Posted by: atowhee | May 10, 2012

MAY IS A MUST

The month of May is the must-bird month for birders in North America.  The weather  is warming, or drying, or both.  The sun is up earlier and up later.  Our neo-tropical migrants are returning.  Male (and some female) birds are singing.  Nests are being built.  Life is in motion, in action, in chorus.  The variety of greens in leaves seems infinite, the widlfowers are a bloom, the bees (that remain) are buzzing.  In our garden they prefer the Chinese holly and the chives.  So it was time to return to Sanctuary One for a bird count.  Gone are the winterers: Junco, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Flicker.  The insect eaters are back in force: vireo, warblers, flycatchers, swallows, Vauyx’s Swift.

Birds, from the top: Ash-throated Flycatcher in the oaks with Whitepbreasted Nuthatch and Chipping Sparrow, Scrub-Jay and Acorn Woodpcker.  Lazuli Bunting at the tiop of a Doug fir, first Laz I’ve seen this spring.  Tree Swallow on the fence. Many more were insect-hawking over the Applegate River.  Chipping Sparrow.  Thumbnail: House Wren signing at me from the top of a shed.

These white flowers are about one-inch across, growing under trees in heavy shade. They are Beadlilies, Clintonia imniflora.  They are named in honor of DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828), naturalist and governor of New York.  As a ppwerful and wealthy political figure he was much help to less fortunate naturalists like Audubon, David Douglas and Constantine Rafinesque.  Al three of those naturalkists, BTW, were immogrants from abroad.

SANCTUARY ONE, Jackson, US-OR May 10, 2012 8:45 AM. 32 species.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  4. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  1 Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  1. Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  10. Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  6. Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens)  1. Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)  2. Click on pic for full screen view. Hutton’s Vireo (Vireo huttoni)  2  calling. Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  2.  calling. Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  10. Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1. Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  4. Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  40. Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  5. Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  6. Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  4. White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1. House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  1 American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  6. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  4. Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  1 Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  20. Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1 Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  1 Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1 Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  1 Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  12. Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena)  2. Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  6. Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii)  4.

The sound of Sanctuary One today was Black-headed Grosbeak.  I was never out of range of at least one singing grosbeak anywhere on the sixty acre ranch.  Near the creek the Bullock’s Orioles and Warbling Vireos were also singing.  This si a view south along the Applegate River which snow-topped Dutchman’s Peak in the distance.

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