Birds of the Credit

“But then a bumblebee bumbled above us and it stole our attention the way flying things can” remarks Douglas Coupland, a Canadian author, who has written several wonderful books and essays (check him out on the www @

Flying lifeforms have enthralled human imagination from the earliest of days, or ever since ‘behavioral modernity’ some 35,000 – 50,000 odd years ago. For instance, a large emu-like creature, known as ‘Genyornis newtoni’ cave painting (art) was discovered in Arnhem Land Plateau near Darwin, Australia that is claimed to be around 40,000 years old or so. Although, this particular creature seemed flightless and became extinct some 45,000 years ago, the claim that interest in birds have tickled intelligent human beings’ fantasy stands true to this day.

Photograph of the ‘Genyornis’ cave-art (Image Credit: R.G. Gunn)

Birds have known to have evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic age (around 165 – 150 million years ago). It is understood that their winged body structure and evolution of feathers is a product of evolutionary process that spans tens of millions of years.

The objective of this particular blog post, however, is the common species of birds found in the area around the Credit Valley watershed in Southern Ontario, which I proudly call home! Over 250 bird species have been documented in the Credit River Watershed (Blog entry on Credit River is on the list! – perhaps next research item!!)

Credit River Watershed, geographically, resides within ‘Carolinian Forest’ belt which falls under the Deciduous Forest category. In early 1900s, Canadian researchers used Carolinian to identify the vegetation in Southern Ontario bounded by an imaginary line running approximately from Grand Bend, Ontario to Lake Ontario (around City of Toronto) area to distinguish between northern ‘mixed’ forest areas and more ‘temperate’ vegetation in southern sectors extending well into Carolinas in the US (hence the term Carolinian).

The shaded area traces the approximate historic extent of the ‘ancient’ Carolinian forest ecosystem. Urbanization eats away at the extent of this ecosystem today.
(Map courtesy: Carolinian Canada)

I’ve been fortunate enough on a few occasions during hiking excursions to sight and photograph a few of these beautiful and majestic birds found in the forest. Some other common birds were captured in the backyard during milder seasons. For the ones on the list that I haven’t been so fortunate yet, pray I get to see and capture them through the lens soon!

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