Posted by: atowhee | March 8, 2023


Bushtits–you can click on any image for full screen view. The males have dark eyes, the females’ eyes are pale. In the final two where the goldfinch is present, the Bushtit on the far right is a female.

Yesterday I saw a single Bushtit at these feeders. That led me to suspect courtship may be starting, pairing off. I went to the Birds of the World (BOTW) online pages on these tiny tots. The account was written by Dr. Sarah Sloane, she works back East but does much of her Bushtit research here in western Oregon. This spring she will give the May birders’ night presentation for Salem Audubon Society. She will give us a closer look at these smallest Oregon songbirds. If you want to hear Dr. Sloane’s talk you can attend in person, listen and watch via Zoom from anywhere, or later view the recording on Youtube.

I went to her account on BTOW and found this diagram which shows us that eggs and nesting are not far off:


The facial decor is extreme, the wattles and face hanger impressive, the colors varied and vehement, as is the personality. Macho world on wings.

EAGLE UPDATE. At Riverfront the Bald Eagle domestic scene was calm. One on the nest, second adult perched south of the nest on tallest tree along the edge of the slough. Both the male and the female have brood patches, though the female has a much more developed brood patch. Incubating eagles will sit on the nest almost continuously. The eggs need to be maintained at a temperature close to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Adults share incubation duties. The incubation period is generally 34-36 days.

Later, at Mill Creek Wetlands I saw three eagles aloft. Pair of adults and a first-year bird. I managed to get one shot in focus.

The undeveloped open space at Mill Creek Industrial Park has been halved by two huge building projects. One had already erected two huge, ugly warehouses out of large sheets of pre-fab cement. You don’t want to be inside there when the big quake hits. I suspect there is only one word for the result–pancake. There were some dabblers on the unchanged wetlands but the incredible noise likely has driven some birds away–can’t hear themselves sing.

How to help pollinators? Click here for some suggestions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: