Bird Nerds' Bird Search
We're closing in on 1000 photos on this website so we made this handy tool to help us easily find a particular bird or photograph.
Red-naped sapsuckers have a larger red spot on the back of their necks and hang out more in Southern Alberta
Female lark buntings look different than males and our sighting took a while to ID (lifer)
Northern flickers spend a lot of their time on the ground feeding on insects
Lewis's woodpecker will often act like a fly-catcher hunting insects on the wing. This was a lifer sighting for us
Bill length is not the best way to differentiate short-billed and long-billed dowitchers
When a white-faced ibis shows up every birder in the area will flock to them
Some pectoral sandpipers make a round-trip migration of ~30,000km each year!
Dunlins are another rare sighting in Alberta because of their tendency to migrate almost non-stop through the province #lifer
During breeding season willet populations moves inland to nest in grasslands and prairies near freshwater
Semipalmated sandpipers are so small that we naturally assume they're least sandpipers at first glance
Merlins were formally known as 'pigeon hawks' and they resemble them in flight
The first few robin sightings are awesome but by the start of May they're less exciting
Rough-legged hawks have a dark belly compared to ferruginous hawks but both wear 'pants'
American tree sparrows migratory habits indicate the arrival of spring and fall
We were relieved to see tree swallows this year because it took longer than usual
Hudsonian godwits migrate through North America (often non-stop) and are a rare sighting in Alberta #lifer
Black-necked stilts are a beautiful bird that hangs out in dreary environments
Marbled godwit's long beak helps them get buried prey and is often covered in mud
Every winter we anxiously await the return of the world's largest falcon but this season was the first time we've managed to see a gyr falcon (from very far away)
We learned to track mallards and other ducks in order to see more prey birds
Juvenile bald eagles seem less cautious than matures but they still don't like people much (which is a good thing)
Pointing out bald eagles to budding birders and naturalists is a good way to raise appreciation
Snowy owls must capture the equivalent of 7 to 12 mice a day to meet their food requirements
This warbler-like bird took us a few minutes to ID. We think it's a common yellowthroat.
Like most birders from Alberta we freak out when we see a male American redstart
Mountain bluebirds are easy to find but western bluebirds and eastern bluebirds are very rare
Mourning doves have neato eyes -- they look like old-timey cartoon characters
Red-winged blackbirds and geese were by far the most common birds we saw near Pincher Creek
It's easy to mistake a caspian tern for a gull because they are similar size and fly like gulls
Although most cranes are seen during migration many nest in the foothills and boreal forests
Flycatchers are a species we've been paying more attention to and the least flycatcher is the most common
A violet-green swallow landed right near us but was backlit -- still a cool sighting
California gulls are amazingly adaptable -- webbed feet but finding food in an A&W parking lot? Impressive!
We got some photos of birds we don't see close up very often such as bank swallows
In a couple fields we spotted long-billed curlews which stand out with their impossibly long bill
Another bird we expected to see in the badlands environment were rock wrens
American goldfinch are a crowd-pleaser with their bright colours and uplifting song
Western kingbirds are common where we vacation in Mexico so it's neato seeing them in Alberta
We have been checking every goldeneye to see if they are a Barrow's goldeneye and we finally saw one that was
We saw a saw-whet owl in a popular park and played it cool so that a crowd wouldn't gather and disturb it
Black-necked stilts were the first shorebird migrant we saw this year and they have been abundant
American kestrels are a Bird Nerds' favourite and have been hard to photograph
Lots of sparrows show up in May and one of the first are white-crowned sparrows
There are a few days during migration where we see horned grebes in city parks
Robins are comfortable in the wilderness even though most people think of them as city dwellers
In California some magpies have a bright yellow bill and are called yellow-billed magpies
Northern shrike's mask doesn't extend over the eye or bill like a loggerhead's does
The common goldeneye is a great duck and we are happy to see them back in the province
With underwater vision and sealed nostrils cormorants are built for aquatic mastery
Red-tailed hawks are mostly pale below with dark bits around the tips and edges. They also have a dark belly band
Red-breasted mergansers look crazed and are a fairly rare sighting in Alberta
Tufted ducks wander to the Pacific Coast from Asia but have only been sighted in Alberta once before (in 1992)
