Posted by: atowhee | April 13, 2013

THE PULL OF MIGRATION

Millions of years of evolutionary imperative is now propelling hundreds of millions of small birds northward around the Northern Hemisphere. Beeeaters are moving back into southern Europe. Shorebirds are pouring northward toward the Arctic, sandpipers and stint alike. Here on the Pacific Slope the most numerous birds in motion right now seem to be Tree Swallows and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Bob Arrigoni reported thousands of warblers moving through North Mountain Park this morning. This afternoon, a trickle of Yellow-rumps following that earlier flood were still moving past our garden. Eventually they will give way to Barn Swallows and flycatchers of various species.
This morning I saw and listened to my first Lark Sparrows of the season. They are just back and establishing their territories in our savanna. And birds that do not have to migrate are busily setting up the nursery. Like these American Crows.crow on nst (1280x960)
This is one of two Great Blue Heron nests across Hwy 66 from Oak Knoll Gold Course, south of Ashland. These nests will seem to disappear soon, behind a curtain of cottonwood leaves. The nests will continue to be surrounded all night by Turkey Vultures which have established a large roost there as well. GBH-NST.1 (1280x960)IMG_4788 (1280x960)
IMG_4785 (1280x960)
Not all wintering birds have left. Here are some of the Green-winged Teal still at Emigrant Lake. They could be individuals that have already migrated hundreds of miles from their wintering wetlands.IMG_4781 (1280x960)

243 Granite Street, Ashland, Jackson, US-OR. Apr 13, 2013 6:40am; 17 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 3 fly over
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) 1–circling, screaming and nesting uphill from our house
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata) 16–largest count so fasr this year
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 10
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) 1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens) 1–this species will disappear during summer
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 1–not around in summer
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 18
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 30
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 2

A reminder: this is great time to go see the Mountain Bluebirds at Howard prairie. IMG_4769 (1280x960) I took this picture on Friday evening. One pair nests in the nest box attached to the south post holding up the large sign for Howard Prairie Resort. There’ll be one pair of Sandhill Cranes nesting in that area as well, much harder to find as tghey never come close to the highway.


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