Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2014

BIRDS OF PANDEMONIUM

Click here for story about a woman who cares for unwanted birds in the Bay Area. These are caged birds being rejected by their original owners or injured birds just found liyng about.

Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2014

PORCH OWL

PENDLETON SCREECH
This Western Screech-Owl has begun roosting under the eave of a friend’s house in the foothills west of Phoenix, Oregon. The same house gets occasional visits from a roosting Barn Owl as well. The area has vineyards and farms and an abundance of rodents obviously.

Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2014

OCTOBER DAY IN THE VALLEY

I led a field trip for Rogue Valley Audubon today. Over 30 people showed up, and we birded three locations, seeing 49 species. Best of all, at the end we went to Ashland Pond: male Western Tanager in full color and a White-throated Sparrow. The latter was at the same location were this uncommon wintering species has been wintering for the past few years.
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CHASING LITTLE GRAY SPECKS
Twice today our group was treated to the sight of Bushtits twitering and flitting through the bushes. This is as close as I got to a decent photo. Bushtits won’t pose.
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B-T3
Salmon in Bear Creek, Newbry Park.
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Wasp nest, Newbry Park.
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Emigrant Lake, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 12, 2014 8:25 AM – 10:25 AM
8.0 mile(s). 33 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 4
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) 5
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 1
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) 1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 2
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 3
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 8
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1 male
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) X
Common Raven (Corvus corax) X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) X
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 25
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 1
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 15
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 40
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) X
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 50
Junco–many
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) X
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) X
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) X
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 1
———————
Bear Creek Greenway–Lynn Newbry Park, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 12, 2014 10:30 AM – 11:50 AM
2.0 mile(s). 28 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) X
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 3
American Wigeon (Anas americana) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) X
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) X
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
American Coot (Fulica americana) X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) X
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 4
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) X
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) X
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) 2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) X
Cedar Waxwing 30+
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) X
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) X
———————-
Ashland Pond, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 12, 2014 12:15 PM – 12:50 PM
0.4 mile(s). 21 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) X
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 1
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) 1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 20
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 1
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) 1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) X
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) X

Posted by: atowhee | October 11, 2014

A RAVEN IN THE SUN

Corvids always seem to get the best of any situation. They know the fall is turning chilly and so they soak up the sun while they can.RVN IN SUN
Below you see three Ravens and in the background a flock of Crows, heading to their evening roost above Ashland.
CORVID RUSH
Golden-crowned Sparrow in the brush at Ashland Pond.
GOLD-CRND
Red-shouldered Hawk in trees along Ashland Creek at the pond. A second Red-shoulder not far away was screaming loudly.
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THE BROTHERS FOUR
Around our house the quartet mature male turkeys who come by almost daily are known as the Brother Fours, not sure if they know any folk songs. Today their presence attracted some other, young turks.
TRK-A

TRK-B
ASHLAND POND ON AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON
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TOWN QUAIL
This covey does well hiding in a blackberry thicket at the end of a dead-end street in Ashland where human neighbors feed them. Note the male is this first picture has TWO crown feathers, not just one.
CAL QUAIL-2 FTHR (1280x960) KEY TO THE PUZZLE, BENT FEATHERS…BNA ONINE SAYS THE MALE HAS SIX FEATHERS ON HIS CREST IN A TIGHT BUNDLE…SOME OBJECT HAS BUNGLED HIS BUNDLE BENDING ONE FEATHER AWAY FROM THE OTHERS.

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OTHER PONDERSGBH REFLX
Heron above, grebe below. Light all around.
PBG

Posted by: atowhee | October 10, 2014

TREE OWL, BOX OWLS

tree owl
THis evening there was a single Screech-Owl perched in the hollow part of a maple where three young owlets were fledged last summer. Earlier in the week a Screech was to be found in each of two roost boxes placed along Granite Street. It is no longer possible to tell the young owls from the adults. P2180750 (1280x960)

Posted by: atowhee | October 10, 2014

SOME BIRDS IN THE VALLEY

Emmalisa Whalley and I checked out some birding spots in Ashland and Talent. Here’s some of what we saw, all photographed by Emmalisa:goose
Newbry park, Talent. Lots of ducks have arrived and they found some water though the pond is low: Mallard, Shoveler, GW Teal, Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, plus a couple of Coots.
groupshovelerShoveler in eclipse plumage.

groupquail
California Quail on their quiet dead-end street in Ashland.

quail

savannahSavannah Sparrow, Butler Creek Road.

turkeyvultureTurkey Vulture at Butler Creek Road hops farm.

waxwing Waxwing in Dog Park crabapple.

A COUPLE OF MAMMALS:
harry Above, I pretend to be a birder. Below, Nora exercises the genetic imperatives that come from being both boxer and labrador: play, stick and water.

nora

Ashland Pond, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 10, 2014 8:50 AM – 9:50 AM
0.7 mile(s). 19 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 60
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) 20
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 1
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 30
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 5
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 2
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) 2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 15
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 2
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X

Butler Creek Rd., Jackson, US-OR
Oct 10, 2014 10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
5.0 mile(s). 15 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 2
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 6
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) X
Common Raven (Corvus corax) X
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) X
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) X

Bear Creek Greenway–Lynn Newbry Park, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 10, 2014 10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
1.0 mile(s). 22 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 2
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 2
American Wigeon (Anas americana) 75
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 40
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 30
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) 4
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) 40
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 2
American Coot (Fulica americana) 2
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 2
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 12 unusual in this habitat, all in a single flock
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 4
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 25
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20189803

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (/content/nw)

Posted by: atowhee | October 10, 2014

A LITTLE HELP FOR OUR FRIENDS

Rogue Valley Audubon and Peter Thiemann have now put up 9 new nest platforms for Great Gray Owls in Jackson County. There are two breeding populations here: one along the crest of the Cascades and a second in the rugged ridgelands along the Applegate and Little Applegate Rivers west of Interstate 5. This latter population lives in a hotter climate than any other GGO population in the world. Most of them are also below 3000″ elevation unlike their nearby cousins in the Cascades who are generally above 4500′.

