Posted by: atowhee | June 3, 2020


A season for and of the young.  The fledged starlings are now coming and going through our garden without parental guidance.  Most of the adults have scattered.  One youngster comes repeatedly to our suet blocks.  As recently as late May we would have up to sixteen in our garden a one time, including at least six parents.

Yesterday I watched a family of five Chestnut-backed Chickadees alone Cozine Creek.  The fledglings were perched, mouth agape, wings in the fluttery “feed me” action.

Yesterday and today a quintet of Bushtits are in and out of our garden.  At one time the whole family stopped for a swim in the bird bath.  The B-Family pool party.  Note that one youngster in back right hand part of frame never gets more than toes wet.  Afraid of the water.  I was like that as a kid, until I discovered canoes.

I see no flying Canada Geese this time year, but may hear them on nearby meadows or the golf course.  The parents stay home, with flightless goslings.  The young of this species are closely supervised.


On the of our far-flung field correspondents today sent me these great shots of a fledged Great Gray Owl.  Location was in Cascades east of Ashland.  Dick is an expert teacher of things raptorial and has a great ear for big birds’ communications.  He heard this hungry youngster before he could visually locate it:

My personal acquaintance with this magnificent  owl began over a decade ago when Dick showed me my first Great Gray Owl, ever,  It was a female incubating, the nest in the top of a broken off fir trunk about thirty feet up.  Little did I know then: 1) how hard they are to find 2) how little we know, and how much they allure  3) how the Great Gray Owl would eventually compel me to write about their unique, scattered population here along the Pacific Slope.  Thanks, again, Dick, for your eagle eyes, your owlish wisdom, your raven-like meed to share.


I will be leading a birding trip from the Malheur Field Station, June 13-18.  Each birder will stay in separate dorms and use personal vehicle.  The cafeteria is closed so we will be responsible for our own meals.  There are two slots still open so call the field station if you might be interested,


I am not a great fan of our suburban lawns, even though we own one.  Robins, starlings and earthworms like them but they;re fairy sterile.  One neighbor’s property is so full of chemicals we won’t even let our dog, Nora, step on the grass.  But here is the finest use of lawn, Nora joyful.  Better than golf or lawn tennis, or football of any variety, a good dog roll is grass in its glory.


  1. Your dog looks and behaves exactly like ours!! How old is she? Did you get her in the Rogue Valley?

    • We adopted her at Phoenix pet shelter and she is about ten years old..a wonderful soul to live with

  2. […]  The Bushtit nest across the street from our home seems to have been suitable.  I think the family of five that use our shallow birdbath every day must have used that nest, which now hangs quietly.  It may get re-used later this summer.  Interestingly the young Bushtits are far more eager to bathe and wade in water than use the feeders.  Parents may still be supplying all the food, and we all can understand youngsters wanting to get into the pool.  Click here to see my sequence of the Bushtit family at the pool. […]

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