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Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2015

A MIGHTY PYGMY

Feared and loathed by American songbirds, the Northern Pygmy-Owl is small (in America only the Elf Owl is tinier) at less than seven inches in length including tail.  Yet this day-time hunter will take birds larger than itself and is frequently mobbed by Robins, jays, nuthatches, chickadees of other possible prey who come across one out hunting.  One morning a Pygmy-Owl exchanged calls with me for over half an hour but I never saw the bird.  Its ventriloquism and ability to look like tree bark make it hard to discern when it wants to hide.

This morning I drove up into the Coastal Range to get above the fog, and there was this solitary hunter, high in a young Doug-fir on a Weyerhauser tract of BLM land.  Hunting Juncos amidst the regrowing monoculture along Panther Creek Road  (BLM 3-5-18).  The location is off Meadow Lake Road about ten miles west of Westside Road and eleven miles west of Carlton.  Of course, I did not see any other birds along Panther Creek Road this morning.POYG-OWL3 (1280x960) PYG-OWL1 (1280x960) PYG-OWL2 (1280x960)BW-HIDES2 (1280x960) Above: Bewick’s Wren lurks amidst the lichen.  This was along lower reaches of Meadow Lake Road. Next, quartet of cacklers among the “giant” Canada Geese in field on Hwy 47 north of McMinnville.  The dark chests on the larger birds indicate they are probably Duskies down from Canada, not a contingent of the local geese that mow your neighborhood gold course in most parts of Oregon.  Migrants all, I believe.CACK-CAN (1280x960) CACK-Can2 (1280x960)Here: one of the Yellow-rumps on his trapeze at the top of an alder.warb-upThe forest near McMinnville’s municipal reservoirs: P2540449 (1280x960) P2540450 (1280x960)Meadowlake Rd., Yamhill, Oregon, US
Oct 12, 2015 10:15 AM – 11:40AM. 15 species

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  3
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  3
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  7
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  5
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  117
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  70
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  14
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  6
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  6
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  7
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  8

Panther Creek Road–BLM 3-5-18, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Oct 12, 2015 11:15 AM – 11:20 AM.  1 species

Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma)  1     calling and perched high in young Doug-fir, great photos onto my blog!  county lifer for me.

Hwy 47, North Yamhill County, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Oct 12, 2015 11:50 AM – 12:05 PM.  5 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  4
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  30
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1

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