Posted by: atowhee | September 26, 2016

A SPARROW AND HIS BUSH

Sunrise at the Field Station, just as the coyotes begin to celebrate the dawning sun.p2780482-1280x960Right now White-crowned Sparrows from further north are sweeping southward through Oregon.  Some will stay, many will move on.  In Harney County there must be millions of these small sparrows passing each fall.  Every where we went in the valley last week there were clouds of small birds in the bush, most often they turned out to be White-crowns.  Here an adult White-crown and his rabbitbrush meal. The whole week we heard not a single sparrow song. Photos from right outside our dorm at Malheur Field Station.wcsp-eatseed-1280x960 wcsp-eatseed2-1280x960 wcsp-from-abuv   wcsp-leans-1280x960 wcsp-reachs wcsp-seed-1280x960 In photo below you can see the slender filaments from seeds protruding from the beak which is itself half an inch long.wcsp-seeds wcspeatseed-1280x960The rabbitbrush is known to botanists by the mouthful Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus. It is beloved of rabbits as well as sparrows as neither can healthfully eat the ubiquitous sagebrush in the steppe habitat of Malheur’s dry parts. Rabbitbrush is in full seed mode right now, in time for the passage of sparrows.  Each tiny seed is a dot on a filament, as light as air, prone to move about with any breeze or sneeze.

You have to rest to digest.wcsp-high-964x1280-964x1280Great Horned Owl in Russian olive at Field Station.owlin-olive-1143x1280-2Two owls along Central Patrol Road–Great Horned, then Long-eared.  Both were between Krumbo Road and Benson Not-a-Pond.owl-in-wilo-1008x1280leo3-1280x960-2Buena Vista in this very dry season.bv-with-no-watrRed-naped Sapsucker in woods east of Benson Not-a-Pond.rns-in-tree-906x1160-2rns-profil-747x1118-747x1118View toward Steens Mountain from Malheur Basin.steens-afar-1280x960thrashr-sage-1280x1020-1280x1020Sage Thrashers,thrashr-tree-side-1280x960-1280x960thrshr-tree-1280x960-2TV in tree.tv-in-tree-1280x960-2-1280x960

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