Posted by: atowhee | September 16, 2022


We have noted a single immature siskin in our garden, after those sunflower chips beloved by all the other local finches–house and two species of goldfinch. It is a little early for siskins down from the mountain forests so we won’t know how many there’ll be for some weeks. Siskin here is as sure a sign of autumn as the equinox, a week away.

While finch numbers grow and corvids come daily, most other birds are too busy gobbling up the insects, spiders, berries, seeds and other delights of late summer. Not even the city-dwelling collared-doves can be bothered. Suet has little magnetism now for nuthatches, Bushtits, chickadees, woodpeckers.
We seem to have nothing that robins or starlings want. The grosbeaks have likely gone south now. Nature has bounty, we are a boring footnote unless you are a finch or a jay caching peanuts. When will the waxwings come to our crabapple as they do annually?


Final Malheur area gallery:  Two Chukar reach the crest of a vertical road cut south of MP 43 on Hwy 205.  Morning arouses sleepy TVs from their tree roost at Malheur HQ.  Three feeder shots from HQ—quail, blackbirds, White-crowned Sparrows on migration and during September one of the most numerous species in Harney County.  Crows at Frenchglen Hotel.  Prairie Falcon above Hwy 205 rim rocks.  Great Egret east of Frenchglen.  Mule deer on Steens.  Domestic sheep on Steens—we did not see their wild, big-horned cousins.

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