Posted by: atowhee | May 11, 2022

MALHEUR–DEPARTURE DAY

May 11. Before we headed home after the official end of our Malheur Field Station birding trip, some of us had to re-visit the refuge headquarters. The weather was the best of our trip. Orange slices hanging on small trees and shrubs there attracted: Bullock’s Orioles (several), Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak (inculding our first male of the trip), Yellow and Yellow-rumped Warblers, American Goldfinches. The seed feeders were each surrounded by a cacophonous mob of Yellow-headed Blackbirds. That crowd was leavnened with House Sparrows, cowbirds, ground squirrels and red-wings.

One Broad-billed Hummer zipped around briefly. The flicker carved out more of his nest. Mr. Red-tail arrived with a vole-sized morsel in his talons and delivered same to his mate on their nest.

Before we left the field station I got a good look at the nestlings in the Great Horned Owl nest. The pair is approaching full-size and already have dark feathers. They will be fledging soon.

My next Field Station sponsored birding trip: June 2-7. There are some seats in the van still open. Best trip for Bobolink and Eastern Kingbird (not here in early May) and Common Nighthawk (which leaves usually by Labor Day). Call 541-493-2629 for details.
September trip is 7-12, includes trip to summit of Steens Mountain and a visit to the snow-tortured aspens with horizontal trunks.

Above: male oriole; male tanager; Brewer’s Sparrow that hopped onto the fence at Field Station after many previous futile attempts to get a good look at one–“OK, you’re leaving? Here’s your photo opp”; the feeder cacophony; two Great Horned Owlets in willow tree nest near west end of Greenhouse Lane. The owl nest at Field Station also has only two owlets–perhaps that is all the adults can feed during drought conditions.


Responses

  1. Nice to have your report before I’m heading to Malheur Monday.


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