Posted by: atowhee | November 30, 2022

MY NEIGHBORS JUST EAT UP WALNUT SEASON

There are many walnuts on the ground in our neighborhood. Once a walnut orchard stood here. Many of the century-old trees still stand…and produce large walnut crops. Some of my neighbors are thrilled, especially those with long bushy tails and acrobatic skills unparalleled in this area (as we have no monkeys).

When the nuts first leave the tree they have a slick, green outer coat. Inside is a pulpy black (walnut juice color) layer over the hard inner shell. This is removed by the squirrels who then gnaw their way through the shell to the nut meat inside.

Ironically this blog would not exist if it weren’t for the remnants of 20th Century agriculture, but farming is one of the systems that is destroying this planet. Click here for George Monbiot’s look at how we might survive…after agriculture is retired.

The White-throated Sparrow made a cagey show of himself today. Then I looked back at a year ago (checklist at the bottom) and noted the biggest year-to-ear difference in my garden birds: No siskins in autumn of ’22 and that means more of their finch cousins this year. Siskins are ferocious little bullies so their presence often drives away their competitors.

TODAY:
954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 30, 2022
14 species

Mourning Dove  10
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  6
American Crow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Finch  20
Lesser Goldfinch  30
American Goldfinch  15
Dark-eyed Junco  25
White-throated Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1

ALMOST A YEAR AGO:

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 2, 2021
18 species

Cooper’s Hawk  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Steller’s Jay  2
California Scrub-Jay  6
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Bushtit  20
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Bewick’s Wren  1
House Finch  1
Pine Siskin  30
Lesser Goldfinch  3
American Goldfinch  2
Dark-eyed Junco  40
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1

The best, yet horrific, image of the white-throat…and then one of my furry neighbors, unwelcome but self-assured.


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