Friday, April 19, 2019

A Lesson in Birding

Red-winged Blackbird female

Look closely at this photo of a female Red-winged Blackbird and you can see that she is gathering cattail fuzz for nesting material.  We had an outstanding time birding at Huddleston Fish Pond in Willamina this morning.  It was overcast and threatening rain, and the pond looked devoid of all life when arrived.  Quite a contrast from our last trip here a little over a month ago when we saw a dozen different species of water-fowl on the pond. There is a saying in the bird world, "bird every bird", meaning don't assume when you see a flock of birds that they are all the same species.  A new concept struck me today, "go ahead and bird every location". Meaning, in spite of the fact that it looked like there were no birds in the area when we arrived, it's important to look anyway. By the time we left the pond  45 minutes later, we had identified 26 different species including a very rare sighting of three Caspian Terns. When we started making our loop of the pond, the first thing we noticed was there were a lot of noisy Red-winged Blackbirds, in fact we counted of 20, and in fact there were probably more than that.  The above photo provided a clue to all the activity of the Red-wings, they are busy nesting. The next time we find ourselves stopping to bird at a location that doesn't look so promising, I'm hoping we take the time to look a little closer.

Huddleston Fish Pond

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