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Posted by: atowhee | May 24, 2018

OWLS, A-POLLEN-AIR AND SEX IN PUBLIC…JUST BIRDING, FOLKS

Birder John Bullock and I headed up into the southern Cascades east of Ashland this morning.  Our first goal, find a Great Gray Owl.  We had a lazy start, hitting the road around 9AM.  But our second likely meadow…ggo profl1GGO POSEggo leanggo lean2ggo lean3ggo leaN4Likely this was an adult male hunting for his mate and nestlings nearby.  I heard from another birder who had seen an owl in this meadow three hours earlier.  Again, it is probable the same male who has to feed himself, a female and two or more mestlings…four rodents daily per beak.  Family of four: sixteen carry-out meals.  When the youngsters can fly (several more weeks), the female will depart and go hunt in her own meadow, but he’s still got months of providing before the owlets are on their own this fall…if all goes well.

LARK SPARROWS BEING PRO-CREATIVE
LASP ALONE
First we noticed the two Lark Sparrows in the road.  They did NOT do it in the road…not Beatles fans.  Then this one flew into an oak and sang a couple times.  Then they coupled…period.LASP SEX1LASP SEX2LASP SEX3LASP SEX4LASP SEX5Next there was some feather settling to be done.LASP RUFFLEDLASP PREENThis scene took place in the lower foothills:cscdesJohn Has placed a number of bluebird boxes along an old fence row at about 4600′ elevation…we surveyed six of them today.  Four Tree Swallow nests, two Western Bluebird, zero Mountain Bluebird…here is nest of bluebird eggs, the female was right back on nest after we replaced roof and walked away:BBIRDS-BEGGSAt Dipper Bridge below Little Hyatt Lake Dam:DPPR DOOThis Dusky Flycatcher essentially ordered us to get away from his thicket.  We left as instructed.DUSKYThis pair of Gray Jays also objected, loudly, to us in their forest…but were not forthcoming.  Instead they hid back behind branches and needles and made me search for even this bad a shot.G-JAYYThis oddity was among the ordinary Canada Geese at Willow Creek Campground at southwest corner of Howard Prairie Lake.  Leucistic?  Hybird? Paintball victim?  Please, RSVP.LEUC GOOSEThese powder along the roadside is collected pollen from the zillion conifers in the Cascades.  Ye of allergic persuasion advised not to inhale and fill your lungs.  This appallin’ air=ah pollen air.  Not poetic that, but rich and fertile, nonetheless. Apollengies, or rather apologies, to Guillaume.

Below, a Spotted Sandpiper, truly stumped…along the edge of Hyatt Lake.SPSA STUMPD

DONNA’S OWL FRIEND

Ashland birder, Donna Gould, introduced me to one of the Western Screech-Owls that live near her house.  She loves them despite all the noise they make when she is trying to sleep.  We felt justified in bothering this one during the day when the little tykes like to get their rest before a busy night out.DONNA-WSO1 - CopyDONNA-WSO2 - CopyDONNA-WSO3 - CopyDONNA-WSO4 - CopyDONNA-WSO5 - CopyLittle Hyatt Road, Jackson, Oregon, US
May 24, 2018. 11 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  X
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  X
Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)  2
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)  1
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)  X
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  X

Hyatt Meadows, Jackson, Oregon, US
May 24, 2018.12 species

Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  2
Dusky Flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri)  3
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  8
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  6
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  2
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  X
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  X

Keene Creek North, Jackson, Oregon, US
May 24, 2018.  8 species

Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  X
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus)  1
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  X
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  X

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