Calgary's critters: A hinterland who's who on wildlife in the city
Have your own wildlife pictures? We want to see them
Each week in May we took a look at local wildlife, but since there are so many animals that call Calgary home here's a look at some more birds that share our city — everything from the drill master woodpecker to the pretty song birds.
- Fowl on land and water
- Beautiful birds with talons
- Bobcats and coyotes and moose, oh my!
- Rodents come in all sizes
- Have a photo of a bird or two in Calgary that you can't see below. Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This juvenile blue jay was hanging out in the Calgary neighbourhood of Lakeview. According to Canadian Geographic, blue jay's feathers are not actually blue. Instead the "bright cobalt colour is the result of the unique inner structure of the feathers, which distort the reflection of light off the bird."
National Geographic says the striking black-and-yellow western tanager, with its bright red head, is one of the more characteristic summer species of western pine forests.
The red crossbill, like this one in Calgary's Weaselhead, range from small-billed birds that feed on spruce cones to large-billed ones that specialize on pines.
The golden-crowned kinglet is boldly marked with a black eyebrow stripe and flashy lemon-yellow crest, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
A member of the finch family, the common redpoll can be distinguished by its red forehead.
The pine grosbeak is the largest and rarest of the "winter finches," according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
American white pelican
Few can fail to be impressed by the sight of the American white pelican, like these ones in Fish Creek Park.
Great blue heron
Canadian Geographic says the great blue heron is the largest heron in North America, and is mostly grayish blue.
The city says magpies are scavenger birds and are well adapted to our environment. They eat nuts, sunflower seeds, insects and small animals.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says downy woodpeckers make lots of noise, both with their shrill whinnying call and by drumming on trees.
The short bursts of drumming can be heard in spring almost throughout North America thanks to the northern flicker, like this one in Copperfield, according to the Audubon guide to birds.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says cedar waxwings collect hundreds of berries in the fall and fill the air with their high, thin whistles.
National Geographic says the red-winged blackbird is one of the most widely distributed, abundant, well-known and well-named birds in North America.
Audubon's guide to North American birds says the male yellow-headed blackbird is impressive to see, but not hear.
Birds Calgary says the mountain bluebird is an early migrant to our area, arriving in mid to late March, like this one in the Cross Conservation area just southwest of the city.
This red-breasted nuthatch hangs out in Voiter's Flats in Fish Creek Provincial Park in southwest Calgary.
The Black-capped Chickadee is found throughout Canada in tree-covered areas, according to the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
Ring-billed gulls are comfortable around humans and frequent parking lots, garbage dumps, beaches and fields. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says they nest near freshwater in the interior of North America.
This calliope hummingbird with her young is one of the five species of the fast flyer found in Canada, according to the Canadian Wildlife Federation, and the tiniest among them.
There are many other birds that reside in Calgary. Have a photo of one — such as a robin, raven or crow? Send them to email@example.com.
Stay tuned as we bring you more wildlife pictures as spring continues to ramp up. Have a picture you're particularly proud of from Fish Creek Park, then you can enter it into the Friends of Fish Creek Photography contest starting in July.