Posted by: atowhee | January 24, 2023


Today  Nature gave me the best possible birthday present.  Perfect weather on Sauvie Island.  With my wife and our daughter we drove some of the roads.  Cormorants lounging along the waterways.  Geese in dense flocks across the sky.  Bald Eagles observing the lives and lands fifty feet or more below their perch.  Fields with standing water.  Fields with standing cranes.  And there it was, the finest birthday gift a birder could want—hundreds, even a couple thousand cranes.  A few even stood by as large mammals got out of the car and stared.

Here’s a typical family trio, except they didn’t move too far from the road:

Left to right: dad, mom, junior. Note Dad still has a lot of the self-applied rusty stain. Mom has a teeny amount. Junior will apply that make-up for the first time this summer after hopefully surviving the northward migration later this year. Also, junior’s reddish skullcap is not yet as dark as the parents’.

There was one crane that stood out–paler than the rest. In the top image, far right bird io middle row. In second image the middle bird among seven in the middle row. In third image it is third from left in middle row.

Others: female Common Merganser, young eagle standing alone in an otherwise empty field.

Mammals: two doe in a front yard, family of four nturia feeding with the two young about Size 7 female person’s shoe. Dad nutria about ten times larger.

Sauvie Island–Multnomah, Multnomah, Oregon, US
Jan 24, 2023
28 species

Cackling Goose  4000
Canada Goose  X
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  X
Mourning Dove  1
American Coot  X
Short-billed Gull  1
Ring-billed Gull  15
Glaucous-winged Gull  2
Double-crested Cormorant  20
Great Egret  2
Sandhill Crane 2500?
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  5
Red-tailed Hawk  4
Northern Flicker  3
American Kestrel  6
Peregrine Falcon  1
California Scrub-Jay  7
Common Raven  15
European Starling  X
American Robin  X
Dark-eyed Junco  30
White-crowned Sparrow  50
Golden-crowned Sparrow  40
Song Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X

Sauvie’s Island Lower–Columbia Cty, Columbia, Oregon, US
Jan 24, 2023 1
21 species

Cackling Goose  X
Gadwall  X
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Common Merganser  6
American Coot  X
Sandhill Crane  X
Ring-billed Gull  X
Double-crested Cormorant  30
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  1
American Kestrel  3
California Scrub-Jay  X
Common Raven  1
European Starling  X
Song Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X


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