Favourites‚ part two (and blue)….

No, not Ospreys part 2. That’s still in the works and won’t be ready for a bit….

Mountain Bluebird male
Mountain Bluebird

Instead, I want to confess to my preference for blue birds. My colleague Nick, who lives in Abbotsford, BC, shares this passion; in fact, he probably realized his before I did mine. Regardless, we’re nuts about bluebirds, Blue jays, jays that are blue, and even kingfishers and herons and Dippers that are blue-ish or almost so. In the 12 years that I lived at The Coast, I never saw a bluebird there, so I had to content myself with the occasional Steller’s Jay or Great Blue Heron.  When Mountain Bluebirds, Scrub Jays, and the occasional Blue Jay deigned to visit Greater Vancouver, I failed to photograph a single one! But since I’ve moved inland, it has been a different story. Even Nick, who never dipped when coastal accidentals appeared, has admitted that the opps for blues up here are pretty amazing.

So here’s to celebrating the blues!

Bluebirds: in the Okanagan we’re blessed to have two species to feast our eyes on—the Western Bluebird and the Mountain Bluebird. Love ’em both, but must confess I’m a little more partial towards the latter. WEBL males are very hard to capture to my standard. I’ve better luck with WEBL females, especially the one featured today who was a great poser. I discovered her at White Lake, west of Oliver, BC, and had two extended photo sessions with her several weeks apart. These shots were taken on the same day….

To see enlarged image, click on it. To return to this page click the x in the top right corner.

The shot below, also a female, was taken northeast of Kelowna along Beaver Lake Road, east of Winfield, BC—a very popular location for both species of bluebirds. Click to open enlarged image in a new tab….

Western Bluebird
(Sialia mexicana) Beaver Lake Road, Winfield, BC. I like the way the bird appears to float on a strand of barbed wire. And yes, we bumpkins often like to chew on a haystalk….

The male WEBL (also at Beaver Lake Road) is much darker in colour:
To see enlarged image, click on it. To return to this page click the x in the top right corner.

Bluebirds, as you may know, are members of the Thrush family, which includes our common American Robin and the somewhat rarer Townsend’s Solitaire. It’s always a bonus to get a twofer, and especially so when they’re different species of the same family.

Two thrushes - Robin & W. Bluebird - 1
Another image taken at White Lake, BC.

Mountain bluebirds are found throughout the Interior and are especially available during the immigration in spring and the emigration in fall. My favourite place to photograph them is the Kane Valley, southwest of Merritt, a little over an hour’s drive from home. Beaver Lake Road also provides great photo opps as does the White Lake Grasslands Protected Area west of Okanagan Falls and Oliver.

Mountain Bluebird male – Version 2
Kane Valley Road has been very good to me! CLICK TO ENLARGE….

Well, that’s enough for this post. Will add more blue birds in a subsequent article.
Hope you enjoyed these ones!

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