Posted by: atowhee | September 1, 2012


Oaks have their habitues: titmouse, White-bressted Nuthatch, woodpeckers, Western Bluebirds. The multifarious evergreens of this Klamath Bioregion are not only diverse but popular with certain species: Hermit Wrbler, both kinglets, woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch. But the smallish, humble willow may have have more avian fans than any other trees around here. There’s a lone but hearty willow in our garden. Nearly every bird except the rotund Band-tailed Pigeons move through our willow on a regular basis. Migrant insectivotres go there to hunt. Chickadees, Bushtits and other residents visit often. Jays hide in the foliage to scold and observe. In winter our willow is a perch for Juncos, a food source for bark gleaners. So not just aspirin is provided by willows; the willow is a crucial habitat component for many birds. I saw that again this morning. Two flycatcher species in a small willow thicket at the old Ashland sewer ponds next to the Dog Park. A Willow Flycatcher, appropriately enough, was hunting from the outer branches. Across the width of the thicket this guy was lurking: Can you find the small bird amongst the leaves? Another reason willows are so popular with small hunters.
Note the shoet wings, the broken eyering, the slender beak. This is a Pacific-slope Flycatcer already on his way south for the winter.

It;s not just birds, here’s one of the hundreds of tiny bees that were finding something interesting in the Pacific willows that cover the mudflats at the south end of Emigrant Lake.

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