Posted by: atowhee | May 8, 2023


Enough oif that singing in the treetops. Enough of the vedntriloquism. Enough, here I am, try to find me. Today the soring’s loudest songster came into view.

So here he is. See that partial orange eyebrow. That means he’s a first year bird back from his first migration adventure. His parents taught him well. He knows how to use bird feeders. Black-headed Grosbeak, western member of the cardinal family, local cousin is Lazuli Bunting. Pyrrhuloixia is a relative in arid lands. Eastern relatives include Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Northern Cardinal. Colorful family. All 40+ species are living in Western Hemisphere. Bold voices and plumage to match. On this guy–gotta love that platinum beak, a shining seed crusher.

Those Evening Griosbeaks I saw last week-finches, not couisns. Problem with common names. Our blackbird and their (European) blackbird–not related. Our robin and their robin–not related. But our robin & their blackbird as in the Beatles’ lyrics (singing in the dead of night) share the same genus! Aren’t you glad you asked?

We give them prized provender. They make fertilizer deposits. Fortunately most are smaller than what the turkeys leave behind. “Behind” certainly the correct word for this activity.

A Greenland Glacier is disappearing faster than suspected until now. Click here.

Worst places for climate change in US? Some of the most endangered are Florida, the Carolinas, Texas, Louisiana, Delaware, my old home of San Francisco, New York City & Long Island, Tucson.
Click here a summary of the US danger zones.

One survey says mouintain pine beetle and feral pigs are the most wiodespread invasive animals in Oregon. I wonder if they included collared-dove or Wild Turkey among the suspects. Nutria also ranks high. Then five most prevalent ionsects all attack trees. Click here for national map with data by states.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
May 8, 2023
14 species

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  1
Mourning Dove  5
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  3
American Crow  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2     pair feeding together at suet block
European Starling  2
House Finch  4
Lesser Goldfinch  2
Dark-eyed Junco  2     pair feeding together
Western Tanager  8     flock moving across garden in morning
Black-headed Grosbeak  1     first year male using feeders off and on all day; singing in early morning


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