Posted by: atowhee | June 2, 2019


Two of our Malheur birders were from the San Francisco Bay Area.  After our birding last week they drove home.  Here’s the brief report from Karen Anderson…note we had missed Blue-winged Teal all week!

Pat and I left Malheur on Monday morning and took Greenhouse Lane.  Anne had told us to stop at the ranch along the road just east of where we watched the Black Terns as the corrals were all flooded.  We did, and the first bird we saw was a….wait for it….a Blue-winged Teal.
On we went to Highway 20 to 395.  We stopped at a Rest Stop just north of lake Abert*, and as soon as we stepped out of the car, we heard a Sage Thrasher.  Just across the highway prominently perched on top of a tall sagebrush was the Thrasher.  He sang, and then, he made a flying loop around a small territory and back to the tall sagebrush to sing again.  While we watched, the Thrasher did this over ten times.
Later in the day on Highway 140 just before it joined Highway 95, we stopped to experience one last quiet moment with the sagebrush basin and snow-capped mountains.  As we steeped out of the car, we heard a Sagebrush Sparrow who, like the Thrasher, was prominently perched on a tall sagebrush.  He also sang, and then flew around his territory, and back to the sagebrush to sing again.
What a great finish to a great week of birding.  We learned ALOT, and I am not working on focusing on shape and markings before color….
*Same army explorer for whom the Abert’s Towhee is named.  In the 1840 Lt. James Abert was one of several topographical engineers sent to explore the Great Plains and southwest.  Later he served for the Union during the Civil War.  Later his career (1871-8) he lectured at the Missouri State University in my home town of Rolla.  In two decades of living there nobody ever mentioned his name.


  1. Reblogged this on Wolf's Birding and Bonsai Blog.

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