Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Birding at Thirty Below

Yesterday it was -30°C (-22°F) in Calgary - all day long.  Today it had warmed up to a balmy -23°C (-10°F) by late afternoon so I headed out for a brisk walk around Inglewood Bird Sanctuary to see how the birds were making out with the weather.  I snapped a few photos (click to enlarge as usual!) along the river and enjoyed the company of friendly chickadees.
A huddle of Canada Geese settling down for the night
This Northern Flicker landed quite nearby and then hopped on to another nearby rock.  Why?....
...even in the coldest weather a bird's got to drink!
More riverside geese with Common Goldeneye in the background.
I ended up finding ten species in the forty-five minutes that I was able to handle the cold:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Mallard
  3. Common Goldeneye
  4. Bald Eagle
  5. Northern Flicker
  6. Hairy Woodpecker
  7. Black-billed Magpie
  8. Black-capped Chickadee
  9. Bohemian Waxwing
  10. European Starling

It's remarkable how many birds seem so utterly unfazed by even the coldest weather - if you've got the clothing, go out and see what you can find!


  1. It's amazing to watch diving ducks at that temperature, surrounded by slushy chunks of floating ice. I have also seen Muskrats going in and out of the river at -25 C, acting as if it were a warm summer day. So it's not just birds than can handle it!

  2. Great flicker photo and I like the foggy background for the geese!

  3. Thanks Larry - it was REALLY cold but worthwhile. Enjoying your blog BTW particularly the birding by bus post - to me the travel adventure (even on a local scale) is a great part of birding.