Posted by: atowhee | March 5, 2023


Photo taken by Terry Dale at Huntington Gardens, in San Marino, Los Angeles County. Yeas ago we visited the Huntington complex and in the museum was a display of original bird art by Williams Catesby. In the first half of the 18th century he made what are the oldest known color depictions of North American birds. Decades before either Wilson or Audubon began their work. The exhibit was a few of the originals, a traveling show allowed by then-Prince Charles who owns all the originals.


The flock arrives from the street, entering single file beneath the arched trellis along the edge of our narrow garden. Their normal speed of approach is an amble. But, if they see me, they will break out into a run and surround me as I scatter their beloved sunflower chips. Then they will circulate, encircle me, demand pecking order priorities–the sort of behavior I was used to when I fed our barnyard chickens seventy years ago.

The turkeys will then eat and threaten one another until the chips are gone. Then it is leisure time, chips begin to digest and if there is no heavy rain, the flock gathers. There’ll be lawn yawns, some preening, tails fanned out and perhaps gone over with a loving beak. Standing birds will occasionally roll their shoulders side-to-side. This causes each feather on the back and wings and neck to shake, mover against its neighbors, lose dust or leaf flecks. Then the shoulders go still and the feathers then re-settle into the weather proof coat they must remain. Wings are opened and closed, some intense urge will touch a single bird and its wings will flap open before gradually resuming their passive positions. Food and feathers, the life of each turkey until reproduction, nest and eggs begin to dominate the days.

Low carbon birding described in a new book:

  • “Adapting our way of life in response to the climate crisis is now a responsibility, not a choice. This readable and inspirational title shows that, with just a few changes to the way we go birding, from local patching to taking the train for holidays abroad, it’s possible to continue enjoying the hobby that we love in a carbon-responsible manner.”
    —Stephen Menzie, Editor of British Birds

NPR feature on possible climate solutions–click here.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Mar 5, 2023
22 species

Wild Turkey  17
Eurasian Collared-Dove  2
Mourning Dove  14
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  8
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  1
Bushtit  20
Bewick’s Wren  1
Varied Thrush  3
House Sparrow  1
House Finch  3
Lesser Goldfinch  X
American Goldfinch  X
Dark-eyed Junco  30
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1


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