Posted by: atowhee | January 27, 2020


craned glassThis craned glass window hangs in the home of birding friends in Ashland, where Kate and I stayed en route to the Chico Goose Festival.  This is about two feet high, three feet wide and a splendid gift from a brother of the glass house owners,  One in Chico we got to compare this artwork with the real thing,  more kinetic and sculptural, no less beautiful.  Much more bugling.CRANE FIELD (2)Here’s one crane family–adult male being sentinel, wife and offspring feed on:crane famHere is informative comparison of crane varieties on the kiosk at Llano Seco.  The further the cranes have to migrate, the smaller the adults:crane sizesIt is not mentioned on this sign but some of the lessers (only 3 feet tall, size of a Great Blue Heron basketball player) actually come down here from SIBERIA!!!  Thousands of miles of migration annually.

Click here for some information on the crane’s historic range along Pacific Slope.  In non-drought years Malheur Basin often has the largest crane breeding population in Oregon and California.  Here is more info on the Malheur population, Greater Sandhills all. Cranes have resumed breeding at a few locations in eastern Washington after being extirpated.  Click here.

The annual bird fest is the SNOW GOOSE FESTIVAL.  Those being the most numerous of four goose species found wherever there is grass and/or mud: Snow, Ross’s, Canada, Greater White-fronted.  A fifth goose, the diminutive Cackling, is there in modest numbers as well.GEESE UP-DOWN (2)Once a V of Snow Geese flew over us, in the left-hand wing of the V-formation was a lone blue goose.  Ooohs and awwwws accompanied his passage overherad.gwfg--llano (2)Note how each white-front has a unique pattern of black swatches across the chest, like a fingerprint or the black dots arranged on a Mourning Dove’s wing.gwfg chestsHARR (2)Above, the common island-standing harrier.  In background the nether halves of pintails, pointing to heaven.  This harrier was at Llano Seco.
Here pintails clean up their act, then you see what an act it is…male on sun sheen water.  I want a beak so I can have a cool blue racing stripe on MY beak, too.
cleaning upwowDARK VISIONS
Two ravens, then the TVs begin to roost in trees east of Seven Mile Lane about two miles south of Llano Seco viewing platform.  We saw Wood Ducks hiding out in the sloughs in that area as well.

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