Posted by: atowhee | May 18, 2022


Click here for piece on Salem Reporter website–about drought and birds in Oregon. I wrote it after my recent birding trip to Malheur.

California already lost over 100 homes in a May wildfire. Here’s summary of how the state’s water use continues…upward.

Click here–trees together or alone cannot save us.

Remember when there was a Lake Mead? Click here.

So humans bring year-round Canada Geese into an area where they have never lived before. The birds will be eaten, hunted, controlled, right? Well all, along the Pacific Slope, Canada Geese (and Wild Turkeys) have been imported and they’ve found convenient feeding and breeding, often in cities, towns, suburbs, away from the rural shotguns. But they insist on pooping outside, fertilizing as they feed. How dare they? Blue City San Francisco threatens an anti-goose jihad! Click here.

I just saw several families at Fairview Wetlands in Salem, mowing the grass and fertilizing, naturally. Don’t tell San Francisco for fear they will send an execution squad.

In this final image you can see tiny flying specks over the water, a sample of dozens of swallows feeding at the marsh around 430PM. Cliff, barn, violet-green and tree–all our locals. Plus high up–Vaux’s Swiftsd.

Just across the road from Fairview is the Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW). There were so many levels of irony present, I could not plumb them. There was a flock of exactly three bird species feeding on the lawn. One is hunted under ODFW regs. All three were introduced to the Willamette Valley by our species. None would have been breeding in this valley in May, 1820. Now some of our kind consider their kind to be pests to our kind and so they are treated roughly, even unto capital punishment. There is zero evidence that any of their ancestors ever asked to come to western Oregon. The birds: cowbird, starling, Canada Goose. I will say that the cowbird came along with cows driven west, and was heedlessly, but not deliberately, brought here as the other two were.
One other introduction was relevant this afternoon–bullfrogs, two jumpers and a croacker around the pond. Also a water turtle, didn’t appear to be the painted.

Still room on the June birding trip–Bobolink, Black Terns, YB Chat, Common Nighthawk, Mountaun Bluebird. Interested?

My next Field Station sponsored birding trip: June 2-7. There are some seats on the van still open. Best trip for Bobolink and Eastern Kingbird (not here in early May) and Common Nighthawk. 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.

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