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Category: Birds

Swallow Standing Still

Swallow Standing Still

I saw this Violet-green Swallow on a recent walk to our neighborhood coffee shop.  It was sitting on the roof of another building. I noticed the swallows returning to our area about a month ago.  Normally I can’t ever seem to get a photo of them since they don’t stand still.  They fly over the house, constantly darting in every direction hunting for insects. According to Birds of the Willamette Valley Region by Nehls, Aversa, and Opperman, “male violet-green swallows…

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Walnuts for Band-tailed Pigeons

Walnuts for Band-tailed Pigeons

The sound of wings flapping made me look up at my Walnut Tree yesterday.  Sure enough, there was a Band-tailed Pigeon, a bird well known for making a clapping sound when first taking flight. As I’ve posted about before, there are two easy ways to tell Band-tailed Pigeons and Rock Doves (the common city pigeon) apart.  One is the white line behind the Band-tailed Pigeon’s head as seen above.  The other is the Band-tailed Pigeon’s yellow beak and feet. It…

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Silly Osprey, Birds Don’t Use Phones

Silly Osprey, Birds Don’t Use Phones

During our hike last weekend through the Camassia Natural Area near our house, my boys and I stopped to look at this nearby cell phone tower.  Why? To see the Osprey nest!  The nest gets used every year, and I imagine that it might be the same pair that returns every year. We frequently see Ospreys fly over our house.  We live between this nest and the Willamette River.  Since Ospreys eat fish, this would make some sense. Later in…

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Rain Garden Wildlife

Rain Garden Wildlife

As I posted about a couple of times over the last few weeks, I built this rain garden in my backyard.  Two of my roof downspouts empty into it and the water fills the garden for a while before it slowly sinks into the ground.  The plants are starting to grow and leaf out a bit. And the wildlife is starting to take notice… A Robin stopped and sat down in the middle of the bark mulch.  The mulch does…

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Yellow-rumped Warbler has a Yellow…you know…

Yellow-rumped Warbler has a Yellow…you know…

This weekend I took my boys on a hike through the Camassia Natural Area near our house (inspired by Patricia Lichen’s post from last week).  More photos from our trip will be coming later this week, but for now I thought I’d share this one.  A tall Oregon Grape is growing through the grass understory.  What is that creature sitting on it? A bird of some sort, and not one I see everyday. I kept taking pictures but was still…

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Battle in the Skies

Battle in the Skies

An epic air battle played out above our house yesterday.  First, this Red-tailed Hawk was soaring in large circles. Suddenly, a local crow attacked.  Crows often try to chase hawks, ospreys, and eagles away from their territory.  Usually I see them do it as a group, but this brave crow decided to do it alone.  Hawks always seem to flee the area when crows attack, and this time was no exception.  But while it was fleeing, the vultures moved in….

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Backyard Birds of the More Common Varieties

Backyard Birds of the More Common Varieties

The other day I posted about ospreys and vultures that I saw flying over my yard this past weekend.  Now these photos are of the smaller birds that visit us every day. Above is a Northern Flicker.  See the red mark on its face?  That means it is a male. A Spotted Towhee was finding black sunflower seeds below my bird feeder… …as a Red-breasted Nuthatch was going right to the source.  After grabbing a seed, the nuthatch would fly…

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Backyard Birds of Prey

Backyard Birds of Prey

Lately the skies seem to be filled with birds of prey.  This osprey was surveying the neighborhood, floating in large circles high above the house. There is a pair of ospreys that nest atop a nearby cell phone tower.  They fly over our house on their way down to the Willamette River.  Ospreys actually dive into the water to catch live fish, but I haven’t seen this happen yet. A few minutes later this massive scavenger floated over our backyard…

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