Posted by: atowhee | February 20, 2023


Today the birds behaved as usual–Bushtits again before sunrise. Gimme those calories, say their tiny bodies. Here is myrtle at the seeds:

Today the Salem Reporter promoted my short piece on Varied Thrush (click here). Almost immediately I got this birder’s email:

Saw your article in the Salem Reporter & it seems like maybe you are keeping track of the varied thrushes and where they might be in our area.

I am in West Salem… and we have had a couple or maybe 3 of these beauties in our yard. I have bird feeders but also I sprinkle nuts & sunflower seeds on the ground. The thrushes seem to be ground feeders.

Anyway, just some info for you if you’re keeping track. We’ve been here since Nov 2020 and this is the first time I’ve seen the varied thrushes in our yard.

We have plenty of juncos, sparrows, goldfinches, a flicker, a few Steller’s Jays and a regular blue Jay (scrub Jay?), a small cluster of starlings & a large family of crows. Also the squirrel contingent and at night skunks and a possum sometimes wander by. 

That reinforces the unpredictability of this species outside of breeding season. no two winter counts of VT will ever be similar. Her garden population sounds very similar to ours …though we regularly get Bushtits, a yellow-rump and sometimes either or both nuthatches. The turkeys and scads of Mourning Doves. This emailing birder may have too much forest for dove comfort.

At Riverfront Park here in Salem one Bald Eagle adult flew past the nest–undetermined whether female is crunched down inside the nest with eggs…not OK to send a drone up to spy on her. At the edge of the slough, beneath the eagle nest, a Great Egret. Not a species I see there often.

This is a male junco in San Francisco right now. He was seen at Blue Playground, Golden Gate Park. Photo by Paul Masson. Leucistic.

Shot raven has featherless friend–here’s the story.

As the seas rise, coastal housing becomes ever bigger gamble–here’s piece on thew how the rich will endure, at least longer, while others wash away.

One new study of climate change and names the two most vulnerable regions on the planet–inland China and Florida. Guess they’ve already written off Vanuatu and some other island nations. Click here for summary.

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

Wild Turkey  1
Mourning Dove  X
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Bewick’s Wren  1
Varied Thrush  2
House Finch  1
Lesser Goldfinch  X
American Goldfinch  30
Dark-eyed Junco  30
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1     myrtle


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