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Posted by: atowhee | March 24, 2019

RUFFLED FEATHERS

I’m not talking about the Brexit messit, nor the politics in our nation’s capital…I am talking about wild birds in my own garden.  True feathers, truly ruffled.  The yellow-rumps are molting and they look like refugees from a crowded rock concert at 3AM–hair askew, feathers carrying bist of their waxy sheath that is eventually shed when feathers are fully molted.  Poor things they look like they put mustache wax on their coif.

Otherwise ordinary, gorgeous spring afternoon.  Rob Schulman and I saw our first TV flock of the year.  Before sightings were single birds or a pair at best.  Four of them this afternoon high above, circling on the rising air, angling off to the northwest as they migrated past the northwest corner of McMinnville.  A female harrier soared over No Name Pond while a mated pair of kestrels hunted the fields next door.  We saw the female come up with an earthworm in her mouth. Red-tail left his fir tree perch and began to circle as well.  Plenty of the usual ducks on the pond, along with a single PB Grebe.

Remember, hummers spend MOST of their lives at rest.  When they do move they make up for it.  If you calculate speed in ratio to body weight, the hummer is faster than peregrine.

The white-breasted Nuthatch was in the oaks at Michelbook and 13th.  Just across the street in the cedars on the golf course–the red-breasted cousin.

No Name Pond, McMinnville, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Mar 24, 2019. 12 species

Northern Shoveler  6
American Wigeon  2
Mallard  30
Green-winged Teal (American)  X
Ring-necked Duck  25
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Mourning Dove  1
American Kestrel  1
California Scrub-Jay  1
American Crow  X
American Robin  1
Red-winged Blackbird  4

Pinot Noir Drive NW, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Mar 24, 2019 16 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Turkey Vulture  4
Northern Harrier  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Acorn Woodpecker  X
American Kestrel  2     mated pair
Raven   X  –heard but not seen, somewhere across Baker Creek
California Scrub-Jay  X
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  X
European Starling  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1

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