The California Quail was brought to Vancouver island sometime between 1880 to 1890 and their numbers began to increase right away. For the next 70 years, their numbers increased until you could see them everywhere. But then during the ’50s, their numbers began to decrease. I would assume that this would be a direct result of habitat loss. Read More….
The crows and ravens are my favorite birds, they are, in my opinion, the smartest birds in the avian kingdom. The Northwestern Crow that lives on the Pacific Northwest Coast is an awesome bird to observe. You can see the intelligence in their eyes as they look at you. Read More….
Common Ravens are found in a range of habitats throughout all of Canada and Alaska and in the United States west of the Rocky Mountains south to Mexico and Central America. The Common raven has a deep voice that sometimes can seem to echo. Their vocabulary is large and includes croaks, knocks, gurgles, whistles, and screams that sound hoarse or raspy, always a joy to listen to them chat. Read More….
Ring Neck Pheasant
With its beautiful plumage and long streaming tail, there is no denying the aesthetic appeal of the Ring-Necked Pheasant. It is also highly regarded on the table, so it is no surprise that humans should attempt to keep them closer to hand. Read More….
The Ruffed Grouse, can be found in all areas of Canada and they are quite abundant on the Pacific Northwest Coast. The male ruffed grouse is about the size of a farmyard chicken. The females are a bit smaller. The ruffed grouse has a broad flat tail that is usually held down but that may be erected and spread into a half circle when they display during mating season. Read More….
The Sooty Grouse is up to 55 cm in length. The male is gray to bluish gray with a red to yellow-orange comb over its eyes. It has a yellow neck sac surrounded by white. The female is spotted brown with a dark tail. Male sooty grouse in the Rocky Mountains have a red neck sac instead of a yellow one. Read More….
The Story Of Merlin The Crow
In 1987, my wife Georgina and I were doing some spring cleaning in the yard, picking up paper and raking up winter debris, my wife was just reaching down to pick up a piece of pink paper, when it rolled over and gave her a tiny but startling squawk, my wife screamed and fell back onto the ground and called me to come quick and look.
The pink paper turned out to be a just-hatched baby crow that must have been pushed from the nest by an older sibling. It looked so weak and helpless just lying there. My first thought was to get this baby crow back into its nest, but as I looked up at the giant fir tree before me, I realized there was no way to get this hatchling back to its nest.
My next thought was, let’s raise him. So the bird whose name became Merlin was moved into the house and a great and wonderful adventure was started. I had no idea what crows ate in the wild, so l got on the phone and got hold of every organization and bird society that l could think of and asked them what l needed to do to feed and care for this little bird. Most told me it was too young and that l should just let it die.
So Merlin got a nice warm nest area right beside the wood heater where he would be warm at night and he got constant care all day long. We kept Merlin warm at night and got him to eat and over the next few months, he grew into a full grown crow. He lived on a perch in our living room and was very inquisitive about everything. If a person he had not seen before walked in, Merlin would tilt his head from side to side, checking them out and then with a loud caw he would launch himself towards the visitor and with flashing wings would land upon their head for a better look. This came as a great surprise to many of our visitors.
As he was leaving, Merlin flew around our yard a couple of times and then flew off with the other crows cawing away, almost like he was saying goodbye. He visited several times over the next few years, then we moved and l lost contact with him, l hope all is well with Merlin, he was a true friend of mine.