Posted by: atowhee | April 8, 2020

FECUNDITY, THY NAME IS “BIRD”

Most of the people I see these days are really birds, and a sexy lot they are, too. Concupiscence is on the wing.
At Yamhill Sewer Ponds this afternoon–Downy Woodpeckers copulating on a maple branch forty feet up.  You ever tried that?
Starling pairs flying about,  busy and loud like salesmen on the floor of a convention.  You remember when we had those? Both salesmen and conventions?  Starling going into a nest hole.
A Killdeer was playing king of the dirt mound.  Probably has a nest cleverly disguised as a tiny pile of pebbles somewhere in the bull-dozed wasteland.
Canada Geese en famille, like most humans right now.  Except they were freely paddling about on a sunny pond, sewage though it be.  It was the usual honker formation–mother in front, then a gaggle of goslings circling and floating on the surface like the tufts of feathers they are, then dad at the back, on alert watching ahead, to the side, behind.  The goslings are about as safe as a young bird could be this side of a goshawk.  What predator would risk the bites and wing pounding that would occur?  Why bother for a tiny mouthful?  I can imagine only an otter or eastern snapping turtle could grab a gosling with immunity.en famille (2)I hear of some youngish humans who puzzle over whether they should even have children in this age.  Within wealthier nations even those who want children may find it difficult, pollution has lowered human fertility in some developed nations.  Couples may resort to IVF.  Gees have no qualms, no such problems.  They are traditional–hewing strictly to IVE.  That would be “reproductIVE imperatIVE.”  Strictly IVE.

Shovelers and Lesser Scaup were still on the ponds.  There weren’t many Bufflehead left on the ponds…but here is one of the females:buff-fml (2)In a seasonal pool in the middle of a nearby pasture–dabbler city–teal and wigeon:dx1 (2)

A single red-tail lazed in circles well over our heads, and the ducks’ heads:rt-aprl8 (2)

The green along the creek–imaginatively named “Yamhill Creek”–is increasing daily.  The osoberries bloomed weeks ago and are now summer leafed.  Tendrils of a manroot plants are already over six feet long.  The wild cherries are in bloom, the willows leafing out.  And today I saw my first camas bloom–take heart admirers of Lewis & Clark and Native Americans.  There shall be another bumper crop of camas this wet spring.apr8 camas (2)

I even saw cabbage whites on the wing, small bees, one bumblebee, many tiny flying persons of six-legs.

In downtown McMinnville this morning I stopped by Harvest Fresh for curbside grocery pick-up.  While I waited two Violet-green Swallows came and went from an overhead wire.  They and House Sparrows have nested in previous year’s in the porous brick exterior of the old Harvest Fresh building.  Welcome back.

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Apr 8, 2020
27 species

Canada Goose  40     including goslings
Northern Shoveler  30
American Wigeon  16
Mallard  X
Green-winged Teal  4
Lesser Scaup  25
Bufflehead  12
Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Mourning Dove  1
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Killdeer  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1     likely on migration
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Downy Woodpecker  2
American Kestrel  1
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  4
Tree Swallow  4
Bushtit  2
European Starling  50
American Robin  2
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1
Red-winged Blackbird  6
Yellow-rumped Warbler  2


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