Tag Archives: birding

Baby Barred Owl

We could hear a high-pitched bird sound outside our window after dark so we had to investigate.  After some trial and error I finally got a fuzzy photo of the baby Barred Owl.

baby barred owl
baby barred owl

I recorded the sound and it sounds just like other recordings of a baby Barred Owl screech that I found.  Listen here:

 

Spring to Summer

It’s amazing how fast the temps change on the Oregon Coast; even in the Spring.  I believe it depends on which way the wind blows.  (Maybe that’s obvious to a meteorologist.  hahaha)

swallow nest
swallow nest

We had a long, wet spring and it seems like the wildlife cycle is a little late.  That’s not a scientific fact; just a feeling.

very ripe salmonberry
very ripe Salmonberry

The wild berries also seem a little late.  I love the Salmonberries when they are a little over-ripe like this one.  And I think they are the prettiest when red rather than the earlier school bus orange.  I’ve found that the Salmonberries that get more sun aren’t as sweet; no matter how ripe they are.  So look for a bush that is mostly shaded during the day.

Herding Ducks

This little mama merganser is proficient at raising a brood.  I don’t know how many she started out with but I’ve seen her with 7 ducklings for over a week now.

mama merganser with 7 ducklings
As many as will fit while mama can stay afloat

Here’s a video to show how they are progressing in their fishing abilities:

Eagle Alert!

“Eagle!” my content advisor (as he likes to go by) calls out.  I look out the window in time to see the adult eagle swoop down to the river.  Fumbling with my camera, I watch it land briefly on the rocks, pick something out of the river and continue flying upriver.

Adult Eagle on Alsea River
Adult Eagle on Alsea River

Keeping my eye on him I get my lens cap off, turn on the camera and get out the door onto our deck overlooking the Alsea River near the Oregon Coast.  He landed!  The “eagle has landed”; to borrow a phrase from my childhood.

I hear another eagle chirp every minute or so; like a juvenile keeping in close contact with a parent who has food.  And, sure enough…here comes the kid with a hollow leg.

Juvenile Eagle Joins Parent
Juvenile Eagle Joins Parent

Then another adult flew in to greet the two!

2nd Adult Eagle Flies In
2nd Adult Eagle Flies In

It happened too quick to get a photo of all 3 eagles together.  The camera doesn’t always win when I have to make a split-second choice between watching wildlife and photographing it.  The two adults flew off together and the young one stayed on the rock.  I couldn’t tell if the parent finished eating or left something for Junior.

Juvenile Bald Eagle
Juvenile Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles get their adult plumage in about 5 years. This one looks like it is beginning to get its white head feathers.

4-5 year-old Bald Eagle
4-5 year-old Bald Eagle

East Texas Backyard Critters

I apologize for the lack of focus on some of these but they are timid little guys.

The cardinal is one of my favorite birds because of the male’s bright red color.

cardinal
Cardinal

The Blue Jays in Texas look quite different from the Stellar Jays I’m use to west of the Rockies.

blue jay
Blue jay

The squirrels don’t look any different from my point of view though.

squirrel and blue jay
Keeping an eye on each other

This little Mockingbird might have left the nest too early.

Mockingbird fledgling
Mockingbird fledgling

It mostly hopped across the yard a few jumps then flapped his wings in that quivering kind of way that baby birds use.

mockingbird fledgling trying to fly
I saw Mama do this

When I saw the chicks coming out on the Martin house deck I knew the fledge was close.  It was early morning and the windows were dripping with dew.  I went out on the deck to take some photos and the camera lens kept fogging up.  Combine that with the breeze blowing the branches in front of the bird house and it took a while before I could get a photo.  These are not Martins.  Maybe starlings?

Not Martins in the Martin house
Not Martins in the Martin house

We were gone for a couple days and didn’t see the chicks again.  But something stinky must have happened inside.

Turkey vulture on Martin house
Turkey vulture on Martin house

I’m not giving them their cleaning deposit back!

Spring on the Alsea River

A male Rufous hummingbird finally found our feeder today.  He guards it ruthlessly.

male rufous hummingbird
He’s the boss

Rufous hummers are very territorial.  He is chasing off 5 or 6 other hummers.

Everybody likes the salmonberries – especially the Robins

robin in the salmonberries
Robin in the Salmonberries

The crawdad is almost the bottom of the food chain around here.  They are the scavengers who feed on dead fish flesh.  The diving ducks eat the crawdads – unless we eat them first.

crawdad
Crawdad!

The mallards are enjoying all the fresh green moss growing on the river bottom and banks of the Alsea.

mallard hen and drake
Mallard Couple

The new growth of spring is such a vibrant green!

Alsea River at Tidewater, Oregon
Alsea River at Tidewater