Posted by: atowhee | June 20, 2015

GREAT GRAY OWL BOOK GETS LOCAL PUBLICITY

The Ashland newspaper today ran a piece on the Great Gray Owl book that Peter Thiemann and I put together. You can click here for link to that piece.

It even includes a photo of the not-so-great gray birder.

Posted by: atowhee | June 18, 2015

LAKE OF THE WOODS

A couple of philanthropists have purchased a defunct campground at Lake of the Woods.  It was a girl scout camp dating back before WW2.  Decrepit and too expensive for the scouts to fix, it was sold.  The new owners hope to replace the old structures and give it to the Ashland YMCA.  I was invited to look around to see what birds were there.  The parcel contains shoreline, maturing second growth forest and some dense willow and grass marshy margin along the shallow end of the lake.  I hope to revisit early next month.

HAWO2 (1280x960) HAWO-LO ECHO (1280x960) WETA MALE (1280x960)

Low Echo Campground, Klamath, Oregon, US.  The elevation is over 5000 feet.  Lake of the Woods is a natural lake, not a reservoir.
Jun 18, 2015 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM.  10 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)  3
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)  1
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)  2
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  1
Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X

Posted by: atowhee | June 17, 2015

EASTERN OREGON GALLERY

BE AT NST (1280x960)Bald Eagle on nest, Westside Road, Klamath County.  Below: Burrowing Owl along Hwy 205 in Harney County. buro1 collier flwr LST CHPMNKRed-breasted Saopsucker with beak full of insects, Collier State Park, Klamath County. RBSAP+BUGS snipost1Wilson’s Snipe above, Tree Swallow in nest box. trsw box wbn-arriv wbn-in wbn-llookAbove: White-breasted Nuthatch at nest hole, Wocus Bay, Klamath County.  Below: Kingbird in Harney County where they are abundant. weki wire wm-sap in wm-sap wm-sap2Williamson’s Sapsucker at nest hole, Wocus Bay.

Posted by: atowhee | June 16, 2015

SURROGATE OWL FATHER’S UPDATE

For those of you interested in Andy Huber’sexperiences helping a widowed female Great Gray Owl raise her five young, here’s an update:

Greetings all,
Several have asked about the great gray family here, so I’m happy to give an update.
We had an exciting event on Saturday evening, June 13.  We were watching the four fledglings practicing their hunting techniques…mimicking mom.  And we saw the oldest one actually catch a wild rodent.  That chick had hatched on approximately April first, so I’m estimating it is about 74 days old (photo #2).  I’m attaching a few more chick photos for perspective.
I like to feed the mother a few mice both early in the morning, and late in the evening, to reduce overheating.  Even then, while carrying rodents to the fledglings, she gets quite warm. She spreads and lowers her wings away from her body, breathes rapidly, and her gular (throat) flutters (photo # 4).”
The family is now usually located in dense forest, about 100 yards either north or west of the old nest site.  It is cooler there, but photographs are a little more challenging.  They change sites about every two days.
Thanks again, to all of you who have shared in the experience and helped make it possible.”
1. Mother Great Gray intent 6-16-15 3117 IMG_6462 2. Oldest fledgling approx 75 days  6-14-15 3126 IMG_6403 3. Probable last chick approx 61 days  6-14-15 2831 IMG_6336 4. Mother GGO hot 6-14-16 2287 IMG_6422 5. Fledgling on branch 6-14-15 2446 IMG_6161 6. Fledgling on larch 2593 6-14-15 IMG_6262 7. Fledgling 4131 6-14-15 Huber estimates the youngest owlet is just over 60 days old.
Huber’s property is near La Grande in eastern Oregon and he continues to trap live mammals for the family.
Posted by: atowhee | June 16, 2015

MORE MALHEUR MEMORIES–2015

trump with cygnetsTrumpeter Swans with four cygnets on Benson Pond, June 6.  Below pronghorn on the road to Krumbo Lake.prng1 prng2 prng3 prng4 prng5 prng6 prng7BGS GROUPBGS LOOKSJR-1PINTL MALE1 (1280x960)SEO ALOFTShort-eared Owl along Boat Landing Road.SEO IN TREE (1280x960)

Posted by: atowhee | June 15, 2015

MORE FROM MALHEUR TRIP

The elegance of a tern turning and hovering:air-tern1

aitr-tern2air-tern3

air-tern4

air-tern5 (2)A most wonderful hovercraft to watch. The Forster’s Terns were fishing along the canals that line the road through the Klamath Marsh NWR east of US97.

