Posted by: atowhee | January 9, 2018


There were bluebirds overhead this afternoon.  And I was in the city limits of McMinnville.  Specifically at the intersection of Zinfandel and Merlot.  A good oenologist would have told the street-namer that zinfandel doesn’t grow well around here. As they flew over, calling out, I asked myself, “Why here?”
Promptly I retorted, “Wine not?”
Nobody heard that exchange, until now.

Looking around I surmised they came out of the large, mature oaks, each carrying some mistletoe that might have afforded some berries for birds.  It is rare foe me to see these birds inside the city as they are not even common in rural Yamhill County now.  Paul Sullivan is a veteran McMinnville birder and tells me that bluebirds are often seen in those trees, perhaps coming up from the nearby riparian forest edge along Baker Creek.

At the end of Pinot Noir the oak grove was alive with birds in the mid-afternoon, feeding while a rainbow glowed in the northeastern sky.  Acorn Woodpeckers and robins were making most of the noise.

Fly bys–geese and a Coop–made for big day in the garden, over 20 species, a rarity.  That’s without my nuthatch who seems to have abandoned me for now. I hope the Coop didn’t…
yr at ooggAbove, our daily Audubon’s Warbler at the suet…again

McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 9, 2018.  9 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)  8
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Pinot Noir Drive NW, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 9, 2018 3:00 PM. 10 species

Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  8
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  60
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  30

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 9, 2018 21 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  2
Downy Woodpecker (Pacific) (Picoides pubescens gairdnerii/turati)  1
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  2
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  2
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  20
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  1
Townsend’s Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  24
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  15
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X



  1. A fortunate sighting indeed, as enology savvy birders suspect they were likely on their way to a pinot vineyard nearby 😉 That being said I heard several bluebirds while in Kiff Vineyard today, up on Willis Road just north of Baker Creek. Not quite in city limits but very close!

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