Posted by: atowhee | April 12, 2023


This is a time of year when many birds are on the move. Some are nesting. Some still have to get to Alaska to nest. Others are leaving our valley for higher and colder climates where they will nest. In our garden the Fox Sparrows are gone, also the Varied Thrush. Golden-crowned Sparrows are still around and recently the white-crowns have showed up. A Chipping Sparrow came and went this week, Bushtits and both nuthatch sp. are ion pairs now. The crows have built their nest in some apt arboreal hideaway.
The American Goldfinches are almost entirely clothed in their spring garb. Canada Geese are on eggs at Fairview Wetlands and most wintering ducks there are in reduced numbers. Common yellowthroats were bopping around the reeds and spirea at Fairview while Barn Swallows sped past, mouths open. I saw cacklers there today, maybe the last time until fall? Osprey was on the usual nest at east end of Madrona, just west of the airport.

There is no situation involving power and control that is free of politics. Nature has many forms of competition and control. Today I noted that a single crow on the ground will move away if a squirrel or squirrels come close. Then I watched a pair of crows feeding on sunflower chips on the ground. A squirrel hustled over. The crows–maybe on some subtle signal I did not notice–divided, one got either side of the squirrel, about three feet away. The squirrel immediately realized it could not be alert to both crows simultaneously, and it retreated back to the fence. The controlling crows ambled back to the tasty chips, fed until full and flew off. Then the squirrel descended for his portion.

My first birdwalk of the spring is on May 6, at Polk Soil & Water Conservation’s Cornerstone Preserve west of Baskett Slough.
There’s still some space–so click here to sign up. The preserve has riparian corridor, grassy hillsides, mature oaks and a dense hilltop stand of Doug-firs. Bluebirds are expected along with lots of birdsong. The property is not generally open to the public so this is a great opportunity.

Fairview Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Apr 12, 2023
22 species

Cackling Goose  150
Canada Goose  6     two nests incubating
Northern Shoveler  20
Mallard  2
Green-winged Teal  30
Ring-necked Duck  1
Bufflehead  4
Ruddy Duck  1
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
American Coot  25
Turkey Vulture  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  2
Barn Swallow  10
European Starling  3
American Robin  3
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  2
Red-winged Blackbird  8
Common Yellowthroat  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  2


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