Bluebirds of frustration and happiness

A male western bluebird perches on a fence in southern British Columbia. Note the coloured leg bands, which allow observers to identify the bird. (Photo by Catherine Dale)

A male western bluebird perches on a fence in southern British Columbia. Note the coloured leg bands, which allow observers to identify the bird. (Photo by Catherine Dale)

I have a complicated relationship with western bluebirds. I know that sounds strange, because who doesn’t like bluebirds? Their vivid plumage and soft calls are acclaimed as harbingers of spring and symbols of happiness. As Henry David...

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How do you solve a problem like migration?

A flock of shorebirds takes to the air at Oak/Plum Lake Important Bird Area, a migration stopover site in Manitoba. The mixed-species flock includes Wilson’s phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, stilt sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, dunlin, white-rumped sandpipers and semipalmated sandpipers. (Photo by Christian Artuso)

A flock of shorebirds takes to the air at Oak/Plum Lake Important Bird Area, a migration stopover site in Manitoba. The mixed-species flock includes Wilson’s phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, stilt sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, dunlin, white-rumped sandpipers and semipalmated sandpipers. (Photo by Christian Artuso)

I can feel the rapid thrumming of the bluebird’s heart against my palm as I carefully manoeuvre its foot into position over a tiny Ziploc bag. I pick up my nail scissors and take a deep breath to steady my hand. I will only get one chance to...

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The incredible journey

Well worth the trip: the Okanagan Valley from above (Photo by Catherine Dale)

Well worth the trip: the Okanagan Valley from above (Photo by Catherine Dale)

“We’ve got rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and…rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and water…in Canada.” As I glanced through the car window to the distinctive...

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There's no place like home

Catherine Dale with bluebird (Photo by Angela Boag)

Catherine Dale with bluebird (Photo by Angela Boag)

“The bluebird carries the sky on his back.” ~ Henry David Thoreau It seems to be an immutable law of nature photography (at least in my experience) that anything mobile will move the second you’ve gotten your camera ready,...

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