Posted by: atowhee | June 21, 2019


Our Malheur Field Station birding trip was able to see results of the nesting season for the two largest birds that nest in Oregon.  At Benson Pond we saw the nesting pair of Trumpeter Swans, the heaviest native bird in the state.  This may be the only nesting pair of Trumpeters at Malheur this year. In several locations we saw pairs of adult Sandhill Cranes.  At least twice we spotted young colts with their parents.

Our best crane viewing was on US395 as it bisects the Silvie Valley Ranch in southern Grant County.  There the adults and their youngster were right inside the fence alongside the highway.  It is the nearest I’ve ever been to a living crane, not likely to be repeated.  THe yellow, fluffy young one quickly vanished into the tall grass away from the fence but the adult male stalked along the fence line.  He was wary lest we try to approach.  We did not get out of the car.

CRANE DAD (2)CRANE DAD2 (2)CRANE DAD3 (2)CRANE DAD4 (2)CRANES TWOO (2)Here the youngster is well hidden and both adults move slowly away from the roadside fence.  The male, at left, is still on alert.
Here’s a pair we found in a wet field alongside Hwy 205 south of Buena Vista.  Note the muddy beak–this bird’s been digging for food.CRANE FACE1CRANE BEAKHere’s a distant shot of the swans’ nest:TSWANEST



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

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