Posted by: atowhee | May 15, 2017


I met a bird today who could look me in the eye and proclaim, “I am hollower than thou.”  He didn’t do that, but I have visual proof his claim would have been true.  These days you must take the rare truth wherever you can find it. Not words but birds are often true and honest. Not so much are people who often seem to lie most to themselves.

The Dipper, of course, needs make no claim.  His life is his legend. His song is the sound of running water and boulder being splashed.  His days are awash in challenge and diving and going against the current.

Both these birds–dipper and hollower–were at Dipper Bridge along Baker Creek west of McMinnville about 5PM this evening. DP2DP3I believe that is a water droplet on the very waterproof crown of this dipper-on-a-rock.DP4Note the worn tail feathers, not a single one seems to have an even tip.  These birds have twice as many feathers as other songbirds their size–necessary for insulation against the cold water.  Their blood blood also carries a heavier load of hemotglobin so they can access more blood oxygen while they are underwater.DP5DP6DP8DP9This is the setting, Baker Creek downstream from the Dippers’ nesting bridge.  Dipper on pyramidal rock in mid-creek, the sapsucker’s dead trunk is the largest one leaning to right on the right bank. The fallen limb where the dipper posed (above) is in lower right hand corner of this frame:DP1This sapsucker was assiduously hollowing out a hole in this dead trunk:RS1RS2RS3RS4RS5RS6RS7RS9RS10Baker Creek Road, Yamhill, Oregon, US
May 15, 2017 4:20 PM – 5:20 PM. 13 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  5
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  2
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  4
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  8
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  1
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  1

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