We hadn't seen pine grosbeak in a while so we were happy to find a flock in Weaselhead
Ruffed grouse can digest bitter (sometimes toxic) plants that many other birds can’t
The loss of its fourth toe may help three-toed woodpeckers deliver powerful blows
Our book says black-backed woodpeckers 'are rarely seen even by the most committed naturalist' so we felt lucky spotting one
Usually when we see grey jays we're looking for something else but still happy to see them
Although our guides showed belted kingfishers in the area we are pretty sure we saw ringed kingfishers instead
The magnificent frigatebird is fairly common in the area but we almost never see them perched
It's always cool seeing a local bird, like the great blue heron, halfway around the world
There are lots of species in Jalisco that look similar to the western kingbird
Some of the colours were so intense that it was tough to capture them with the camera
Painted buntings' Spanish name is colorín sietecolores which roughly means brightly coloured 7 colours
A lifer sighting on this trip was the reddish egret which was hanging out close to a crocodile
Brown pelicans would dive into the ocean just feet away from where we were swimming
Orange-breasted buntings are one of the coolest birds anywhere -- they also match our brand colours
We were able to identify all the shorebirds we saw (including whimbrels) which was pretty cool
Purple gallinules are remarkable fliers and turn up far out of their normal range quite often
Royal terns were one of a handful of species that we saw every day in the bay
One of the oldest domesticated fowl species in the world, the muscovy duck was already being kept by native people in Peru and Paraguay when the early Spanish explorers arrived
We thought we were watching a black and white warbler but the photos later showed a black-throated gray warbler -- another lifer!
The male painted bunting can make the cover of birding magazines but the female is interesting as well
The trail-head where we'd venture into the mountains was always full of birds including stripe-headed sparrows
The slender snowy egret sets off immaculate white plumage with black legs and brilliant yellow feet
The white-breasted nuthatch is another bird we can rely on seeing in winter.
It's pretty hard to miss a bald eagle considering they're the size of a child, Calgary AB.
The last few seasons all the snowy owls we have seen have been perched on telephone posts, Lyalta AB.
American dippers are awesome birds that swim in very cold fast moving streams, Calgary AB.
We are still figuring out a way to get closer to snow geese but we saw a flock of hundreds near Langdon AB.
Squirrels -- they're sometimes annoying but when you look at them up close they're pretty cute too.
We saw lots of pronghorn antelope herds including some big bucks, Maple Creek Saskatchewan.
Immature chestnut-sided warblers look like a completely different species when compared to adults, Kinbook Island PP
Yellow warblers have yellow edging on their wings which is a way to tell them apart from Wilson's warblers, Kinbook Island PP.
Vesper sparrows are a larger sparrow with a distinctive patch on their shoulder.
We were happy to find ourselves in a flock of goldfinch, Cypress Hills Saskatchewan.
Although sandhill cranes are mainly spotted during migration large numbers nest in Alberta.
Blackpoll warblers look different in the fall but the eye markings and double wing bars are distinctive, Medicine Hat.
The grey catbird is true to its name because it's grey and it makes cat noises, Kinbrook Island PP.
Even we have noticed that the eurasian collared dove is getting more common, Writing on Stone PP.
Sometimes orange-crowed warblers will have a grey head which can make for a tricky ID, Writing on Stone PP.
Even with lots of time and patience it can be tricky to photograph a Wilson's warbler, Writing on Stone PP.
Ruby-crowned kinglets can be ID'ed by their small size and adorableness, Writing on Stone PP.
Yellow-rumped warblers are probably the warbler we see most often, Kinbrook Island PP.
Sprague's pipit is becoming less common but can still be found in large areas of healthy prairie, Kinbrook Island PP.
Mourning doves were everywhere we hit on this adventure, Kinbrook Island PP.
The contrast in the face is a quick way to differentiate red-eyed vireos, Elk Island NP
The pileated woodpecker is the species that inspired the cartoon character, Elk Island NP
Black-throated green warblers, blackburnian warblers, and Towsend's warbler required us to do research so we can differentiate them, Beaverhill Lake.
We try to be mindful and appreciate all the birds we see -- even the sparrows.
The dark legs, long wings, and slightly thinner more pointed bill helps us ID Baird's sandpiper.
The chestnut-sided warbler's breeding range is at the very edge of eastern Alberta.
We were watching for a sora wen an alder flycatcher landed right in front of us.
