Posted by: atowhee | May 29, 2017


On our third and final day of the Golden Gate Audubon trip to southern Oregon we birded from Rocky Point and Pelican Guard to Merrill to Butte Valley. Eleven hours and many raptors later…we could report: half a dozen Bald Eagles, four Golden, a Ferruginous, countless Red-tails, TVs in modest number,  Kestrel, three Harrier [it was our only day without a Goshawk]…  a kettle of eight Swainson’s Hawks along Lower Klamath Lake Road and then more of those “white-throated hawks” around Klamath and Butte Valley, Townsend Solitaire nesting on a busy, non-residential building, coot attacking Great-tailed Grackle in a California marsh just south of Stateline Road, two Red-tail nestlings still far from ready to fledge in Butte Valley [image below]…and a total of over 120 species seen during our three days.

Some of our favorites were Sage Thrasher, Willet and Wilson’s Phalarope east of Indian Tom Lake…serenading Western Meadowlarks in that same area…Caspian and Forster’s Terns in several areas of open water, but no Black Terns yet…territorial insistence f the Marsh Wrens along Stateline Road…the iridescent spectrum of colors on sunshined White-faced Ibis…the love call of the Yellow-headed Blackbird, that grating “eee-oowww.” Surprises: one California and one Glaucous-winged Gull among the many Ring-billed and three Lesser Scaup on a tiny farm pond.

Best mammals were two marmots today and a river otter at Little Hyatt Lake on Saturday.rt yungYoung Red-tails above. They live in a precarious, high voltage situation but seem to be fine so far.  Parents very angry at us for photographing their babies…seems very late but spring was wintry and wet this year, so…

Why isn’t the Swainson’s known as the “White-throated Hawk?” Note how the white patagials give a preview of flight appearance, even when wings folded in…thin line of  visible white along the body.swain-pose1Solitaire on nest:toso nest


  1. You asked why the Swainson’s Hawk isn’t named the White-throated Hawk… after hearing your presentation for KBO “What’s in the Name?” I’m guessing you already know the answer. Wikipedia says: named after William Swainson, a British naturalist

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