Posted by: atowhee | February 13, 2018


“The swallow is a symbol of summer, and by this token we know that we are in the land of perpetual summer, for does not the Tree Swallow ‘winter’ with us?  …In their immaculate garb of dark blue and white, they seem like crystallizations of heaven and its templed clouds, truth and beauty blended, winged fancies, tender tokens of constancy, fragile, yet potent, perennial pledges of the eternal Becoming of Nature.  The Tree Swallow is a lover of water though doubtless for economic–or shall we say gastronomic–rather than aesthetic reasons.”  –William Dawson, Birds of California, 1923.

With climate change we may be able to tell Dawson’s ghost that we now have wintering Tree Swallows here in sub-tropical Oregon.  There were about fifty of them zig-zagging across the surface of Hagg Lake in Washington County around 1130 AM.  The sun was bright and surely there were insects on and just above the lake surface.  These were my first swallows in Oregon this calendar year.  Welcome back, swallows, this promises to be a great season for mosquitoes.

Henry Hagg Lake Park–Eagle Point Recreation Area, Washington, Oregon, US
Feb 13, 2018.10 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  10
Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  2
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  2
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  16
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  20
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  50
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  8
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  1DC FLAP-HAGGMergansers on placid lake:HASGG-FEB13MERG-HAGGMERGS-HAGG2On our way home from Hagg Lake my wife spotted elk in pasture in Cove Orchard, south of Gaston.

Hang that squirrel, you say?HUNG SQRL


  1. We had a swallow, probably a tree swallow, on our Christmas Bird Count in Ashland, OR at the end of December.

  2. 😉

    Me too—-happy V day 💕

    Sent from my iPad


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