Christmas Presents

Belated Merry Christmas! I received some wonderful presents this year, most of them connected to birds and birding because my parents know what I like.  My mom did a lot of her shopping on and from Nevis; she helped me with the links below.  If you’re not in Canada, you should be able to find almost everything at, too.

My favorite present this year was a signed print of Long-Eared Owls by Diana Sudyka.  I read Ms. Sudyka’s blog, The Tiny Aviary, and so does my mother; my mother ordered the print while we were still on Nevis, too. As soon as we can, we are going to get a frame so I can hang the print in my room.

David Sibley posters of North American hummingbirds, backyard eastern US birds, backyard western US birds — more for my walls!

The Birder’s Year 2011 calendar by David Sibley

Sibley’s Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America (I have the Western guide just about memorized)

Birds of the West Indies by Norman Arlott

National Audubon Society Guide to Nature Photography: Digital Edition by Tim Fitzharris

I liked the pocket-size folding guide Alberta Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species that my mother bought me before we left for Nevis so much that she bought me the Alberta version, Alberta Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species by James Kavanagh.  These are just laminated folders, with not a lot of information but good pictures of the most common birds and good for sticking in a backpack or big pocket or keeping in your vehicle.

The Bird: A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From, and How They Live by Colin Tudge

Bald Coot And Screaming Loon by Niall Edworthy.  I have already started reading this and it’s lots of fun.

Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder by Kenn Kaufman. My mother knew that I know about Mr. Kaufman from Ray Brown’s Talkin’ Birds radio show and thought I would enjoy his book.

Living On The Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas down here, with all the lights strung up on the palm trees, but to me it feels like any other day here. My family is hoping to leave Nevis on the 19th of December and arrive home on the 23rd (we will be in NYC from the 19th to the 22nd).

In years when we haven’t travelled during the holidays, a few days before Christmas my family drives an hour north of our farm and my dad chops down a wild spruce tree.  But this year we are going to be tight for time, so after our flight gets into Edmonton around 5 pm, my mom is planning to stop off at Ikea on the way home to pick up a tree.  My brothers and I can’t wait to go home to the cold and snow, even though everyone here think we’re crazy!  A few days ago when I phoned my other grandmother, she said the temperature was very cold with snow, which is just what we want after so much sun and warmth.

Fun at the Beach

We went to the beach on Sunday afternoon for some sailing and birding.

A giant piece of brain coral I found,

My youngest brother (just turned 10) sailing,

Just as we were leaving I walked backed to swamp area and I spotted a snowy egret.  In this picture you’re able to see the crest on the back of the head,

Both of my brothers sailed to St. Kitts, the sister island of Nevis, with their sailing instructor Chris,

This is one of the many conch shells on the beach,

A Visitor at our Pool

I was still asleep early Saturday morning when my mom woke me up and whispered that there was a night-heron sitting on top of the pool house. I quietly went outside, and saw the yellow-crowned night-heron sleeping.

After about a minute, it flew down to the deck of the pool,

The heron stayed at the pool for about an hour,

It has been getting very dry lately, and usually when that happens the monkeys come and drink from the pool.  Now herons do too!  I was very surprised to see it drinking, because in the pool water is chlorinated,

Nevis Birds of 2010

A list of the birds I’ve spotted on Nevis:

Brown Booby

Magnificent Frigatebird

Brown Pelican

Antillean-crested Hummingbird


Cattle Egret

American Kestrel

Black-faced Grassquit

Gray Kingbird


Pearly-eyed Thrasher

Green-throated Carib

Common-ground Dove

Great Egret

Red-tailed Hawk

Purple-throated Carib

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Solitary Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs

Mangrove Cuckoo

Scaly-naped Pigeon

Belted Kingfisher

Lesser Antillean Bullfinch

Great Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

Common Moorhen

Green Heron

Glossy Ibis ?

Little Blue Heron

Barn Swallow

Zenaida Dove

Caribbean Elaenia

Tiny Nest

On Nov. 29  I was in town with my family, waiting in the car for my parents and younger brother to come back from the local bakery.  While I was waiting for them, parked near a house with a garden, I watched a bullfinch singing on a branch, and just as they were returning, a female Antillean crested hummingbird flew by and sat on her nest. I had never seen a hummingbird nest before, so we asked the home owner if we could look and take some pictures of it.

I am very unhappy with this picture, it was in the shade and my camera should have been able to take a good photo,

Unfortunately there were no eggs in the nest yet; I was wondering as I saw it, how can the female fit in here?!  You can see the threads she is using to line the nest.

My dad’s hand near the nest to show how small it is, my dad had never seen a hummingbird’s nest before either,