Posted by: atowhee | September 25, 2022


First three images: Bewick’s Wren; we saw two individuals up close. Next: first year male Common Yellowthroat. Fox Sparrow, two images; this bird’s overall size, large beak, and dark colors indicated it was likely from a breeding area around Kodiak Island in Alaska. Hermit Thrush and open wing. Steller’s Jay. Song Sparrow. Juvie White-crowned Sparrow–all six netted while we were there were first-year birds. Turkey Vulture. Domestic ducks on the nearby river.

Twenty-four birds were netted while we were there at the banding station along the Willamette River. White-crowned Sparrows led as one migratory flock headed into a single net–7. Next were Song Sparrows–6; some variation in plumage so likely not all local birds. Others: Bewick’s Wren 2; Hermit Thrush 1; Swainson’s Thrush 2; Lincoln’s Sparrow 1; Fox Sparrow (my first of the season in Willamette Valley) 2–no Fox Sparrows nest on Pacific Slope nearer than Olympic Peninsula; single Common Yellowthroat. Big surprise, as in largest bird of the day–Steller’s Jay.

At this range and at a banding station, you come face to face with the tiny size of most songbirds. Twenty-eight grams is an ounce (mailed for single first class stamp). Some comparative weights today: Bewick’s Wren 10-11 grams; Hermit Thrush 23; Swainson’s Thrush, around 40 grams; Song Sparrow 22, plus or minus; today’s Steller performer weighed in at 127.4 grams. And that bird definitely does not have to migrate. There was plenty of fruit in evidence: snowberries, blackberries, red-osier dogwood fruit. The white-crowns were out feeding in the weeds and grasses of the open field.

Absolutely insect-of-the-day:

Sep 25, 2022 7:45 AM – 11:00 AM
18 species

Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Belted Kingfisher  X
Northern Flicker  X
American Kestrel  1
Steller’s Jay  5
Black-capped Chickadee  6
Bewick’s Wren  2
Swainson’s Thrush  2
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  6
Fox Sparrow  2
White-crowned Sparrow  13     seven banded
Song Sparrow  7     six banded
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  2
Common Yellowthroat  1

This qualifies as the worst parking job I’ve seen this year. Car onto hazelnut saplings about fifty feet from edge of the road.

NPR anchor issues homage to earthworms–click here.
Has an “extinct” crop plant been resurrected? Rediscovered? Click here. Siphion.

I am so old I can remember when there was a Colorado River. Click here.
Somebody finally wrote it out. All those news stories you see or hear or, maybe, even read? BS. There is one story–climate. Click here.

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