Crows in trees

My Bird List

Ever since I first hung up bird feeders (seed, suet, and hummingbird) in my garden in 2015, I’ve taken note of the birds that show up here. I’m not a bird watcher (life list, keen to see rare birds), but over the years I’ve noticed the regulars and learned who makes what sounds.

Bird feeder on clothesline
Feeder hangs from the clothesline, so is about 8 feet from the ground and inaccessible to squirrels.

Regulars, meaning birds that frequent the feeders or are seen almost every day:

  • Crow (there’s always a crow family around)
  • Sparrows: Fox, House, White-Crowned, Golden-Crowned, maybe others as well
  • Bewick’s Wren (the Shoe Birds of 2015 were a pair of these)
  • House Finch
  • Purple Finch
  • Pine Siskin (identified these recently)
  • Dark-Eyed Junco (fall and winter only)
  • Chestnut-Backed Chickadee
  • Bushtit (tiny birds who travel in gangs)
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Anna’s Hummingbird (lots of these around here; year-round residents)
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatch
  • American Robin
  • Starling
  • Gulls (not sure what kind; fly over daily)
  • Raven (seen/heard regularly in neighbourhood)

Occasionals, meaning seen or heard infrequently:

  • Steller’s Jay
  • Northern Flicker
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Barred Owl
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Rufous Hummingbird
  • American Goldfinch
  • Kinglet (not sure if Ruby-Crowned or Golden-Crowned)
  • Mallard Duck (a pair used to visit the pond years ago)
  • Great Blue Heron (when there were goldfish in the pond; now just fly over)
  • Bald Eagle (fly over occasionally)
  • Turkey Vulture (fly over occasionally)
  • Canada Goose (heard honking as they fly over)

Here are some rather inferior photos of a few of these birds. I have neither the skill nor the equipment to take good ones. Clockwise from top left: Barred Owl, Bewick’s Wren, Anna’s Hummingbird, American Goldfinches, Mallard Ducks. The featured image at the top of the post shows four crows, two in a birch and two more in the ailanthus.


  1. You have a wonderful variety of birds in your area! We don’t have any gulls (too far from water, I guess, here in central Virginia), and no horned owls. We have LOTS of turkey vultures that you don’t seem to have, and cardinals and bluejays. We have plenty of bald eagles that nest way, way atop the eastern pines. Heehee, when the neighbors see those huge eagles riding the warm updrafts, they grab their little dog and take him inside!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We do have turkey vultures on Vancouver Island, and I do see them cruise by occasionally; should add them to the list. In the fall hundreds of them gather for their flight south over the Strait of Juan de Fuca; people used to get together in one of the parks just to see that. Funny about the small dog owners (in a way). No fear of an eagle carrying away our Newf!


    1. It took me a while to notice them enough to identify the different types. Before I got a good look at them around the feeders, they were just “little brown birds” or “little grey birds.” And having those Bewick’s wrens nest in the porch made me a lot more interested.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I first learned about towhees when I volunteered at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego. I don’t think they are an East Coat bird. We have lots of hawks, blue jays, cardinals, robins, Carolina wrens, occasional blue herons, chickadees, and birds I have never bothered to identify. We also have dozens of cheeky squirrels, fox, two neighborhood grounds hogs, deer, and dozens of little yappy dogs whose sole purpose in life seems to be to provide companionship and exercise to the retirees who live in the neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently towhees are a kind of sparrow. They’re a lot bigger than most of the other birds that visit the garden. It’s funny to see them hopping around. We have a whole gang of squirrels picking up seeds on the ground. Unlike yours, they don’t try to get at the bird feeders. Haven’t learned to walk the clothesline yet. 🙂 Lots of deer and all sizes of dogs here, including our Nelly the Newfoundland.

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  3. We’re not birdwatchers either, but we do record the birds we spot in an old bird book with dates and places. We had regular visitors that would pass through in the spring, from the Canada geese and Sandhill cranes overhead, to the little Kinglet that I would see for several days in our pines before it too headed north. Not as much variety in our new condo, but boy, are the crows big around here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have crows and ravens here. The crows always gang up on any raven that happens along; it can get quite noisy at times. And there are lots of Canada geese in the vicinity; I hear them honking as they fly over. I’ll add them to the list.
      Thanks for adding to the bird list discussion, Chuck!


  4. I should know birds better than I do. My dad was a wildlife biologist for Fish and Wildlife, and he and my mom were avid birdwatchers. I have an appreciation for nature, so that did rub off on me. I have fond memories of going off with my dad on bird counts. There were designated places he would stop (usually way out on some old dirt road), and he would stop every couple of miles, look out through his binoculars, and call out whatever he’d see. I was his recorder. We’d get up before daybreak and be out there at the crack of dawn. Good memories of father/son time together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have an annual bird count here, but I can’t imagine counting in any sort of accurate way. I have a good idea of the relative numbers of regulars, and that’s about as good as I’ll get. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on birds, Pete. Glad my post sparked some good memories.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true. I guess my bird feeders are a kind of artificial niche. I’ve read that the Anna’s hummingbird has become a year-round resident in southern BC since people began putting out feeders and planting ornamentals that supply nectar. I don’t remember seeing them when I was a kid in the ’70s; now they’re all over the place.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I hear those barred owls screeching at night–a creepy sound. And a few times I’ve heard the classic “whoo-whoo” made by the great horned owl. I thought it was a person at first, but concluded it was actually an owl. Owls are cool. Thanks for your comment, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

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