Posted by: atowhee | June 5, 2020


I take “feather-brain” as an accurate description of myself and others who’ve succumbed to the fascination with our avian neighbors.  It is shorthand for “feathered creatures on the brain.”

Today our birdy dispatch ranges from North Carolina to the Twin Cities to Ashland, Oregon.   In each case birds in a domestic setting…porch, back garden, workshop.

Chickadee and wren, North Carolina.  First name of each species: “Carolina”.  I did a quick check and it seems Carolina may tie with California for having the most official bird names among the fifty U.S states.  Besides the two above the Carolinas can claim: Rusty Blackbird (Latin species name), Parakeet (extinct thanks to people), Chuck-will’s-widow (Latin species name).  California has jay, quail, gull, towhee and gnatcatcher (extremely endangered). Photos from Carolina and my life-long friend, Mike Lund.

Then from the Twin Cities, courtesy of bird-man, Marc Reigel, an Eastern Kingbird:

On our Malheur Field Station birding trip that starts on the 13th, this is one species we hope to see along the Donner River.  Harney County, Oregon, marks the western edge of their expected breeding range in this state.

Then this sequence from his farm east of Ashland, photos by Karl Schneck.  His description: “This is the 3rd year the BAOW nest box has been used in my shop building. 1st yr. was successful, last year a failure, and this yr. it’s looking good. Matthew Stuber from USFWS banded the 6 young owls a few days ago and the owlets are back in their box getting close to fledging. I attached some pictures from the banding and some from today’s inspection (20200603). The kestrels weren’t so fortunate with them abandoning the nest with 3 eggs in it. I’m wondering if the GHOWs that have been hanging around ran them off, or worse. I had 2 GHOW perched on top of a hemlock tree next to our garage at 5:00 am about a week ago that woke me up with their hooting… and I’ve heard them hooting to each other on several occasions.”

SIX BARN OWLETS!   They will be welcomed in Rogue Valley vineyards where owl boxes are often placed as these guys will eat the rodents that would eat the grapes.  When bears want grapes…there’s no stopping them.  When I did Christmas Counts in Medford we always got our Barn Owls by tapping on the poles holding up the owl boxes in the vineyard.


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