Posted by: atowhee | February 14, 2020


The dog and I circled the Joe Dancer Wetlands this morning.  From high in a bare tree came music.  A male House Finch was singing his spring melody.  Singing to his intended Valentine?  I did not see a single female in the vicinity.  Perhaps they listen under cover.hofi singer (2)

There were at least two snipe and we saw three individual escape flights.  The water level is down from last month but still enough standing water and dense grass to suit the snipe.  I have seen none this season at Yamhill Sewer Ponds but the seasonal wetland there was mowed last fall and there is only short growth which would expose snipe.


There were over a dozen Song Sparrows in the wetlands this morning.  I don’t know that they could be accurately portrayed as a flock, not like finches or Bushtits that often fly around as a unit, feed shoulder to shoulder and act like a group.  The Song Sparrows are gathered there because of the habitat and food supply.  I do not get the sens that any one of them cares a bit whether there are other Song Sparrows nearby, or not.  There is just the beginning of spring song ( I heard two individuals tuning up) and no evidence yet of territorial behavior.  Like lone topers at a saloon I don’t think Song Sparrows come and go together.  They just happen to share the same taste for time and place.  There is a variety of plumages to be seen.  If you want to study Song Sparrow variations, this is the time and place to begin:ss bush5 (2)ss in bush (2)ss in bush2 (2)ss in bush3 (2)

ahmmr (2)jay two (2)jd wetlnds (2)

Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Feb 14, 2020
13 species

Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Wilson’s Snipe  2
Northern Flicker  1
American Kestrel  1
California Scrub-Jay  3
American Crow  2
European Starling  X
American Robin  30
House Finch  2
Lesser Goldfinch  5
Fox Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  40
Song Sparrow  18

Here are the roof, not tree, top singers with their folk hit. Click here.
The Rooftop Singers were an American progressive folk-singing trio in the early 1960s, best known for the hit “Walk Right In”. The group was composed of Erik Darling and Bill Svanoe (vocals, guitar) with former jazz singer Lynne Taylor (vocals).

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