Posted by: atowhee | April 16, 2023


Early this morning I looked out the kitchen window and there was a Chipping Sparrow feeding on the chips left over from yesterday. Oh, wait, there’s another. Wow! Oh a third…as I studied the small open area I ended up with at least six chippers, with some coming and going that might indicate more.

Later I spread sun flower chips in the usual feeding areas. Sometime later I checked the small bare patch in front of the house. It is adjacent a dense line of shrubbery–sparrow nirvana. No squirrels so the sparrows were dining. A golden-crown, then three. A pair of white-crowns avoiding their larger cousins. The lone white-throated with his luminescent yellow headlights. A chipper, more chippers started dropping out of the overhanging camellia…four…six…ten…finally at least fourteen. And they were flocked closely, like finches often are. Almost shoulder-to-shoulder. Not what I see from most sparrows we get. Even clumped more densely than juncos.

White-crown in lower left, cousin white-throat in upper right:

Around 3PM the rain was light, in the back garden shrubs, trees, wood pile–warblers. All yellow-throated yellow-rumps. Than I caught sight of a drab bird, it flew out and grabbed some large insect, gobbled it down during a brief perch…and then it was gone. That was my first wood-pewee of the year! An hour later another gang of warblers, maybe the same yellow-rumps, and among them this time–two orange-crowns. Migration despite whatever the weather wants to do.

Sophia Wood has a warbler visitation yesterday. Over a dozen yellow-rumps and an orange-crowned…she’s also here in south Salem:

The Ankeny robin picked up by our Motus sensor at Ankeny NWR in January and February has returned to Canada. Now it has been located on the north end of Vancouver Island. The bird was tagged last fall in suburban Vancouver, BC.

My youngest son, Dorian, is in LaJolla for some academic palaver. On the beach he found large mammals–sea lions and hominids. And nesting cormorants. The blue chin says “Brandt’s.” often they nest on offshore rocks and you can get near enough for photos. Thanks, Dorian.

Can you believe some GOOD news? Click here for report on how the electricity generation industry is finally going to lower its greenhouse gas emissions…this year…first time ever. Solar, it’s been good to know you!



Join us for a free Bird Walk at Cornerstone, our 87-acre property in northcentral Polk County. This leisurely walk will be guided by Harry Fuller, author, and member of the Salem Audubon Society.

Cornerstone has a unique combination of habitats, including riparian, seasonal stream, mixed conifer forest and heritage oak savannah and woodland. Cornerstone will be a major anchor of wildlife habitat connected by corridors within the region to foster the recovery of sensitive and threatened species found within this ecoregion. Last year, Harry identified 68 species of birds at Cornerstone!

Harry is also the co-founder of The Partnership for International Birding. He is an avid bird blogger and is the author of Freeway Birding, San Francisco to Seattle, and co-author of Great Owls of California, Oregon and Washington. We are grateful to have Harry at Cornerstone to share his knowledge and help participants identify the different bird species there.

Registration is required and limited. Please email our Outreach Coordinator, Morgan Neil for more information, accommodations and registration details –

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Apr 16, 2023
21 species

Mourning Dove  2
Northern Flicker  2
Western Wood-Pewee  1
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  2
House Sparrow  1
House Finch  2
Lesser Goldfinch  6
American Goldfinch  15
Chipping Sparrow  14
Fox Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  2
White-crowned Sparrow  2
Golden-crowned Sparrow  3
White-throated Sparrow  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  12


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