Birds were not high in our agenda, but nevertheless we saw some. From the very common American Crow, to the iconic Clark’s nutcracker, we had variety to see even during autumn, when most migratory birds have already left. And a true birder will always be on the lookout for birds, even if that’s not the main purpose for the trip.
The Clay-colored Sparrow is a small seedeater. It likes to spend most of its time inside the grass, eating grass seeds while camouflaging nicely
This hen sports great camouflage, especially when standing there motionless. Her white spotting on a black belly looks incredible.
This picture shows how the wing has an iridescent blue tonality, which glows even more in direct sunlight
The American Crow is black, but its iridescent feathers glow blue in direct sunlight. Here this individual perched on a rock at Bow River.
This Dusky Grouse hen was standing in the trail that we were walking in. She probably felt confident we had not seen her yet.
This Juvenile Ring-billed Gull was perched on a rock in the middle of Bow River, as it crossed through Banff Town
The edge of this lake is very shallow, enabling wader birds like the Pectoral Sandpiper to look for food during summer and autumn.
Also in Vermillion Lakes, I spotted a group of female Northern Shovelers. But they will also come to the shallows and probe for small crustaceans and worms
The Gray Jay forages on the ground, grabbing its meal quickly, and then returning to a perch in a Pine Tree.
The Black-billed Magpie was abundant in the zone. Its plumage is highly contrasting, with white belly and black throat.
Another Juvenile spotted by the side of Minnewanka Lake. The pink legs and basal portion of the bill, along with black tip are distinctive.
A few sunrays illuminated the wings of this hen, revealing the brown colors of those feathers.
As implied by its name, it usually is found feeding on seeds, specially pine. That bill can crack hard shells!
She let us stand (or lie in our bellies) as close as we wanted, even down to one meter.
I like this portrait in that the sunlight is coming straight from the left, illuminating the face and belly of the bird, and creating a little bit of shade to the back of the bird.
This is migrant bird that is supposed to be in the south already, but still some residents continued to forage in the shallow water.
These birds are abundant in Alberta, and particularly in Banff.
This swampy area is the perfect place to dig for a meal
And then head back to the water.
I saw the Clark’s Nutcracker in different places, but this one in Lake Louise posed for the camera for a few minutes.