Posted by: atowhee | September 13, 2020


I believe we may have given succor to some refugees from the burned-over district this morning. I looked out our window and into the hazardous air. There were more birds in view than I have ever seen here at one time.
There was a flock of local American Goldfinches moving on and off a great new feeder one friend sent us as a house-warming gift. The finches say, “thank you.” One of our Bewick’s Wrens was flitting about.
Then on the ground was a robin, seen yesterday but not often before this smoke. Then an adult male junco hopped past. Likely he’d fled the fires up in the Cascades. Juncos do breed here in Salem but not in this habitat or immediate neighborhood. This one was a first for my yard list. I had originally presumed the small dark bird on the ground was a Song Sparrow, but this afternoon he reappeared–Hermit Thrush. Another first for our garden and another probable refugee as they wouldn’t breed in this neighborhood. Looking through my shots I also found one of a House Finch, another first, part of the feathered frenzy of the morning flock.

Below: goldfinches on feeder, House Finch, two shots of secretive bird suspected of being a Song Sparrow, terrible junco shot:

The daily smoke-eaters of our garden:

The wildlife rescue centers along the Interstate 5 corridor are gearing up for an influx of injured or burned animals as our species gradually returns to areas that have been hit by the fires this month. So far they report some squirrels and small rodents have been delivered to them.

If you want to donate I have listed five active wildlife rescue centers below:

Wildlife Images
11845 Lower River Rd, Grants Pass, OR 97526
Phone(541) 476-0222

Chintimini Wildlife Center – Wildlife Hospital
Address311 NW Lewisburg Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330
Phone(541) 745-5324

Turtle Ridge Wildlife
Address9483 Jackson Hill Rd SE S, Salem, OR 97306
Phone(503) 540-8664

Portland Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center
5151 NW Cornell Road
Portland, OR 97210
Phone: (503) 292-0304

And in Klamath:

Badger Run Wildlife Rehab
Address: 15993 Homestead Ln, Klamath Falls, OR 97601
Phone(541) 891-2052

Each of these are non-profits. It is far less likely that the Cascades Raptor Center will get new patients. Their clientele generally out-flies the flames. In most cases from insects to mammals like us the smoke damage is slower to take effect. Most large mammals like deer and elk successfully out-run the fires. Habitat destruction will mean serious displacement around the burned area.

Click here for current article from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on fire effects on wildlife.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Sep 13, 2020
11 species

Mallard  7–fly overs
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Northern Flicker  1
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Bushtit  20
Bewick’s Wren  1
American Robin  1
Hermit Thrush 1
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  12


  1. And don’t forget:

    Portland Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center
    5151 NW Cornell Road
    Portland, OR 97210
    Phone: (503) 292-0304

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