Open Field Birds

A message from Bud

House Finch, Vancouver Island, BC
House Finch, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan


American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch, Vancouver Island, BCThe American Goldfinch prefers to nest in trees located in open spaces. Roadside trees and forest edge trees surrounding fields are among the preferred locations of the American Goldfinch. The American Goldfinch is well known for being a very good nest builder. Read More….



American Robin

American Robin, Vancouver Island, BCThe American Robin can be found throughout North America. Male robins have a dark gray to almost black back and tail with a rusty red colored breast. The female is paler all over. The juvenile robins have a spotted breast. Robins can live up to five years. Read More….



Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna Hummingbird, Vancouver Island, BCThese hummingbirds live year-round on the south coast, it is thought that after the second clutch fledge in late May/early June that some of these birds move into the high country for the mountain flowers. However, they return to the nesting sites on the south coast and around Victoria on Vancouver Island by early fall where they remain to breed. Read More….



Band Tailed Pigeon

Band Tailed Pigeon, Vancouver Island, BCBand-tailed pigeons are dark grey on the wings and back and a lighter grey on the chest and belly, they have bright yellow beaks and feet, a white crescent-like marking at the base of the neck, and a dark grey band on its tail. The range of this beautiful bird is on the west side of the continental divide, from Alaska down to South America. Read More….



Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow, Vancouver Island, BCIf you look up in the sky and see swallows flying, look at the tail, if it is forked it is a barn swallow. They have a very deep v or notch in the tail that helps them maneuver in flight as they catch insects. The barn swallow has a dark uniform blue back, the throat is a deep red color that fades into a light brown belly. A white stripe runs through the tail underneath. Read More….



Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher, Vancouver Island, BCThe belted kingfisher has a large head, a bushy crest, and a large black bill. They are stocky fishing birds, up to 45 cm tall. The male plumage is blue-grey above with a large white collar, a broad gray breast band, and white underparts. They have a small white spot next to each eye. Read More….



Brewers Blackbird

Brewers Blackbird, Vancouver Island, BCWatching the first brewers’ blackbirds arrive at my feeders is such a joy. Sometimes there will be hundreds of mixed males and females and to watch the males take turns giving a short courtship dance one after another while they give the sharp trilling call that they are known for is almost like a comical play. Read More….



Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow, Vancouver Island, BCChipping sparrows can be found in a variety of habitats like open forests and forest edges, especially coniferous forests. They prefer forests with thick undergrowth. The Chipping Sparrow eats mostly seeds, especially in the fall and winter but during the breeding season, they will eat a variety of insects as well.  Read More….



Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll, Vancouver Island, BCThe common redpoll feeds on a variety of small seeds such as birch, willow, alder, grasses, and weeds. They generally feed on small branches, using their feet to hold the food down while they pick it off with their beaks.  Read More….




Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove, Vancouver Island, BCLike mourning doves, the Eurasian collared dove likes agricultural areas and can be found in residential and urban area feeders. Often they seem to choose nest sites in dense conifers in yards in small communities on the edge of agricultural areas. Read More….



Golden-Crowned Sparrow

Golden Crowned Sparrow, Vancouver Island, BCThe male Golden-Crowned Sparrow stakes and defends a territory, he attracts a potential mate by singing his heart out from a high perch. Pairs are monogamous, and the birds will forage together during the breeding season. Read More….




House Finch

House Finch, Vancouver Island, BCHouse finches are monogamous. Males engage in a courtship display known as the butterfly flight, wherein they ascend 20 to 30 meters high and slowly glide to a perch while singing loudly. Other courtship displays such as courtship feeding and mate guarding occur.  Females prefer to mate with the brightest colored males. Read More….



House Sparrow

House Sparrow, Vancouver Island, BCThe house sparrow is a small songbird with a conical bill and a chunky body. Males have a grey crown, black bib, streaked brown upperparts, and grayish-white underparts, females are a grey buff with brown wings. Their song is repetitive, metallic, and unmusical. Read More….



Olive Sided Flycatcher

Once you hear this bird, the sound will stay with you forever. The olive flycatcher is olive-brown above with white patches on his rump easily seen when he flies. The chest has a light line dividing olive sides, the tail is short and dark. They are up to 20 cm long. They are very pretty birds. Read More….



Pacific Slope Flycatcher

Pacific Slope Flycatcher, Vancouver Island, BCMany of these birds visit the Pacific Northwest Coastal Region. The Pacific-slope flycatcher male is a very early riser, quite often singing before daylight, always close to water, you can just hear his morning calls over the nearby stream. But by afternoon, his calls have changed to a more demanding sound as he sits atop a broken tree or high branch. Read More….



