With over 350 species of birds, Saskatchewan is a solid destination for birding activities. That seems to be ringing true throughout the chilly winter months and is evident even in my backyard. As I learn more and more techniques for attracting certain types of birds into my yard, they seem to come a ‘flocking’. And they bring their friends.
I think I have even been able to get my neighbors on the bird train and there may even be some friendly competition going on for the most attractive yard for the feathery visitors.
At any given time I can see large families of sparrows can be spotted nestling contentedly in the pine tree; juncos cleaning up the fallen seeds in the snow; a downy woodpecker rapping on the maple tree; house finches hopping along the fence link; beautiful red polls who pose for me; and of course nuthatches and chickadees who have fierce speed competitions through the branches. Those are the most common yard visitors this year but certainly not the full extent. Winter birding in Saskatchewan has not disappointed.
When the summer comes the grackles, gold finches, warblers and robins will also return to my backyard. But what I really look forward to is the amazing birding in the valley when we return to our summer hangout at the cabin. Saskatchewan is a wonderful place to travel if you are into birding, especially in during the migration seasons in spring and early fall.
I will be doing a lot more birding expeditions within my province this year. As well, I have been dreaming of a 2013 filled with travel and birding. Birding here, there, everywhere! In all reality, my travel birding tour may be a bit of a stretch to fit in the five (including Northern Saskatchewan) destinations I am aiming to visit. They include Churchill, Texas, Costa Rica and if I am really lucky, Brazil. I will be ecstatic if I can even fit in four of those five.
And if not that is ok, in fact it doesn’t matter where I seem to be as there is almost always birding presence. Seeing as I am a birder that doesn’t really seem to discriminate I can find beauty within the most common of birds, whether they be a common or rare bird.
Speaking of common birds, right at this moment ravens seem to be my thing and of course you all know my love for grackles. And there must be others like me. In fact, my past post ‘My love for grackles and why it all makes sense’ has been one of my most popular so I cannot be the only one with a deep fascination for these birds.
What it really boils down to is the more I see a bird (due to its commonality), I learn so much more about it. It is that simple. Then I start to understand and predict what the bird will do/eat or where it will go. It’s enjoyable.
Quickly back to the ravens. Since there were so many I spotted during my recent winter visit to Waskesiu and due to the quality time I spent with the Tower of London ravens, I have become increasingly intrigued. This is also due in part to the historical references associated with these very intelligent birds. Read more about the Tower of London ravens here. If you are travelling to London I suggest paying these notable birds a visit.
Below is a short video of a Tower of London raven.
As I continue to travel birds may not be my sole focus or intention for my adventures but they will most certainly always be part of what I enjoy most about my journey.
For now while I am home I will continue to enjoy the delightful chatter coming from the backyard and settle for seeing my favourite images posted by great bird photographers on Instagram (which I intend to share with you in a future post). And for any of you contemplating a visit to Saskatchewan for birding, you won’t be disappointed.