Posted by: atowhee | June 14, 2015

RETURN TO MALHEUR, DAY #3: ON A LARK

We had many fine birding moments today on this Klamath Bird Observatory sponsored trip.  There was a family of Prairie Falcons and a family of Barn Owls in the same cliff face at Princeton.  There were moth-like flying Short-eared Owls at Malheur.  Adult birds feeding young: Bullock’s Oriole, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Starling.  Burrowing Owl families, one with 7 members at a small desert watering hole fed by a century-old windmill creaking as it turned.  Finally, a good look at a singing Brewer’s Sparrow and two Lark Sparrows at close range.  But the Horned Lark was bird of the day:HOLA LIFTOFF (1280x960) HORNED (1280x960) HORNED2 (1280x960) I do admire Bobolink, Dickcissel, Western Meadowlark and the whole sparrow crowd, but for a grassland bird…could there be a more intriguing character, horns or no?

Posted by: atowhee | June 13, 2015

RETURN TO MALHEUR, DAY #2: BOBOLINKING

On our Klamath Bird Observatory field trip today we had several trip birds but the Bobolinks trumped all others.BOBSX2 (1280x960)BOB UP (1280x960)BOB-A (1280x960)BOB EO (1280x960)  BOB FO (1280x960) BOB GO (1280x960) BOB GO2 (1280x960) BOB GONE (1280x960)   BOB FACES (1280x960) BOBS BACK (1280x960) BOBSIDE (1280x960)BOB JUMP (1280x960)BOB-LEAP (1280x960)
These Bobolinks were found along the Central Patrol Road at P Ranch on the Malheur NWR, and then later along Lava Bed Road and Diamond Loop Road at the foot of the Steens Mountain.

Posted by: atowhee | June 12, 2015

RETURN TO MALHEUR, DAY 1

My second and last spring trip to Malheuyr began today in Ashland.  En route we saw 89 bird species and several mammals including otter and pronghorn (no badger yet this week).  The curlews now in Malheur basin are running around with chicks about one-fifth the size of mom and dad.  Two Ferruginous Hawk nests have young about to fledge. Along Westside Road in Klamath county we had White-headed woodpecker and Bald Eagle nestling.  And at Collier State Park we saw a Dipper.dipp-eyes dipp-on-logThis Lark Sparrow was in Harney County south of Burns. lasp on wire3 lasp on wire4 mtn-blu petThis Mountain Bluebird was at the Sage Hen Rest Area in Harney County.  The snipe flew from a fence post up to the top of a utility pole so we could get a better look. snipost2Below: male Williamson’s Sapsucker at nest hole, Wocus Bay, Klamath Marsh NWR. wm-sapIn this photo a bit of the yellow belly shows as he slips into the hole in a dead ponderosa. wm-sap2

Posted by: atowhee | June 10, 2015

YET MORE MALHEUR IMAGES

ferru chicks1 (1280x1172)Four Ferruginous Hawklets about to fledge from their nest in lone juniper near MP 17 along Hwy 205, south of Burns. P2480739 (1280x960) Below: Horned Lark, luxuriating in the expanse of dry former lakebed this spring. HOLA BK (1280x892) HOLA SIDE (1280x839)  P2480762 (1280x903)Shrike above, Western Kingbird below. P2480794 (1280x858)SAPH ONSIGN (1280x604)Say’s Phoebe at the Field Station.  Below, soaring White Pelicans. wp in air (1021x1280)Look carefully at these reeds along Boat Launch Road…one curls to the right near the top.  That is the only American Bittern we saw, spotted by keen-eyed Paul Wagner of Eugene.BITT1 (1280x960) BITT2 (1280x960) BITT3 (1280x960)This jack was frozen in place, grass salad stick hanging from his maw. JR-1 MAREWN2Marsh Wren MAWREN1 (1280x960) P2480714 (1280x960) P2480715 (1280x960) PINTL MALE1 (1280x960) PT-1 SEO IN AIR-PRFCT (1280x960)

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