We were birding a quiet part of Elk Island National Park when a wood bison came over to see what we were doing
The yellow-rumped warblers have been looking great this year! Seen in Confederation Park in Calgary.
We seem to see more and more black-necked stilts; seen at Frank Lake Alberta.
The blacked tip bill and darker tail identify this a common tern; seen at Frank Lake Alberta.
We haven't seen as many killdeer as we usually do this season; Frank Lake Alberta.
Chestnut-sided chickadees are common on Vancouver Island but pretty rare in Alberta.
Even when you're only a few feet away from an Anna's hummingbird they're still very small.
Although we've seen boreal chickadees many times this is our first posted photo (seen in Kananaskis Country).
Unlike other ducks, wood ducks are comfortable flying through woods (taken in Inglewood Bird Sanctuary).
Meadowlarks have the scientific name 'Sturnella Neglecta' because they were originally overlooked.
There is a rest area on our way to Brooks that has been the first place we see red-winged blackbirds of the season.
Urban sprawl stinks; we saw a moose running between houses east of Calgary.
North of brooks we drove a short loop of back-roads and saw almost 10 pheasants.
A bird dashed by quick and we caught photos of it in flight -- turns out it was a pileated woodpecker in Weaslehead.
We found a campground near Calgary where the birds are so friendly they were landing on us.
Short-eared owls are usually spotted from March to November but some over-winter.
This is the first semi-decent photo we've had of the cool-looking bufflehead.
Orioles are just fantastic! The Bullock's oriole has been spotted in Waterton NP but we saw them everywhere in Playa Grande.
We saw yellow-crowned night herons roosting in the mangroves from our boat.
The turqouise-browed motmot is the national bird of El Salvador and Nicaragua. We were very happy to spot them in CR.
Tricolored heron somewhat resemble little blue heron but have white bellies.
The male rose-throated becard is black and grey while the female is black and rufous.
The first toucan we spotted was a black-mindibled toucan. It was eating oranges in an orchard. It is the largest toucan in CR.
Grackles are amazing and we've seen them in all our travels and at home as well.
We were stunned when we saw our first red-legged honeycreeper in full breeding plumage.
The female red-legged honeycreeper might not be as stunning as the male but it's still pretty cool.
The blue-gray tanager is one of the most common garden birds in Costa Rica.
Green honeycreepers caught our eye because no birds from Alberta have this shade of green.
The white-throated magpie jay was much smaller than the magpie jays we've seen in Mexico.
Toucans make a low croaking noise similar to a frog. Did you spot the 2nd keel-billed toucan in the picture?
Collared aracari are a type of toucan that look like something out of a Tim Burton movie -- amazing!
The black-crested coquette was our 2nd favourite hummingbird lifer sighting (snowcap were our favourite).
Tufted flycatchers are an adorable bird that we saw perched high in Santa Elena.
Black-faced solitaires have a very unique call that makes them hard to locate.
The southern lapwing was first recorded in Costa Rica in 1997 and has been expanding from South America.
Orange-fronted parakeets are the first psittacidae family bird we've seen up close.
As bright as these orange-fronted parakeets are they are hard to see in vegetation.
Black-headed trogon are the only bird in CR with a yellow belly and blue eye-ring.
We were birding with a park ranger who got really excited when we spotted a Mangrove Cuckoo.
Everywhere we went in Palo Verde it was possible to spot an iguana with a quick look.
Crested caracaras are cool carrion eating birds and are everywhere in Costa Rica.
Ring-necked pheasants came into Alberta from China and Japan in 1908. Seen in Fishcreek Park
This flock of migrating grackles were about 100+ in size. Seen in Fishcreek Park.
The hermit thrush has a distinct reddish tail. Seen in Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.
We went looking for geese and found white-fronted, snow geese, and swans near Strathmore.
More research is needed on what type of hawk this is. Probably a rough-legged hawk.
Short straight bill and rufous ear patch makes us think this is a semipalmated sandpiper, Frank Lake AB
Semipalmated plover's black patches turn brown when they're in non-breeding mode, Frank Lake AB
Black bill, black legs, wings that extend beyond the body, and light speckling makes us think this is a Baird's sandpiper, Frank Lake AB
The dark eye, the red dot on the bill, and the lack of black wing tips tell us this is a glaucous-winged gull.
Black oystercatchers can be found along rocky shores from Alaska to Baja California.
Originally we looked at this and thought it might be a mew gull but now we think it's a young ring-billed gull.