Yesterday the two platforms went onto BLM-owned land in the vicinity of Howard Prairie east of Ashland Here are photos of forester Marty Main putting up the platforms that Thiemann built and a small group of Rogue Valley Audubon members watching and applauding when each platform is in place.P2180869 (1280x960)

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GGO PLATFORM PROGRAM

RVAS is helping place nest platforms for Great Gray Owls. Jackson County has 300-500 GGOs, mostly in the Cascades. A few are in the uplands along the Applegate River. That estimate’s from Steve Godwin, BLM’s chief biologist in the county. For about two decades BLM field biologists in southwestern Oregon have searched for Great Gray Owls during an annual spring survey. Great Grays are in eastern Josephine County and Klamath County. The only confirmed GGO population in northern California is a small one north of Alturas in Modoc County. There’s an isolated population around Yosemite.
Godwin assured me the recent forest fire east of Greensprings did NOT hit known GGO nesting habitat. That fire mostly burned commercial timber land, not the right habitat for the species.
Platforms are being made by volunteer and nature photographer, Peter Thiemann. Each needs to be carefully placed in dense, mature forest near meadows good for Great Gray hunting. A platform is put 35 feet above the ground by an experienced forestry worker. Donations go for materials and pay the person equipped to hang the platform.
One limitation to Great Grays’ population is lack of nesting places. Owls don’t build nests. They use cliffs, cavities, old nests for other species, manmade structures. GGOs do not use buildings, bridges, cavities or cliffs. Left to their own devices GGOs need a large tree trunk broken off at the right height or a nest built by Raven or Red-tail. Many of these natural nest sites are short-lived. A pair we monitored this spring on a private ranch near Grizzly Peak used a fast disintegrating Ravens’ nest. That area is where the first two platforms will be placed this fall.
There is good evidence of Great Gray Owls using nest platforms over many years. Here in the southern part of their range owls will pair and nest almost every season because food supplies—small rodents—are generally available. Further north lemming populations may crash leading to a dormant season where nests are fewer or non-existent. Platforms are now used for GGOs in Scandinavia, Canada and in their scattered nesting areas in the western U.S. One platform on private land near Howard Prairie Lake has been used both in 2013 and 2014. Some platforms have been used by GGOs as many as ten years in a row.
If you can donate to the Great Gray Owl nest platform fund, please send check to RVAS, P.O. Box 8597, Medford OR 97501. Your donations are tax deductible.


Near one platform site was a small meadow whetre GGOs are known to hunt and a tiny trickle of water still flowed, despite the drought. There a flock of Varied Thrush had come to drink, at least forty were in the vicinity, along with other thirsty birds: Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin.
VARI-1

VARI-2

Posted by: atowhee | October 9, 2014

PUTTING THE KETTLE ON

Turkey Vultures could be seen in three separate kettles over Ashland today as they gathered, circled and soared up to an elevation that would allow them to coast over the Siskiyou Pass That pass is well over 4000′ in elevation.P2180727 (1280x960)

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P2180708 (1280x960) Some of these birds may have to go all the way to Panama so they have to keep movin’.

Posted by: atowhee | October 9, 2014

WAX TO THE MAX

WW12

WW13

There is a cluster of crabapple trees at the Ashland Dog Park. Those trees benefit from irrigation that goes onto the lawns there. Even in this drought those trees are burdened with plenty of fruit. That burden is being lifted…one crab at a time…by Cedar Waxwings…who are great appreciators of ripe fruit. I, in turn, consider myself a fine appreciator of the waxwings and indirectly the crabapples upon which they gorge themselves in season:CRAB GRAB-WAXWING (1280x960)Above young Waxwing grabs crab in his beak. Below, adult bird in bright sun atop the tree:

WW1

WW2
The birds with streaky chests are the juveniles born this year.
WW3

WW4WW-FLIZ

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WW7ww8

WW9

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WW11

The world has only three species of waxwing, two are found in the U.S. Our most common is the Cedar, not a goo d name since it is more likely a crabapple or mistletoe bird in the west, perhaps a persimmon bird in the southeast.
Bohemian waxwing, Bombycilla garrulus
Japanese waxwing, B. japonica
Cedar waxwing, B. cedrorum

“Bombycilla” refers to “silky tail” of the birds in this genus.

Posted by: atowhee | October 8, 2014

ONCE UPOND A TIME

Very mellow morning down around Ashland Pond today. One got away…I think. Thought I spotted a White-throated Sparrow from the back, their nape and crown is different from our usual sparrow species. But this one dodged down into the brambles and would not be pished out. This bird was in the same area where White-throats have wintered in the past, so it may have been simply wishful thinking. I can say for certain it was NOT an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Having no binocs was also a handicap. Maybe this evening…
Trees getting their autumn colors, ash on left and catalpa on the right.
P2180652 (960x1280)
Hiding down in the thicket, a White-crowned Sparrow adult.
WCSP PEEKS (1280x960)
19 species

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 1
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 3
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 5
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 2
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 25 bushels of Bushtits
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 6
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 1
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) 1
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 2
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X

GOLDEN EVENING LIGHT
P2180679 (1280x960)

PBG

Comments: second visit at 5PM, added several new species
26 species

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) 16
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) 1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 3
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 5
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 50
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 2
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 25 bushels of Bushtits
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 2
Cedar Waxwings 15
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 6
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 1
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) 1
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 2
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 5
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X

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