Monday, June 29, 2009

Red-tailed Hawk, light morph

With a day off today, it was a good chance to run the annual Breeding Bird Survey route that I do here in Yamhill County. It was a beautiful day, and I started before dawn when the chorus was just tuning up. Lots of fine birds seen and heard, but none more worthy of a few moments appreciation than this Red-tail. It appears to be a light morph individual. Most Red-tails in the Willamette Valley show a darker belly and a whiter chest.
Information about the Breeding Bird Survey can be found at: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Western Scrub-Jay fledgling

I very seldom, if ever, have thought of a Scrub-Jay as cute, but this fledgling on my patio today caused me to make an exception. It must have left the nest too early, because it could not fly. But that did not prevent it from fluttering up onto low perches, or floundering down among the flowers and shrubs next to the house. Quite entertaining and comical.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Evening along Cozine Creek

One of the best things about an evening walk in western Oregon at this time of the year is the near-certainty that you will get to enjoy the singing of multiple Swainson's Thrushes. Usually they are hidden in a thicket while they sing, but last evening this one had found a high stage for his performance, and we watched him as a silhouette against the cloudy sky.

video

But there were also many other sights and sounds around us. This Acorn Woodpecker was not willing to share his perch with a singing Black-headed Grosbeak, but the young deer seemed okay with us sharing his grassy meadow.

Acorn Woodpecker

Black-tailed Deer

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Anna's Hummingbird after rain

The Anna's Hummingbird that guards my backyard got soaked today in the most intense rain and thunder storm I've seen in Oregon in several decades. Then he returned to his usual perch on the tip of a cedar branch, and meticulously worked over ever feather until they were all dry and back in place. He didn't appear to enjoy it much.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Red-eyed Vireo in Oregon

video

The song of the Red-eyed Vireo is a common summertime sound in about two-thirds of the USA and from coast to coast in Canada, but in Oregon it is normally heard only in riparian areas along major rivers and tributaries in the northern part of the state, especially where there are large cottonwood trees. In Yamhill County the only reliable location is on Grand Island along the Willamette River. Today I managed to spot this one singing from a bare branch about 60 ft. high, deep in a cottonwood grove.