Posted by: atowhee | February 15, 2023


A Valentine for our Salem Audubon meeting last night–our mascot, the kestrel, live and in person. Penny, the female kestrel, came to our meeting with her assistants from Chintimini* Wildlife Center. It was her first off-led meeting. She flew over our heads, oveer the tables, between two assistants with gloved hands, and bits of kestrel delight (shredded meat). Penny’s physical health is perfect. She’s nine, very old for a wild kestrel, but she lives a sheltered (literally) life. Taken from the nest as a nestling, she was made a pet, and focused on a person. She does not deign to hunt or be outside where jt is cold or wet. She spends many days flying about the Chintimini office while people work beneath her territory. Last night she peeped a lot, it is apparently her begging call for a snack or two.


I’ve written often of the Wild Turkeys in our Salem neighborhood. Recently my favorite historian, Jill Lepore, wrote about how they’ve re-established their dominion back where the First Thanksgiving legend is set. Click here for her piece. One precise quote: “The eat everything: worms, hot dogs, sushi, your breakfast, grubs. They are fairly flightless and eerily fearless, three-foot tall feathered dinosaurs.” Well, Ms Lepore, they do fly near vertically up into our tall conifers hereabouts, and behave like huge chickens, which they are.

Atlantic provides a superb global owl gallery, inc. more than one image of my beloved Great Gray. Click here.

Inequality kills. Naomi Klein on climate justice–click here.
“I have an ambivalent relationship with the word hope these days. We have to be realistic about the fact that we’ve locked in a very difficult future for a lot of people. We’ve screwed things up badly enough that even if we do everything right from here on out, we’re still looking at a future of staccato climate disasters.”
Klein is referring to events like the cyclone that just pasted northern New Zealand.

Salem Riverfront Park, Marion, Oregon, US
Feb 14, 2023
11 species

Cackling Goose  9
Canada Goose  80
Mallard  4
Green-winged Teal  2
Bufflehead  1
Pied-billed Grebe  3
Killdeer  2
Bald Eagle  1
American Crow  4
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  3

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Feb 14, 2023
20 species

Mourning Dove  32     record high count, around 930AM
Northern Flicker  2     appeared to be mated pair feeding together
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  5
American Crow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  1
Bushtit  20
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Bewick’s Wren  1
Varied Thrush  2
American Robin  1
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  30
Fox Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco  30
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1     myrtle

*”Chintimini” is an Anglicized version of the Kalapuya word for “spirit place” or “spirit power.” Click here for the Chintimini Wildlife Center website. They need volunteers, welcome all donations.


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