Magpies: Are black and white in colour, extremely smart, and are part of the crow family. Magpies are a cheeky bird that will take advantage of pet food left outside, loose garbage, and they can be a general nuisance for home owners. Magpies are opportunistic feeders; Their diet consists mainly of insects, seeds and carrion. They occasionally prey on other birds and their nests, but this is only a minor part of the magpie’s diet. Interestingly, the large nests of magpies require about six weeks for construction.
Sparrows: Many species of sparrow’s nest on buildings. In residential areas, sparrows make nests in vents, and fixtures on the exterior roof line of structures. Sparrows are found in large numbers in the city of Calgary, and hence are amongst the most familiar of all wild birds. Sparrows are primarily seed-eaters, but also eat small insects.
Woodpeckers: Mostly forage for insects on the trunks and branches of trees. Famously, woodpeckers are known for communicating by drumming with their beak, producing a reverberatory sound that can be heard at some distance. A woodpecker’s diet consists of fruits, bird eggs, small animals, and tree sap. Woodpeckers mostly nest and roost in holes that they excavate in tree trunks, and their abandoned holes are of importance to other cavity-nesting birds. In Calgary, woodpeckers are well-known for making holes in buildings and feeding on fruit crops.
Flickers: Spend a significant amount of their time on the ground eating ants. In an urban area like Calgary, they are found on the sides of homes, primarily making holes in stucco. The northern flicker is the most common species found in central Alberta. Flickers typically have colorful markings on their head.