Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Blue Jay

No, I didn't take this photo of a Blue Jay in Oregon, although I did see one once in this state. I took it several years ago in Pennsylvania, which is where I am going tomorrow. I'm guessing that the first bird sound I hear after touching down in Philadelphia will be a Blue Jay, one of the most familiar sounds of summer in the eastern U.S., and a common background sound in outdoor scenes in movies and on TV. That's another one of the many bird lists I keep.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Rufous Hummingbird

Lack of habitat in my neighborhood means I see Rufous Hummingbirds in my yard only occasionally. This one (a female, not an immature, if the white tips on the tail feathers are a true indicator) visited our flower baskets today, and perched on our grapevine. She seemed to be wilting a little in the 100 degree heat along with everyone else.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another indoor nest of Dark-eyed Junco

This Dark-eyed Junco nest was also photographed by my dad in the late 1950's. It was situated about 5 1/2 ft. above the floor in an unfinished building in Polk Co., Oregon.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dark-eyed Junco nest in building

Among Oregon birders right now there is some conversation about Dark-eyed Junco nests in atypical locations. My dad took this photo in the late 1950's of a Junco using what appears to be an abandoned Robin nest. Juncos usually nest on the ground in vegetation; Robins usually build their nests in shrubs and trees from 5 to 25 ft. above ground.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Western Kingbird

One benefit of traveling to an unfamiliar place is an increased appreciation for home. Last week I attended a three-day conference in Fort Worth, Texas, in 100-degree heat. The presence of numerous nesting Western Kingbirds (note the white outer tail feathers) on the campus of TCU made the heat a little less oppressive. In fact, it didn't seem to bother them in the least.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Here's another view of yesterday's Greater Yellowlegs. The black markings on the back presumably are remnants of breeding plumage indicating that this is an adult bird.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Greater Yellowlegs

Shorebirds, such as this Greater Yellowlegs that was catching fish in the Willamette River this evening, are already on the move from their breeding areas in the far north to their wintering grounds somewhere between the southern U.S. and almost anywhere in S. America. The six small fish that were swallowed during the 20 minutes I watched should provide fuel for quite a few miles during the night.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Western Meadowlark

Designated state bird in six states, the Western Meadowlark still brightens even sunny summer days in most parts of eastern Oregon where I saw this one recently. In western Oregon it is easier to find in winter, and there is cause for concern about it's declining status as a breeding bird here.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Violet-green Swallow feeding

One young Violet-green Swallow gets lunch from Mom while the other one gets only her foot in the mouth. Ouch!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thanks, Dad!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Violet-green Swallow nestlings

Fortunately, the disaster in one nestbox has not affected the Violet-green Swallows in the other box just around the corner. These guys need only another day or two of eating before they will be ready to spread their wings.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Burrowing Owl juveniles

Often my birding pleasure is vicarious and long-distance. Yesterday my son was under the scrutiny of these juvenile Burrowing Owls near Lancaster, California. I think it's fortunate that my son is larger than a mouse.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

An adult Hutton's Vireo bringing food to young in the nest.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Hutton's Vireo nest

A pair of Hutton's Vireos are raising a family in a walnut tree near the Willamette River. The hanging basket nest appears to be constructed mostly of lichens.