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Tag Archives: birds

The girls and I and our friends, Beth and Fern, went to our favorite camping place in the Okanogan Highlands last week and had a fun time despite lots of rain. One day, it rained for five straight hours, not just a light rain, but hard rain where you don’t even want to consider going outside. The trailer stayed dry inside, well, maybe it was damp from wet dogs and people and condensation but we were more or less dry. All that rain is good for wildflowers and green growing things. We did manage to do quite a bit of walking and birding and botanizing. And we read books. One day, we sat under a tree with a big canopy and stayed dry while it rained and hailed and then the birds came to us.

As you might expect at a place like Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, there were birds. Lots of kinds of birds. Most of them were not close enough for photos but I did manage to see nearly eighty species. My favorite birdwatching was right in my campsite. I saw four kinds of warblers in the trees and shrubs over the creek and Cinnamon Teals drifted by pretty continuously. Willow particularly enjoyed watching the teals. Is it because she is the same color as the male? There was a Great-horned Owl nest in the campground. It was in a particularly large and dense juniper tree and the owls were nearly impossible to photograph. Many people stopped to look at them.

We have planted snags in our backyard. Why would anyone do that? Birds love them. They stop to rest, preen and watch for bugs. They wait their turns for the feeder and the bird bath. Sometimes they just watch. Yesterday there were six Western Bluebirds on one snag! Here are three different species – a juvenile Lewis Woodpecker, two Townsend’s Solitaires and an unusual sapsucker that Ken photographed with my camera. What are your thoughts on the sapsucker ID?

From our recent camping trip.

Song Sparrows. Yellow-headed Blackbird. Mountain Bluebird with food for a nest full of little ones. Elegant Black Tern. Ring-necked Duck.

If you spend much time hiking or camping in the Cascades, sooner or later, you will be surrounded by Camp Robbers and I hope they are the avian kind. Canada Jays (formerly known as Gray Jays) are pretty birds that enjoy people. They know that people come with food and the jays seem to know if they are sweet and cute, eventually, someone will give them a handout. Sky and I saw this group on one of our hikes last week.

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