Here is one last diorama post, this time from a deciduous forest with, what appears to be cottonwoods or aspen stands and a Northern Flicker in the center, a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker on the left and a snoozing flying squirrel in its den on the right. Of the three diorama posts, in my experience, this one is the most unrealistic. Winter is definitely woodpecker season, so it is quite easy to see this type of woodpecker abundance (multiple species in the same stand of trees). I have never, however, encountered multiple species of woodpeckers like this during any of the other seasons. As a matter of fact, my woodpecker track record during spring, summer and fall is atrocious. Of course, it could just be me…, I am sure the woodpeckers are there all year round, they just are better at hiding when there are leaves on the trees I guess.
Another dreamlike image from one of the dioramas at RAM. This time a Golden Eagle perched high above aN unnamed valley, presumably somewhere In the Canadian Rockies. At a quick glance one would be hard pressed to tell the difference between this staged scene and the real thing.
During my recent visit to the Alberta Royal Museum (aka RAM) we were treated to some pretty neat dioramas of Alberta nature scapes. Here is one neat one of prairie dogs and burrowing owls representing the dry grasslands of southern Alberta. Burrowing owls are high on my birding wish list. They are threatened it Alberta, mainly due to habitat loss, so track these down is a bit of a challenge.
On this Family Day we went to the Royal Alberta Museum. This was my first time going at the new location that opened in the fall of 2018. The natural history wing was a different form of nature walk and a travel through roughly 800 million years of Alberta history. As far as birding goes, the exhibit has a large number of bird-themed dioramas. One of the more impressive one being the Golden Eagle diorama with two specimens that could probably pickup a small child if they were inclined to do so. The talons of these birds are our of this world. Although these eagles are one of the most common birds of prey worldwide it feels like it would not be a trivial task to find them and observe them in the wild.