Prineville, Oregon, CBC
To describe my lifelong fascination with flight and with creatures that fly I like to echo the words of John James Audubon who in 1839 wrote of himself as "...one who never can cease to admire and to study with zeal and the most heartfelt reverence, the wonderful productions of an Almighty Creator."
One of the most common birds (at least for my group of counters) on the Tillamook Christmas Bird Count was the Fox Sparrow. It wasn't the most numerous, but it probably showed up at more of our stops than did any other species. Of course, it usually did NOT show up until we started "pishing" (that is, making a variety of sounds all related to "shhhhh") and then several usually came up out of the blackberry brambles to find the source of that noise.
Recently a male Lesser Goldfinch not showing the usual green and yellow winter plumage has been coming to my backyard. Yesterday my Wingscapes remote camera was waiting for him when he stopped in for a drink. Now the challenge is to determine if this is just a pigment aberration, or if he has a mixed heritage of some kind. I've never seen the black-backed form in winter (they rarely show up in Oregon), so maybe this is just a normal color phase that is out of the normal geographic range.