My daughter and I started just after 3pm for a little Cascade birding. First stop around 1800′ for a Red-breasted Sapsucker, note how he has his white wing stripe covered with breast and belly feathers:
This sapsucker is working an ornamental spruce along North Wightman, near the road. Stay in your car for good pictures.
The a quick stop at the Great Horned owl nest along Cave Creek, Dead Indian Mem-Road. This is the guardian male.
Then this great Gray Owl hunting a marshy meadow near Howard Prairie Lake, pictures taken around 430PM. He was hunting in the light rain. An owl’s gotta do what an owl’s gotta do. By 530pm the light was pretty marginal.
As most blog readers will now the Great Gray is the tallest owl in North America, long tail and lots of feathers on slender body that often weighs less than 3 pounds in adulthood. They eat small rodents and try to stay out of the way of the more deadly Great Horned Owl where their paths cross. I have never seen GHOs around Howard Prairie so that’s good news for our local GGOs.
There was a flock of Western Bluebirds working this meadow. 4500′ elevation.
And before we left, light fading a White-headed Woodpecker appeared. It even chased off a second Red-breasted Sapsucker. Meanwhile a Pileated was screaming around the forest but never stopped to pose.
Howard Prairie Reservoir is half empty, may hold more Common Mergansers than water. It’s ice free. Pair of Bufflehead and Pied-billed Grebe also present. There was no snow on the ground and late afternoon temp was over 40 degrees. This ain’t your grandpa’s winter.
HERE IN ASHLAND, OREGON, THE KLAMATH BIRD OBSERVATORY IS SPONSORING OUR FIRST-EVER MOUNTAIN BIRD FESTIVAL. IT IS MAY 30-JUNE 1. WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER, CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD, WESTERN SCREECH-OWL, SANDHILL CRANES ON NESTING GROUNDS, BOTH EAGLES, NESTING OSPREY, ACORN & LEWIS’S WOODPECKERS, MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD AND CHICKADEE, HERMIT AND MACGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER, CASSIN’S FINCH AND VIREO, BAND-TAILED PIGEON, BLACK TERN, RED-BREASTED AND WILLIAMSON’S SAPSUCKERS, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, LAZULI BUNTING, AMERICAN DIPPER, WRENTIT, TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE–SOME OF THE BIRDS WE EXPECT TO SEE. WITH A LITTLE BIRDING MOJO WE CAN ADD GREAT GRAY OWL, SOOTY GROUSE, MOUNTAIN QUAIL, NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL, SWAINSON’S HAWK, EVENING GROSBEAKAND NORTHERN GOSHAWK.