Posted by: atowhee | August 4, 2017

FURTHER ADVENTURES IN FORENSIC BIRDING

UPDATE ON AUGUST 12, From “Olin Allen
Shangri-Llama Farm
Monmouth, Oregon” Mr. Allen tells me the first set of feathers are from a domestic barred rock chicken.

August 4, 2017

Apparently there is a bird-eating owl using the mown areas around the Yamhill Sewer Ponds as his or her personal abattoir. Today the dog and I found at least 3 dining sites, each with its own particular set of feathery remains from the feast.
First there were the variegated feathers, white and dark gray bands. This one I took to have been a Cooper’s Hawk. SEE ABOVE FOR CORRECTION. The size and coloration looked right. The longest feathers must have come from a wing, about ten inches in length.coop fthrcoop fthrs2
Then there was one that I recognized immediately and without doubt. I grew up on a farm and helped my mother pluck the chicken that was to become dinner…or Sunday’s mid-day meal. Don’t tell the householders across the creek from the sewer ponds, where domestic jungle-fowl run freely on the slope…but somebody lost a chicken to this owl. chkn fthrchkn fthr2
Then there was this one. My best guess is it comes from some gull? The feathers were over six inches long so I immediately eliminated small black and white birds like chickadee and Tree Swallow and even our local woodpeckers.gull fthr
Then there was this lone beauty, and I think it belonged to the Great Horned Owl who shed this one after a particularly heavy meal in another part of this dining meadow. CORRECTION: THIS IS BARN OWL FEATHER:GHO FEATHER
One field along Westside Road was crowded with crows. Something out there fit their appetite for a brunch.croz“Them hills is smokin'” I overheard.croz2croz3 A male Kestrel hunted the Yamhill pastures near the sewer ponds.AK ON POST
our two most likely summer gulls were to be seen at Yamhill this morning: a pale Ring-billed and two sooty Californias, all first year birds:2gullscagu-1yrRBG-SEWRThe sandpipers eating along the edge of the sew-goo were the local Spotties and a small flock of passing Leasts.s-pipers-piper3El vulture pasa. tv pasa

Late yesterday I counted up the panting birds I had seen in the heat. Just in our garden: scrub-jay…House Finch…robin…collared-dove…and then this nuthatch came onto the dawn redwood trunk right in front of my window (as I huddled in the air conditioning). He wasn’t honking, he was panting.rb trunkedrb facerb face2rb face3rb face4rb fluff

A month ago I had my first forensic birding experience at the Yamhill Sewer Ponds–click here for that report.

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 4, 2017 9:50 AM – 10:40 AM. 12 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 3
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 30
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 2
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) 25
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) 5
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 1
California Gull (Larus californicus) 3 all first-year birds
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1
Barn Swallow (American) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) 20
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 3
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 1

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