We watched this gull catch and eat a crab. We think it's a glaucous-winged gull.
We didn't see the massive flocks of sandpipers like we thought we might but were happy to spot a least sandpiper.
While staking out a kingfisher we ran into a pair of white-winged crossbills.
On a trip to a local diner for pie we passed a big group of California quail. They're neat.
We thought we had sighted something amazing but we talked to our 'gull guy' and learned this is a first-year Franklin's gull.
Warblers are hard birds to photograph because they're tiny, move fast, and hang out in scrub.
Ovenbirds have neat markings on top of their heads but they look plain if you see them in a tree, Cold Lake Provincial Park.
It's a sign summer is ending when you begin seeing flocks of birds, Weed Lake.
We still think avocets are French. Their bill is like a pencil moustache. Taken at Weed Lake.
Western grebe at Frank Lake. Several species of waterfowl carry their young on their backs.
Mystery flycatcher in Sheep River Provincial Park. Perhaps a young cordilleran.
Philadelphia vieros sounds like red-eyed vireos but look totally different, Sheep River Provincial Park.
It makes sense that we see mountain chickadees closer to the mountains, Sheep River Provincial Park.
It was a proud moment when we identified a female rose-breasted grosbeak off the top of our heads, Sheep River Provincial Park.
Young wrens look even meaner than mature wrens, Sheep River Provincial Park.
The loggerhead shrike is a songbird with a raptor’s habits and they are FIERCE.
It's cool seeing a mountain bluebird in the forest because usually they're on fences.
It's good to pay attention to sparrows and chickadees and not just focus on rare birds.
Meadowlarks can disguise themselves as borrowing owls when you're searching for borrowing owls.
We call these 'cantaloupe' hummingbirds because we can never remember their name.
Sometimes we find birds we can't explain like a red Canada goose in Weaselhead.
During the May species count in Weaselhead we saw tonnes of clay-colored sparrows.
Catbirds are plain looking but have a great song and a patch of red on their tail.
This gull looked a little strange so we photographed it and believe it's a glaucous-winged gull first sighting.
Mountain bluebirds are slightly larger than a Cassin’s Finch and considerably smaller than an American robin.
It took us a while but we finally got good photos of a western grebe at Frank Lake.
It's probably pretty common for birders to visit Alberta hoping to see magpies.
Our sparrow ID skills are a bit rusty after a long winter. It took a second for us to recall what a savannah sparrow looked like.
Tree swallows nest in tree cavities; they also readily take up residence in nest boxes.
Its 'horns' are yellowish patches of feathers that it can raise and lower at will.
Likes include: dandelions, goslings and honking. Dislikes include: everything else!
On a trip to Carburn Park in Calgary a handful of Franklin's Gulls were acting like ducks near shore.
I wonder if the Brewer's blackbird is named for someone who makes beer. I hope so.
Herring gulls prefer freshwater but will drink seawater if they must, Duncan BC
We had to work against some awful coastal weather to get brant pics, Parksville BC
Black oystercatchers were added to the conservation watch list in 2014, Victoria BC
Golden-cheeked woodpeckers remind us of a tropical version of northern flickers.
We almost passed out from the heat trying to find spoonbills but it was worth it.
The vermilion flycatcher might be one of the most striking birds we've ever seen.
Although the locals referred to these as wild horses they're not native to the area.
These common redpoll were very brave because there was a snowy owl right next to them.
It was very cold when we saw this common redpoll in the Weaselhead Wildlife Area.
I only had a 200mm lens when I came by a flock of grosbeak in Edworthy Park.
We started paying more attention to gulls but see mostly ring-billed and California species.
We were searching for snow geese at Weed Lake when we saw this great egret.
Hooded mergansers are listed as rare but we've been seeing a handful in Calgary.
Two great horned owls have been hanging out at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.
Having a great grey owl watch you is special. Glad to get a non-fence photo too.
Ruffed grouse do not get enough credit for their beauty. Seen in Brown Lowery Park.
Even though they're not rare, seeing a saw-whet owl in the daytime is a feat of birding.
We were sitting on the shore of Weed Lake when this young night heron landed meters away.
The Towsend's warbler is a Bird Nerds' fav and we felt lucky to spot this one in Kananaskis.
We haven't seen too many Brown Creepers but we spotted this one in Brown Lowery.