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."
Monday, July 26, 2010
In western Oregon it always seems that hot weather and nearly or newly-fledged birds show up at about the same time. On a recent 94-degree afternoon in the eastern slope foothills of the Coast Range, this female Western Tanager took a break from carrying food to its young in the nest just long enough to take a quick drink from the basin of water I offered.
Violet-green Swallows eagerly greeted their incoming parent
Juvenile Turkey Vulture (black head = young bird) swooped down to check me out
Juvenile Cooper's Hawk complained at being frightened away from its meal of baby Robin
Juvenile Chipping Sparrow showing breast streaks not seen on an adult bird
This Crow, perching on my back fence during the hottest part of the day (about 90 F.) spent several minutes soaking up the sun. Sitting almost motionless, with feathers disheveled and beak held open as it panted, it must have been hoping the heat would drive out some lice or other pests. But the Audubon Encyclopedia says that some birds appear to gain physical energy from the sun's heat, so maybe that's what was happening. Anyway, I guess he got enough of it, because then he hopped down into the water to cool off.