Posted by: atowhee | February 18, 2008

Great Backyard Bird Count–twice over


This is more southerly Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Our local ones have only a small white spot at the base of the beak, not a full moustache like this fella. Photo by May Woon.

Submitted two checklists to the Backyard Bird Count today.  One actually from our backyard, the other from Bridget’s favorite walk, Ashland’s section of the Bear Creek Greenway.

Nice to see a Red-breasted Sapsucker in our garden this morning.  They;re around all winter but rarely venture into our yard, showing zero interest even in ou suet feeders.  The Downy makes a habit of getting a little suet daily.  For a change one bold Starling came this far up the canyon and also helped himself to the suet.  Many folks in the valley have them in their garden all the time.  This sighting was unusual for our yard list.

Along the Greenway the warm weather has spurred a lot of pre-breeding activity.  A pair of Red-tailed Hawks circled chummily.  A pair of Bewick’s Wrens were in a berry thicket with bits of grass in their beaks.  A pair of Song Sparrows were searchign through another berry bramble for just the right next spot.  Red-winged Blackbird males were in some cattails, ringing their bell calls across the marsh.

Some stats

Of the ten most reported species, my Ashland lists contained six.  Of the most abundantly reported birds, my lists held six also.  Not the same six.  It is nice to see Snow Geese out-polling Starling!

At this point Oregon is tied for seventh most species per state, with 168.  TRhe only landlocked state in the top ten is #4 Arizona with 204.  Here are the top three states: 

1 Texas 283  
2 California 260  
3 Florida 235

The Oregon Junco is fifth most abundant bird in the counts from Oregon.  Top four: Starling, Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Greater Scaup.

Just checked and found that the pair of American Pipits we saw and reported on Friday at Medford Airport and duly reported are the only ones from the entire state of Oregon.  And our six Short-eared Owls go a long way toward the state’s total of eleven. We also had one-third of the state’s Say’s Phoebes and one-fifth of the Goden Eagles.  Not bad for a morning in the weeds and sun.


Record ID: S3545706
Locality: Ashland, Jackson County, OR–Fullers’ garden and feeders
Observation Date: FEB 17, 2008
Start Time: 7:15 AM
Total Birding Time: 9 hours
Party Size: 2
Skill: excellent
Weather: excellent
Snow Depth: No snow was present
deciduous woods
coniferous woods
Number of Species: 15
All Reported: yes
Canada Goose – 2
Mourning Dove – 12
Anna’s Hummingbird – 2
Red-breasted Sapsucker – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Steller’s Jay – 7
Western Scrub-Jay – 1
Black-capped Chickadee – 3
Chestnut-backed Chickadee – 3
Bushtit – 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1
American Robin – 2
European Starling – 1
Spotted Towhee – 2
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) – 14


Record ID: S3545437
Locality: Ashland, Jackson County, OR–Bear Creek Greenway
Observation Date: FEB 17, 2008
Start Time: 9:45 AM
Total Birding Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Party Size: 1, plus sniffing dog
Skill: excellent
Weather: excellent
Snow Depth: No snow was present
deciduous woods
coniferous woods
Number of Species: 34
All Reported: yes
Canada Goose – 9
Wood Duck – 36
Mallard – 21
Common Goldeneye – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 2
Rock Pigeon – 13
Mourning Dove – 12
Acorn Woodpecker – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 2
Northern Flicker – 3
Black Phoebe – 1
Western Scrub-Jay – 17
Common Raven – 1
Black-capped Chickadee – 4
Bushtit – 2
White-breasted Nuthatch – 1
Bewick’s Wren – 2, building a nest
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 3
Hermit Thrush – 5
American Robin – 34
European Starling – 30
Cedar Waxwing – 8
Spotted Towhee – 7
Fox Sparrow – 1
Song Sparrow – 6
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) – 11
Red-winged Blackbird – 7
Brewer’s Blackbird – 17
Purple Finch – 4
House Finch – 2
Lesser Goldfinch – 18
House Sparrow – 6

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