Birds' Home and Native Land!
Loons, Crossbills, and Doves in all thy bins command!
That doesn't make a lick of goddamn sense, sorry, but it's a great anthem anyway. Canada is a marvelous place, and millions upon millions of birds make their way up to breed each summer. Also making their way up in the summer, apparently, is the Google Street View crew, who unwittingly managed to capture a number of those birdies in their jaunts. And I, during slow moments of my days, have been able to track a few down.
For those interested in previous installments of Google Street View Birding, check here:
- Street View Birding I
- Street View Birding II: Midway Atoll
- Street View Birding III: Mexico
- Street View Birding IV: Florida
- Street View Birding Antarctica Part I: The Falkland Islands
- Street View Birding Antarctica Part II: South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands
- Street View Birding Antarctica Part III: Antarctica
The trouble with gulls is that they hang out by the ocean, i.e. not where Google Street View cars are driving. Thankfully, cars aren't the only way Street View gets images.
There are some birds that look like Glaucous-winged Gulls, but I'm more interested in the large, very dark juveniles mixed into the flock. It's possible for Heermann's Gulls to be in this area, but they should be smaller than those guys. I'd say those are the Western Gulls we've been looking for.
OK, time to move on from BC. I have a bird in mind that I should be able to find somewhere in Street View, let's go to the plains.
I've never been to Manitoba or Saskatchewan before, but if Google Street View is any indication there's a buttload of birds up there. Lots of lakes and lots of small prairie potholes mean lots of breeding waterfowl, which show up pretty well in Street View.
I chased a couple breeding locations found on eBird in search of a lake with a road close enough for Street View to get a look. I searched a place called Hackberry Avenue in MacDonald, MB, along the south shore of Lake Manitoba, but found nothing but bugs at first. Tons and tons of bugs.