Large Land Birds

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California Quail

California Quail, Vancouver Island, BCThe 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….

 

 

Northwestern Crow

Northwestern Crow, Vancouver Island, BCThe 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….

 

 

 

Peafowl

Peafowl, Vancouver Island, BCA peafowl’s feathers on its body are quite beautiful both in the front as well as back. The males exhibit incredible green feathers in their beautiful, elongated tail trains. Both males and females possess green plumage which has tan mottlings right from their crests to tails. The peahen has no fantail though. For being such a beautiful bird, their call is quite unpleasant. Read More….

 

 

Raven

Raven, Vancouver Island, BCCommon 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

Ring Neck Pheasant, Vancouver Island, BCWith 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 close to hand. Read More….

 

 

 

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse, Vancouver Island, BCThe 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….

 

 

Sooty Grouse

Sooty Grouse, Vancouver Island, BCThe 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….

 

 

Raven, Vancouver Island, BC
Raven, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Walking out in the forests of Vancouver Island You get to see the big land birds. The ravens, crows, quails, grouse and pheasants. These are the large land birds that live on or visit Vancouver Island. When I go mushroom picking in the fall I usually attract a Raven who will hang out all day chatting with his huge vocabulary. 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. Small but growing populations are also found in the Appalachian Mountains and northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and New York. These birds do not migrate. They can be found on all of Vancouver Island and in the Qualicum area, you can see the white raven, these birds are incredible to see, pure white and beautiful..

Sooty Grouse, Vancouver Island, BC
Sooty Grouse, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The sooty grouse is found from British Columbia south to California. The sooty grouse was called the blue grouse until 2006 when the blue grouse was split into two species, the sooty grouse and the dusky grouse. The dusky grouse is found in the Rocky Mountains, from the Southern Yukon and Northern British Columbia, south into northern Arizona and western New Mexico. The sooty grouse is found in bush areas in coastal rain forests, burned areas, mountain forests, and sub alpine forest clearings including all of Vancouver Island. In warm months, the sooty grouse eats seeds, berries, and insects. In the winter, the sooty grouse eats conifer needles. Some sooty grouse are short distance migratory and, depending on where the food is, travel to either higher or lower elevations.

The California quail was first introduced to Vancouver Island in the 1880s and they increased in numbers for the next 70 yrs and were quite prevalent by the 50s, but then the numbers started to decrease. I would assume this is due to loss in habitat. They can still be found in open tracts of land surrounded by bush.

Pheasant, Vancouver Island, BC
Pheasant, Vancouver Island, BC

With its exotic plumage, and long streamer 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. A native of Asia, the pheasant was first introduced to British Columbia in 1882. There have been many introductions in various parts of the province, with birds coming from England and China. Many of the introductions have failed, and today viable populations are found mainly in the Fraser Valley, Southeastern Vancouver Island up to Campbell River area, the Okanagan Valley, and the Creston and Salmon Arm areas. In some cases, the populations are augmented on a regular basis.

Northwestern Crow, Vancouver Island, BC
Northwestern Crow, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Northwestern crows are large black birds with long, solid bills. You can tell them apart from the common raven by their smaller size, slightly rounded tails and high pitched voices.The northwestern crow that lives on Vancouver Island is an awesome bird to observe. You can see the intelligence in their eyes as they look at you. The northwestern crow is smaller than the closely related american crow and have huskier voices. Many birders believe that the northwestern crow is not a true species, but rather, a subspecies of the american crow. Northwestern crows are omnivorous and eat a diet of vegetation and animal life. They will eat land and marine creatures including fish, snakes, frogs, bird eggs.

 

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