Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
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 Post subject: Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You
PostPosted: Dec 04 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Jul 07 2:34 pm
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Location: Vancouver
I haven’t posted for a long time. The site was appearing to be moribund, but a quick look today reveals some life in the website.

These photos are from the end of September at Point Roberts. (I’m just finalizing this batch now.)

Several species of ocean-going birds are seen at Point Roberts, but seldom if ever seen at other nearby locations. One of these rare species is the Parasitic Jaeger. They breed in the far north, but sometimes come south after breeding season. Many other birds hate them as they rob nests and steal eggs.

They tend to harass small birds like Common Terns and Bonaparte’s Gulls. In the sequence below, two light morph Parasitic Jaegers are harassing a Bonaparte’s Gull. The Gull has given up some food and it is floating down in the air. The white spot. The Jaegers immediately give up the chase and go after the food, with one catching it in the air.

This species is an outstanding flyer, capable of rapid turns and high speed chases.

I wonder how the Gull learned to take this action. Akin to a bank robber throwing cash out of his car in order to distract chasing police. Both the Jaegers and the Gulls and Terns must have learned this behaviour.

Very distant photos, but they illustrate this event. On this outing there were at least 4 Jaegers flying about, perhaps as many as 6.

There are some additional “Prelim” photos of this outing on the Flickr page. In one shot a Gull is attacking a swimming Parasitic Jaeger.


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MikeDB
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdbug3/


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 Post subject: Re: Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You
PostPosted: Dec 04 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Aug 05 12:03 pm
Posts: 1905
Location: north shore
Happy to see your work again Mike, keep em coming!

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Paul Kusmin
http://punkbirdr.photo
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Digital (photo) Life List:
292 birds B.C. / 446 birds N.A. / 1020 birds World (including NA)


Hey you kids, no pishing the Mountain chickadees!


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 Post subject: Re: Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You
PostPosted: Dec 04 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Oct 20 9:44 pm
Posts: 1234
Location: Victoria, B.C.
very interesting event and great background info Mike. nice to learn something new. lol on the police reference. reminds me of Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop.


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 Post subject: Re: Cough Up Or We'll Hurt You
PostPosted: Dec 05 10:36 am 
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Joined: Jul 07 2:34 pm
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Location: Vancouver
Addendum.

Late last Summer, a member of the smallest species of Jaegers set up shop in Kelowna by the lakefront. A Long-tailed Jaeger. As I had photos of the other two species, the Parasitic and the Pomarine Jaegers, I drove there hoping to see the bird.

It was an amazing bird to watch. Firstly, it was fearless. It sat beside the pedestrian walk around the lake and didn't move when walkers came by with their dogs. When food was available, it ignored larger birds like Gulls and just went for it.

The most surprising behaviour, though, was seal-like or dog-like. A couple sat on a bench overlooking the water and tossed a piece of a sandwich to the Jaeger. It walked over and stood about 10 feet away from them and waited (expecting that it had trained them properly). When the people started to toss a sandwich piece to the Jaeger, it leaped into the air like a dog to grab the piece in flight.

At that point I wished I had brought along a tin of sardines. It probably would have done backflips for such a treat.

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