Friday, May 31, 2013

Violet-green Swallow adds color to nest

There are still no eggs in the nest, but the female swallow is again adding nesting material since the recent rainy weather has moved on.  Apparently the Scrub Jay feathers she had brought in earlier did not add enough color, so she is now bringing in colorful strings and green grass.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vaux's Swift grounded

Today in Newberg I found a Vaux's Swift on its back on a sidewalk, but not visibly injured.  When I picked it up it moved slightly, so I knew there was still life in it.  But I could not stay, and did not want to take it out of its home area, so I placed it on a tree branch hoping no cat would find it, and that it would revive.  Now I'm wondering if it was in a weakened condition because of lack of insect food during the recent cold weather, or if it had fallen because of a collision with something.  

Violet-green nest building resumes

After an absence of several days during the recent rainy weather, the female Violet-green Swallow is back.  She spent last night inside the nestbox, and this morning was very busy bringing in new items, some natural and some synthetic, to add to her nest.  Expecting eggs to show up soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Common Grackle, uncommon in Oregon

A few more photos of the Common Grackle my friend found near Chemult in south Central Oregon.  Quite rare in Oregon, but possibly increasing.  It joined the Cassin's Finches and Pine Siskins that were feeding on the sunflower seeds he had put out for them.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grackle in Oregon, but which one?

A non-birder friend sent me a photo of this bird he said is at his place somewhere between Lapine and Klamath Falls, Oregon.  It looks to me like a Grackle, not a Brewer's Blackbird, because the bill is too long and the head is too blue, etc.  But not having seen the bird myself, I don't have a clear idea of its size.  I saw thousands of Common Grackles during the years I spent living in the eastern U.S., and this bird looks like a Common to me.  But I have not seen many Great-tailed Grackles, so maybe this is a Great-tail, even though the tail is not so great.  I'm interested in hearing other's opinions, or definite i.d. explanations.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Violet-green's nest is growing

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Violet-green Swallow nest building

When I first looked in on her this morning at 8 o'clock she had already added all of this to the one stem she had brought in yesterday.

Then for an hour and a half she brought in a new piece about every five minutes.

Then the male showed up to inspect her work.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Violet-green Swallows moving in

A long grass stem was brought in today.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Violet-green Swallow nestbox camera

She must have been inside a few days ago, because there was a large feather in the box that is not visible now.  But today I happened to turn the camera on while she was doing a thorough inspection, and it was quite interesting to watch the process.  In the last photo below she was flat on her abdomen ruffling feathers and scratching around with her feet as if shaping the nest that is to come.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Anna's Huumingbird stopped by flash

Trying in vain to stop the motion of these Anna's Hummingbirds at my feeder in natural light, I finally resorted to using flash photography.  It doesn't seem to bother the birds, and in fact, one male came down to hover within three feet of my camera, apparently curious about the source of the light.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Swainson's Hawks in Yamhill Co., Oregon

It's very unusual to see even one Swainson's Hawk in Oregon's Willamette Valley.  But this week as many as five have been counted, among many Red-tailed Hawks, Ravens and Great Blue Herons, apparently hunting mice or voles in a recently mowed hayfield near Lafayette.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)