Posted by: atowhee | June 4, 2020

NESTACOPIA THURSDAY

MALHEUR NOTICE: THERE IS STILL LAT LEAST ONE OPENING FOR THE MALHEUR FIELD STATION’S BIRDING TRIP THAT RUNS JUNE 13-18.  I WILL BE THE GUIDE.  INDIVIDUAL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR EACH BIRDER. NO VAN. EACH IN PRIVATE VEHICLE.  FIELD STATION WILL PROVIDE THE GASOLINE AS PART OF THE TRIP PRICE.  DOING OUR OWN MEALS.  MAY TRY FOR DINNER AT DIAMOND ONE NIGHT.

There were lots of nests to be seen today. A cornucopia.  At a horse ranch east of Salem we saw three active nests.  On a dog walk in Salem’s Minto-Brown park I noticed a Black-headed Grosbeak nest.   At the east end of the Marion County road to the Wheatland Ferry an Osprey perched near the nest platform.

Most interesting was this junco nest inside a tack room at the horse ranch.  In the first image you can see bits of straw between the bands of canvas.  The second shot I took from a step-ladder looking down on Mrs.Junco in her hide-out.  Final shot has dot on nest container, about four feet above the barn floor:NESTY (2)NESTY2 (2)NESTY3 (2)_LIJuncos do generally nest on the ground in well-hidden locations.  There are previous records of them as high as 45 feet and nesting on the ledges outside buildings.  This nest is several feet from the door which is kept open and it faces south.  Pastures and clumps of forest are nearby.  Elevation is less than 500 feet.
Here’s what Cornell has to say about junco nest locations: “The female chooses the nest site, typically in a depression or niche on sloping ground, rock face, or amid the tangled roots of an upturned tree. Around people, juncos may nest in or underneath buildings. Occasionally, juncos nest above the ground on horizontal branches (rarely as high as 45 feet), window ledges, and in hanging flower pots or light fixtures.”

They adapt.  Nest safety clearly is the motivation or intention.  Junco free will.

Elsewhere in the same barn I photographed two busy Barn Swallow nests.  you will note they make good use of the local product–horse hair.

Yesterday I managed to chase some feeding Violet-greens across the sky, got one decent shot.  I often wish I cloud fly like that:VGS-A (2)NESTS, THE REST

OSP-HAIR (2)The Osprey on the nest platform east of Wheatland Ferry landing in Marion County.  The nest platform next to the landing did evidence a visible bird, but I suspect it is being used.  It looked like new sticks had been added to the structure.
Active Black-headed Grosbeak nest in hawthorn at Minto-Brown Park:

Other species that were acting like they had nests, but  hidden, at the park: Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbirds along Willamette Slough, Spotted Towhee, Tree Swallows, Swainson’s Thrush. Below: two Song Sparrows, four Swainson’s shots, a hiding towhee:

At Minto-Brown one family group of Black-capped Chickadees was clear evidence they’ve had their first clutch of the year–youngsters chasing the adults through the underbrush.

HERONS BY THE SLOUGH

Both Willamette and Oxbow Slough presented me with a Great Blue Heron.  At Oxbow the bird flew into our end near the river, and proceeded to stalk through the floating plants.  At one moment the bird was standing still but needed a better angle and grew its neck at least three inches!  There were minnows galore and one foolhardy bullfrog was singing not that far from the hunting hungry heron.

Minto-Brown Park, Lane, Oregon, US
Jun 4, 2020 10:30 AM – 12:50 PM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 mile(s)
24 species

Mallard  4
Mourning Dove  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Great Blue Heron  2
Turkey Vulture  8
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  2
California Scrub-Jay  3
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  6
Tree Swallow  30
Violet-green Swallow  2
Barn Swallow  1
Bewick’s Wren  2
European Starling  X
Swainson’s Thrush  4
American Robin  6
Cedar Waxwing  1
Song Sparrow  18
Spotted Towhee  3
Red-winged Blackbird  10
Black-headed Grosbeak  15


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