Posted by: atowhee | November 23, 2022

THIS BIRD PALES BY COMPARISON, MAKING HIM SORTA RARE

Why does our garden keep getting leucistic birds? Busy rotation of many individuals? Easy discernment because so many come right up to our windows and chow down, or chow up? Out in the wild a small leucistic bird would be harder to even notice. Much more likely to vanish the moment I am seen. This one is a male junco. It is at least the third leucistic junco I’ve seen in Oregon. Of course we may have millions in the state. One estimate recently says there are over 600-million in North America. Nice to know some animal besides ants actually out-number our species somewhere on Earth.

Leucistic birds can be very white, sometimes. Each is unique in my experience. Click here to see a very white GC Sparrow I had years ago. Click here for a spotty junco I had in Ashland garden more than a decade ago. There are two birds I’ve seen that were all white; a Surfbird and a California Towhee. Both were near Lands End in San Francisco. My “biggest” find was a leucistic red-tail. It was mated and nesting. We found it on a field trip I led for the Chico Goose Festival almost five years ago–click here for a look.

There are six sparrow species in our garden but I seem to be limited to five in any particular day. Juncos galore–they certainly out-number my wife and the cat and I. Towhee most days. Then some days three of four remaining species: song, fox, golden-crowned and white-throated. Today I missed golden-crowned! We get white-crowns only on migration, too many trees for them to stick around. We have twenty trees just on our small lot. Too dry for Lincoln’s.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 22, 2022. 16 species

Wild Turkey  9
Mourning Dove  6
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Glaucous-winged Gull  3     fly over
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  6
American Crow  4
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  2
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X
American Goldfinch  X
Dark-eyed Junco  30
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
Spotted Towhee  1

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 23, 2022
17 species

Wild Turkey  9
Eurasian Collared-Dove  2
Mourning Dove  5
Northern Flicker  1
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  2
American Robin  1
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X
American Goldfinch  X
Fox Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  25     one is leucistic
White-throated Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1

Marty Karlin’s garden gallery–click here. Here are a couple shots from his collection:

Spain drought: https://apnews.com/article/science-business-barcelona-droughts-spain-f176f3ad95a5a27dc897831763bb3818

Some planet-saving ideas: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/nov/22/five-legal-ideas-fight-climate-crisis-save-planet

Danger: emus! Click here.

Climate change in Fiji–it’s moving time. Click here.

An Iberian lynx died at age 20–she helped save her species in Donana, click here. Donana is one of the birding hotspots in Spain, along the south coast. You’ll love the flamingoes.


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