Friday, June 27, 2014

Red Crossbills feeding on the ground, Yamhill Co., Oregon

Today in the Coast Range a few miles northwest of Willamina, Oregon, I watched this group of Red Crossbills picking up something from the surface of a gravel road.  I could also hear what sounded like an equal number of Crossbills up in the trees above the road.  A short video clip of the feeding activity is here:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Violet-green Swallows nestlings

There are now at least five young Violet-green Swallows intermittently sleeping, begging for food, and being fed in the nestbox. They hatched about four or five days ago. The male of the adult pair is now helping by bringing in food occasionally, but I've never observed him to cover the young birds with his own body, nor carry a fecal sack out of the nest.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Swainson's Thrush nest, Yamhill Co., Oregon

I discovered this Swainson's Thrush nest by chance today while I was walking through a grove of Douglas Fir trees about three miles west of Willamina, Oregon.  It is situated about two feet off the ground on a small stump of a tree, and appears to be composed mostly of moss and grass.  This find is especially interesting to me because my father recorded his finding of a Swainson's nest a few miles from this site exactly 62 years ago today -- June 20, 1952.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Swainson's Thrush bathing

I don't often see a Swainson's Thrush come out of the forest very far, but this birdbath is only about 30 ft. from the dense understory which is this bird's territory, so today he was bold enough to spend about one minute in the water, and made the most of it.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Violet-green Swallow on eggs

The female Violet-green Swallow in my nestbox has finally begun spending time actually on the nest, although while she's there she also is frequently adjusting her "furniture" (i.e. pieces of grass or feathers.) Today I used a mirror to determine that she is caring for five pearly white eggs.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Tiger Swallowtail in Western Oregon

I am always thinking I should work harder at getting rid of the thickets of non-native Himalayan Blackberry on my forestland property. But on a day like today when the bees and butterflies are busy at the blossoms I am less eager to do so; not to mention the fruit we will be picking in a few weeks to make wild blackberry jam. This is one invasive plant that does have some "redeeming" qualities.