Posted by: atowhee | November 8, 2022


Mark Miller did not re-find the Northern Shrike I saw yesterday, nor did I. But we got a fair view of Western Bluebirds. One perched on a limb above my, in front of the ODFW building.

Nearer to home I again saw two Cooper’s Hawks in the same dead-topped cedar. Again, the larger (female) was perched a few feet higher in the bare branches than the smaller (male) bird. Size would not reflect age because fledgling Coops are full-sized by the time they leave the nest. Gender size difference is life-long.

I consulted with Dick Ashford, a true raptoral expert. The best concept we formulated was that this tree, which stands above and alone in its surroundings, is an ideal scouting location. Two wintering birds, on a perch overlooking well-stocked feeders, would not waste energy trying to claim territory. “I want a a junco snack.” I would welcome any comments with another sense of this Coop behavior which is a seasonal novelty for me.

Turkeys, finches and juncos were up early.


An afternoon update: from Michael Murphy: “I just got back from a field trip with my Vertebrate Zoology class. We went to to Oaks Bottoms [Portland] and saw several Black Phoebes….total of at least 3 or 4 individuals.” 

There was a Black Phoebe at Fairview Wetlands this morning. No longer an unusual sighting in the Willamette. When Gabrielson & Jewett did their classic Oregon birds book in 1940, they cited three 19th century records of phoebe in the state…then concluded “We have not been able to satisfactorily trace those records of this southern bird and are therefore placing it in the hypothetical list. It may possibly be taken in the State at some future date.”
“Taken” because it those days a rare bird was not photographed of videoed, it was shot dead if possible. Otherwise the finder was doubted & dismissed.

Just today I copied this Black Phoebe range map from the National Audubon (ready for the name change?) Society website:

Cornell’s Birds of the World website map is just as out-dated.

I moved to the Pacific Coast when I was 21, so I have spent my adult life witnessing the East Coast ignorance of the western U.S. Hello, back there, the Black Phoebe now lived in Willamette Valley year round. And not just this year. In 2009 the Handbook of Oregon Birds already had a range map with the phoebe nesting in southern Willamette. Some of us may live to see them nest at Sequim. Range change and climate change may be inseparable.

Deep sea life near “Titanic” wreckage–click here.

New scops owl species in West Africa–click here.

Fairview Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 8, 2022 11:10 AM – 11:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.4 mile(s)
15 species

Cackling Goose  40
Canada Goose  3
Gadwall  X
Mallard  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Ring-necked Duck  6
Lesser Scaup  2
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Black Phoebe  1
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  2
Western Bluebird 4
House Finch  3
Song Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  4

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 8, 2022
15 species

Wild Turkey  9
Mourning Dove  14
Cooper’s Hawk  2
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  X
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Bushtit  20
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Finch  X
American Goldfinch  X
Dark-eyed Junco  20
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1

Click on any image for full screen effect. Elk, bighorn, dipper, some big hills.

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