Posted by: atowhee | March 10, 2010

Oh Say, Can You See…That Phoebe

There was a lone Say’s Phoebe at the Denman Wildlife Management Area. The bird was just west of the headquarters building on Gregory Road.  Nearby: a pair of Black Phoebes.

Far off to the north a Harrier hunted.  In one of the cottonwoods along a slough were a quartet of Western Bluebirds.  And along that same slough an invisible Marsh Wren sang from the reeds.


The phoebe genus is named for naturalist Thomas Say (1787-1834).  His main interest was shells, but he was the naturalist on the Long Expedition to the Rockies in 1819-20.  Later Say settled into the New Harmony utopian community in Indiana, where he died.

On that Long Expedition Say discovered for science several of my favorite birds including his namesake phoebe, Western Kingbird, Lesser Goldfinch and the Lazuli Bunting.  Say was a Philadelphia Quaker, as were many of the earliest native-born American naturalists.

Location:     Denman WMA
Observation date:     3/10/10, 3pm.
Number of species:     21

Canada Goose     50
Mallard     4
Common Merganser     16
Pied-billed Grebe     1
Double-crested Cormorant     3
Northern Harrier     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     1
Black Phoebe     2
Say’s Phoebe     1
Western Scrub-Jay     1
Marsh Wren     1
Western Bluebird     4
American Robin     1
Yellow-rumped Warbler     4
Song Sparrow     3
White-crowned Sparrow     4
Golden-crowned Sparrow     4
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     2
Red-winged Blackbird     2
American Goldfinch     1

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