Posted by: atowhee | April 29, 2020

ROBINS’ CURSE AND OTHER BIRDING ADVENTURES IN SUBURBIA

An afternoon visit to McMinnville’s Rotary Park brought me face-to-face with one of our larger invasive birds–a Barred Owl.  He was wide awake.  Two other hikers had seen my binocs and excitedly told me of the bird’s location.  As I neared the spot I knew I couldn’t miss the bird.  The local robins were in chorus.  I don’t speak or translate robin but it was obvious they were furious at the presence of an unwelcome predator on their property.  It made me nostalgic for a few of the better thrown curses among people.  Back when baseball was played in summer a close call by the umpire on a play at the plate would surely incite either catcher or base runner.  One would be outraged, the other belligerently righteous.  The umpire perhaps inbetwixt.  Such sharp words, such curses.  Well, in Rotary Park today the robins’ cursing was in high volume.

At Ohio’s Magee Marsh, Kenn Kaufmann’s home turf, I once had robins’ cursing lead me to a hiding Long-eared Owl deep in the woods.  It was the only one found during the entire Biggest Week in Birding–thanks to the screaming robins.

While in the park a creeper landed eight feet in front of me.  They are like hummers, thinking we large and slow mammals are irrelevant.  It is not uncommon to have either a hummer buzz near your head or a creeper land right in front of you at a proximity that would give sparrow or warbler the vapors.  And then a male tanager high in a cottonwood.

In our garden it was rub-a-dub, three men (well, starlings) in a tub…

McMinnville Rotary Park (Tice Park), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Apr 29, 2020
11 species

Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Barred Owl  1
Steller’s Jay  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Brown Creeper  1
American Robin  4
Purple Finch  1
Song Sparrow  2
Spotted Towhee  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Western Tanager  1


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