this one? I think I have a lot to learn! i thought those were ruby throated hummers - female to the left, male to the right. BUT i am no expert, just trying to maybe help!!!

  6. It's always a thrill to spot a bald eagle. Nice pics of the hummingbirds - they're so fast it's hard capture them with a camera.

  7. It is always exciting to see eagles!!
    I didn't realize that there were so many different kinds of humming birds.

  8. I love seeing the Eagles too. They winter here as you know so it is fun to go to the rivers and watch them. As for Hummingbirds we see mainly the Rufous Hummer and I know we have Anna's here but I have yet to see one and I have lived here forever. I am so glad you enjoyed you visit in the PNW and I would someday visit your area.

  9. Amazing bird sightings as here in Northern Ireland we don't have any of those ! A very scenic area!

  10. Hummers are a delight to watch, and those eagles are very impressive!

  11. Lovely photos . We get the Bald Eagles down here nesting on the river banks and down by lake Erie near Hawk cliff and get the hummers in the summer as I like to have home made sugar water out for them but my there is a lot of different breeds there though , we have had three breeds of them here this summer helps to be on the migration path to for all kinds of birds each season . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !