Plectrophenax nivalis: Snow Bunting –The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Laas Parnell took these pictures of Snow Buntings on November 9, 2017. Pam Birley had been the only one to take pictures of them previously in 2005 and 2007 on the remote cameras at Race Rocks.

This is a very pale Snow Bunting . Snow Buntings are uncommon around Victoria and best seen in late fall-early winter, so any bunting in February is unusual. This is only the fourth Snow Bunting record for the Rocky Point Bird Observatory checklist. The last picture is a poor image through a blurry remote camera 5 housing,but the only one we have so far of a male snow bunting which was taken by Pam in March 2007.
Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Sub-Phylum Vertebrata
Class Aves
Order Passerifomes
Family Emberizidae
Genus Plectrophenax
Species nivalis
Common Name: Snow Bunting
Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

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Images of Snow buntings by Laas Parnell–Ecoguardian at Race Rocks

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taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.
Garry Fletcher

Corvus caurinus:NorthWestern Crow, Race Rocks Taxonomy

The Norhwestern Crow closely resembles the American crow being black noisy and having forward facing bristles above its nostrils. The nw crow is smaller in size and has a shorter lower caw. It also has a smaller bill, smaller wings and has a greater wing beat rate.They usually inhabit coastal areas such as Race Rocks and are not thought to be birds which migrate. The crow usually forages for food near coast lines and its diet may include dead fish, crab, mussels or clams. In most regions its nest may be located at high elevations or in the branches of Conifer trees. Here at Race Rocks, the closest suitable nesting sites are on Bentinck Island.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae
Genus Corvus
Species caurinus
Common Name: NorthWestern Crow
Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

Original text by Lawson Connor, PC student Dec. 2002

Larus glaucescens: Glaucous-winged gull– The Race Rocks taxonomy

gullfeedLarus glaucescens is omnivorous, feeding on carrion, fish, invertebrates, seaweed and food stolen from other birds. One of the main sources of food for Glaucous-winged gull are the softer bodied invertebrates exposed during the low tide time at Race Rocks. It is also typical of their behavior to take their hard shelled food, such as clams, or gastropods and drop them onto rocks to break them open for eating.

This species is the only species of gull that nests on Great Race Rock. From June to September, there could be over 150 nests on the island. The adults also overwinter at Race Rocks, but occasionally disappear from the islands for a few weeks. They start their complicated behaviours aimed at establishing territories and bonding with mates as early as February or March. Their eggs are laid in June and hatching takes place in early July. In the 2002 season, 100 birds fledged successfully, after several years of failed nesting, probably due to fish shortages in the surrounding waters.

In September, the clean looking feathers of the neck and head take on a mottled gray appearance as they undergo an annual moult.


The following pictures were taken by Ecoguardian Christine Ouradou in July of 2016 and appear in logs from that time.

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gulljuvenIn this picture by Evan Ferrari , the young juveniles, capable of flight, still hang around for a daily feeding from their parent

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom :Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum :Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family :Laridae
Genus: Larus
Species :glaucescens
Common Name:  Glaucous-Winged Gull

The Glaucous winged Gull,
In June of 2000, David Mesiha and Satoshi Kimura (PC yr 25) made videos of different aspects of gull behavior while staying on the island. Thus started the archiving of videos for racerocks.com

June 1-16 : Aggression between males is frequent. This takes the form of plucking grass in a standoff and in beak pulling. In this way territories are defined as the nests are being built.

May 1: Breeding in the colony has started and will continue throughout May and June.

This video was taken in early July, 2001, from the north window of the Marine Science centre at Race Rocks. It shows the second day in the life of a sea gull chick. The parents feed the chick a small fish, probably herring or needlefish.
In June, 2016,  Lester Pearson College set up a live camera to follow the development of one of the Glaucous-winged Gull nests with eggs in the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve . Also the camera had infrared night vision.

All entries on this website tagged with Glaucous-winged gull

Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

Original text by Juan Pablo Hoffmaister, PC student Dec. 2001

Rissa tridactyla: Black legged kittiwake

PB-Black-legged -Kittiwake2

Black-legged -Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla In the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve


We received an e-mail today from Pam Birley of Leicester England with the photos of this Kittiwake she had taken using the remote controlled camera 5. This is a new photo record for Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Rissa (Stephens, 1826)
Species: tridactyla
Rissa tridactyla
Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

 

Limosa fedoa : Marbled godwit–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

donandnina-marbledgodwit

Marbled godwit  Limosa fedoa : photo by Ecoguardians Don and Nina, November 9 2015

This is the first record for the marbled godwit at Race Rocks. Don and Nina recorded it in their log today. Compare it with the whimbrels which we see almost every year in migration seasons


At least one Godwit stayed around for some time. Here are Jasper’s pictures from the log of December 15, 2015:

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Limosa
Species: L. fedoa
Binomial name
Limosa fedoa (Linnaeus, 1758)

for a good recording of their call go to: http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/marbled_godwit
Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.
Garry Fletcher 2015

 

 

Spinus tristis :American Goldfinch–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Ann Stewart, Race Rocks Ecoguardian, took these pictures of the American goldfinch ( Spinus tristis) in its winter plumage and posted them in her log of today’s date. This is the first record for this species on Race Rocks The brown nape and bright colours suggest that it is a male.  This is at the extreme northern range for these birds at this time of year. Race Rocks serves as a valuable stopover for the migration of many birds, so we assume it was on its way across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Spinus
Species: S. tristis

Spinus tristis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

 

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus-Yellow-headed blackbird–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Ecoguardian Anne Stewart made the first record of this species by photographing  this Yellow-headed blackbird female at Race Rocks, May 22, 2015 It is one of the 58 species that has been recorded by photograph as a migrant stopping off at Race Rocks.

Xantho= yellow,  Cephalus = head

YhblkbrdScientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Xanthocephalus
Species: X. xanthocephalus
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus (Bonaparte, 1826)

yellow-headed blackbird
Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

 

Agelaius phoeniceus :Red-winged blackbird–the Race Rocks taxonomy

This was our first photographic record of this species as a migrant at Race Rocks. It nests in the marshes throughout BC , and locally in the tidal marshes along Taylor Beach

A brief visit was made by six Red-winged Blackbirds.

A brief visit was made by six Red-winged blackbirds on April 27, 2015-Photo by Anne Stewart

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Agelaius
Species: A. phoeniceus

Agelaius phoeniceus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

Aegolius funereus: Boreal Owl–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Boreal Owl: A.Fletcher photo

Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus):  for measurement –the pipe is 5 cm (2 inch)  diameter–photo by Alex Fletcher, Ecoguardian at Race Rocks, Dec 28, 2014.

 

December 28, 2014– Val George and myself were picked up at Pedder Bay By Alex Fletcher, (Ecoguardian at Race Rocks) and we went out to Race Rocks for the Sooke area Christmas Bird Count. It was a great day with many high counts , but we were especially surprized to flush a small owl out from under a rock up near the camera 5 pedestal.  At first Val thought it just could be a Boreal owl (Aegolius funereus)  which would be a first for this area. We found it again under the porch of the Ecoguardians house and were able to get some good pictures of it. Then we decided it must be a Saw whet owl as Boreals are just too rare here. When he returned home and started comparing his pictures with other images, Val realized it was indeed the rare ( for this area)  Boreal owl.

(These owls breed in dense coniferous forests across northern North America and Eurasia and in mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Rockies. The subspecies: A.f. richardsoni is the only one that occurs in North America). It lays 3–6 eggs in a tree hole in the forest. The small nocturnal owl eats mainly voles and other mammals but also birds as well as insects and other invertebrates.)--text in brackets adapted from Wikipedia–

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Aegolius
Species: A. funereus
Aegolius funereus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Subspecies: A.f. richardsoni (Bonaparte, 1838)
Other owls photographed at Race Rocks.

Link to the call of the Boreal Owl:

From the reference: Rare Birds of Vancouver Island: Compiled by Rick Toochin, Paul Levesque and Jamie Fenneman July1, 2013: The following notation indicates only three other records of the Boreal Owl on Vancouver Island, but there are no records for it on southern Vancouver island.

Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus):
1.(1) adult February 27, 1993: fide Don Cecile (specimen) Tofino (Siddle 1993b)
2.(1) adult October 3, 1994: Marc Winfield, Rick Toochin, Mike Toochin: Triangle Island (Toochin 1995) (Bowling 1995a)
3.(1) adult fall 1996: fide Jamie Fenneman (specimen) Courtenay (Bain and Holder 1996f)

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.
Garry Fletcher
, Dec. 2014.

 

Megaceryle alcyon: Belted Kingfisher– The Race Rocks Taxonomy

This is our first record of the Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) at Race Rocks. It came today from the Ecoguardian,  Alex Fletcher.  We see these birds frequently in Pedder Bay and along the Coastline of Taylor Beach, but so far we have not had a record from Race Rocks.

kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher _ Megaceryle alcyon on the winch cable: photo by Alex Fletcher, Dec 10, 2014

 

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Coraciiformes
Suborder: Alcedini
Family: Cerylidae
Genus: Megaceryle
Species: M. alcyon
Megaceryle alcyon (Linnaeus, 1758)

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.