Posted by: atowhee | December 18, 2017


Dec 18, Yamhill County

Cool, damp and dreary, a winter’s day despite what the calendar pretends.  These last days of the official autumn get depressingly short as the sun hides out much further south.  Down on the Equator every day is the same.  No endless summer nights, no bleak sunless winter day.  Here the birds have a short daytime in which to eat.  They show up about an hour after sunrise, devour and digest as intently as gamblers at a roulette wheel.

Yesterday I noted a Yellow-rumped Warbler in our garden for the first time since the cold weather hit. This is an Audubon’s (note the yellow throat) which is less common than the pale-throated Myrtle in the winter here in Oregon. Our breeding yellow-rumps are  believed to be entirely of the Audubon’s  coloring.yr-decyr-dec2yr-dec3yr-dec4

yr poleThe Bewick’s Wren has become a regular and repeating visitor to our feeders.  He takes both suet and sunflower seeds. This cold must make birds particularly hungry for energy sources as the Bushtits are now taking sunflower seeds which they don’t deign to notice in spring or summer.  Their sunflower purism has fallen trutlAcorn in a willow at Wenerberg.

acwo wennFemale flicker…we sometimes get a male but they do not travel as pair in this season.fmlflkrmdo wennHow beautiful would we find this bird, if only…?prtty brdxspotted

At the Yamhill Sewer Ponds this morning there was pair of Kestrels.  At one time they sat on adjacent softball backstops overlooking the abandoned ball fields there.  They were hunting together.  The female is brown-backed while the male has bluish-gray wings.female kestmale kestMrs. Bufflehead:buff lady

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Dec 18, 2017 10:20 AM – 10:50 AM.  16 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  1
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  30
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  6
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  28
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  20
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  2     mated pair hunting together
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  38
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  8

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Dec 18, 2017.  16 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  15
Downy Woodpecker (Pacific) (Picoides pubescens gairdnerii/turati)  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  2
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  20
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  8
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  16
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X


  1. What do the bushtits like to eat. It would be nice to lure the little one here. Thanks,

    m a

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