Purple Martin

Purple Martin, Vancouver Island, BCPurple Martins migrate from their wintering grounds to the south coast each spring to breed during the summer months and return back south in the fall. The western purple martins’ northern limit of their breeding range is the southern Pacific Northwest Coast. We have many of them that return each year. Read More….



Red-Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird, Vancouver Island, BCThe red-winged blackbird heralds in the spring with their beautiful song. They arrive early on the south coast and sometimes they need to hang out at my feeders for a week or two as they wait for the snow to melt on the ponds. The males are hard to miss with their bright red wing patches used to warn off other males. Read More….



Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon, Vancouver Island, BCRock pigeons are common throughout the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver Island, and all the pacific northwest. These birds thrive in human habitats and are most populous in large cities but can also be found in suburban and rural locations. Pigeons do not migrate. Read More….



Savanna Sparrow

Savanna Sparrow, Vancouver Island, BCSavannah sparrows eat seeds on or near the ground, alone or in small flocks, they are constant visitors to our feeders on Vancouver Island. When startled, they usually fly up, flare their short tails, and circle around to land some yards away. In spring and summer, males sing while sitting on low perches on fences and trees. Read More….



Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow, Vancouver Island, BCThese sparrows are up to 18 cm long with heavy brown streaks on their white underparts and a very prominent spot at the top of their breast. It has a long rounded tail, relatively short wings, and a pale stripe at the center of its crown. Both male and female birds look alike. When the Song Sparrow flies, his tail pumps up and down. Read More….




Starling, Vancouver Island, BCStarlings are monogamous; they court and mate in the early spring. Most of the spring and summer is spent by paired birds in nesting and raising young. Up to 8 eggs are laid in each clutch. Adults can lay 3 broods a year. The young fledge between two and three weeks of age. Read More….



Violet Green Swallow

Violet Green Swallow, Vancouver Island, BCThe Violet-green swallow is usually the first of the swallows to arrive in early spring but are completely controlled by the weather and follow the insect hatch as they are birds that feed on the wing and exclusively on flying insects. Read More….




White-Crowned Sparrow

White Crowned Sparrow, Vancouver Island, BCThe White-crowned Sparrow is generally found in small flocks of their own mixed in with other species, during the non-breeding season. White-crowned Sparrows come out into open ground away from the forest edge as they feed, flying back to cover in a wave if disturbed. Read More….



White-Throated Sparrow

White Throated Sparrow, Vancouver Island, BCThe White-Throated Sparrow is a medium-sized sparrow with rust-brown striped upperparts, conspicuous white throat, and plain gray underparts. The head has a black and white striped crown and yellow spots between the eyes and bill. Short flights, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides. Read More….



Yellow-Headed Blackbird

Yellow Headed Blackbird, Vancouver Island, BCThe Yellow-Headed Blackbirds’ name perfectly describes the appearance of the bird itself. The males sport a bright yellow head and chest and a black body. This bird is beautiful, but his song is nothing short of awful, with guttural growls and loud squeaks. I do find his song to be interesting and unforgettable. Read More….



Vancouver Island has many types of birds and the ones who frequent the open fields and forest edges are simply amazing to watch. There are over 480 different kinds of birds that live or visit the island and many of these are open field birds. Take a walk at the edge of the forest and see for yourself. Take a walk along our many rivers and lakes and you will the open field birds, stroll along our beaches and you will see them, hike our mountain trails and you will find them in the open spaces. These are the songbirds of the open fields. Their songs will keep you entranced as you walk along.

The birds of the open fields and meadows are a wonder to watch and listen to, take a walk and see for yourself. These are the little birds, the open field birds of Vancouver Island, birds like the robins and doves, the flycatchers and sparrows, the hummingbirds and swallows, to them the open fields offer a variety of habitats.


Common Redpole, Vancouver Island, BC
Common Redpole, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

We have natural open spaces, places like river banks and open meadows, swamps, and hillside bluffs, these too have a variety of birds the rely on this type of habitat. To each of them, these environments are a special place. Each has its own living conditions and each has its own type of wild birds that use it.
Most of these birds are known as songbirds. These birds make up over half the species that live on or visit our island and make a walk on an island trail a real treat.

A forest wouldn’t be the same without these birds. What pleasure it brings to see a redwing blackbird sitting in a tree singing its heart out or a collared dove, first thing in the morning, sounding like an owl hooting. What would a forest meadow be like without the sounds of birds like the robin that makes sweet melodies or the pacific wren that can be heard throughout the year singing all day long?

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