Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Father-in-law and Bob White

My father-in-law is a polite man. From time to time, I forget that not everyone else is interested in my latest bird find, and I'm pretty sure there have been occasions where I've bored him by pointing out a bird or two while our family joins them on their regular neighbourhood walks when we visit. He usually politely nods, shows polite interest, and then politely changes the topic.  I don't blame him. It's not that he doesn't enjoy seeing the nature around him - his more concentrated interests lay elsewhere.

But he surprised me the other day with a phone call, and after getting through the polite niceties that starting a phone call requires, he had a question... about a bird they were seeing regularly around the yard! I honestly thought he was taking a moment to poke fun at me a bit, but no, he had details of shape, size, where they were seeing it, what it's call sounded like.  And he did a good job of describing the bird, because I quickly had a guess.  My response with additional corresponding details clinched it, and for sure, they were enjoying a rather uncommon sighting of a Northern Bobwhite!

Northern Bobwhite

Apparently this bird has become quite the local, interest for the neighbourhood.  Although not tame (there's question as to whether it could have been a pet), it surely isn't shy either, even to the point of chasing smaller children in the backyard.

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Well, I finally had to make my way out to Grimsby to visit and try and see Mr. White given he was regularly being seen on a daily basis and it's characteristic call made it easy to track down in it's pretty predictable territory of a neighbourhood block or so.  I headed out really early from home before work and before long, heard the clear notes of the plump little bird.  My mother-in-law had given me tips on where it had been seen last, and her helpful tips were correct.  It was perched on a fence preening and calling regularly in the bright morning sun.

Preening Northern Bobwhite

Not the most natural of perches for pictures, but I was glad for the morning light to show off the beautiful plumage of this bird.  So far as I know, Northern Bobwhites are not typically an urban bird, so this regular appearance is a bit strange.

Northern Bobwhite

Up until somewhat recently, I understand the bird is still there... It has been seen mostly on the eastern blocks off of Balharbour Drive in Grimsby. If you have a bird app, all it will probably take is one call from your bird app to get a response.

Till next time...
Keep enjoying His handiwork!


  1. Brian... What a great bird! Awesome find and I love how the story unfolded. I've seen this a few times in Florida... where they hunt these as "game birds" but this would have been native to southern ontario before the habitat became greatly fragmented. Excellent bird and beautiful photography! -Dwayne

    1. Thanks Dwayne... there was another Northern Bobwhite sighted in the Stoney Creek area this summer as well. Hopefully it's a sign they are getting more plentiful and not just an anomaly.


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