Posted by: atowhee | February 17, 2022


Days are getting longer. Testosterone levels are rising. Some birds are changing into fancy clothes for the spring prom. Male juncos are no longer nonchalant, they are non-tolerant. Flickerdom is reading James Joyce for behavior hints. Lesser Goldfinches have begun to sing, spinning their rapid, soprano songs into chilly morning air. many ducks are already in pairs, Bald Eagles at local nest sites.

A pair of flickers was in the top of our leafless gum tree. There were repeated sequences of the laughing hic-cup calls. There were brief moves through high branches, not the sort of fluttering mentions in riomance novels, but showy fluttering of feathered wings. In the final three images you see the female has some of her soft downy feathers fluffed out–is this the flickery version of seductive longerie?

He doesn’t need a drum, just a few timely wing beats:

When this gang stops traffic it has nothing to do with covid, it’s all about the poultry philosophic concept of rights-of-way:

Here is American Goldfinch starting to get those bright yellow feathers so popular in bird magazines and field guides:

Here’s a Lesser Goldfinch male molting–just starting to show bits of that black crown:


The juncos are mild and tolerant when they begin flocking here in the fall. No longer. Now I often see males chasing one another. The plumages now are all distinct and sharp. In the fall there are many dusky and indistinct juvies. Now the feathers are bright and bold.

And the annual mirror attacks have begun. Attempts by rage-blinded males aginst that flat fellow in the glass. Sadly reminiscent of our own species.

Still more birds:

The Bewick’s Wren was hanging out with a couple BC Chickadees. They up in the bushes, this guy along the ground. Both species will nest in or near our garden this spring, long after the juncos, Golden-crowned Sparrows, siskin and CB Chickadee have gone back where they come from. That is NOT derogatory in the migratory world of birds.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Feb 17, 2022
18 species

Wild Turkey  14
Eurasian Collared-Dove  2
Mourning Dove  9
Northern Flicker  2
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  6
American Crow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  3
Bushtit  25
Bewick’s Wren  1
House Finch  1
Pine Siskin  1
Lesser Goldfinch  15
Fox Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  30
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  1

Minto-Brown Island Park, Marion, Oregon, US
Feb 17, 2022
21 species

Cackling Goose  X
Canada Goose  X
Wood Duck  1
Gadwall  1
American Wigeon  12
Mallard  X
Green-winged Teal  25
Ring-necked Duck  1
Bufflehead  5
Hooded Merganser  2
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  X
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  10
European Starling  1
American Robin  2
White-crowned Sparrow  26
Golden-crowned Sparrow  10
Song Sparrow  1


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