Kathryn has been participating in the Christmas Bird Count in Vancouver for at least the last six years while I have joined her as often as my CPA study schedule has permitted. Naturally, in 2020 the idea of even having separate groups searching an area without crossing over was deemed to high a risk, and the count was cancelled. Luckily, the barriers to entry of walking and counting birds are incredibly low and we did a count by ourselves in our usual area.
One of the highlights was a small flock of red-breasted nuthatches at a small feeder in False Creek. In total we have seen 1 of these birds in all our years in Vancouver and had a total of 5 in our count, which was pretty special.
Of course, its not just rare birds that are counted. We ended our day with sizeable tallies for crows (220), glaucous-winged gulls (144), Canada geese (138), and even pigeons (188). This little cluster on Granville Island were particularly pleasing to me as they defied human efforts to scare them away from a prime roosting spot with a fake owl.
It's natural to associate hummingbirds with summer and the tropics, but Vancouver is a year-round home to a sizeable population of Anna's Hummingbirds. Despite their tiny size, they are highly territorial birds with a very distinct and audible call so we typically find quite a few of them.
This little male was obligingly perched in Olympic Village, singing his heart out and flashing is iridescent feathers in a stunning display to either scare of competitor males or attract females.