February ~ Birds, Birds and More Birds
February 8, 2015
February opened with a wonderful opportunity to see this leucistic Great Blue Heron along the Columbia River!!!
Bald eagles are still here, and as I said on my Facebook. Page, “Why YES officer, I DO consider it an emergency when I see a Bald Eagle on a snag next to the highway. My car always pulls over for this type of ’emergency parking only’ situation!!”
February 1st began with a small group of us meeting in Biggs and traversing the Columbia River to Maryhill State Park. One of the first birds we saw was a Northern Flicker.
I was looking for an owl said to be there, but didn’t find it. To my delight we found many little birds, like the Bewick’s Wren above.
It was a rainy gray day, but the little birds like this Fox Sparrow didn’t notice. I did. I left my camera’s raincoat in the car! Had to cover it with a plastic bag that was loaned to me.
I managed to catch a Spotted Towhee between thicket branches.
A golden-crowned Sparrow posed for me framed by branches.
A few of us drove down the highway looking for a Long-eared owl that was seen another day, but instead we watched this Townsend’s Solitaire watching us.
I think this is a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow, but I get many of my sparrows mixed up!
Yesterday I went to Sauvie Island with my friend Nancy for an Audubon event. Most of the birds were too far away, but fortunately Audubon had their birds there for us to see up close and personal! Love the little American Kestrels even more now!!
Mesmerized by this little Peregrine Falcon, I learned so much about him and other raptors from the volunteers staffing the many booths and bird-watching stations.
This is Ruby, the Audubon’s Turkey Vulture. My appreciation for this scavenger bird has grown since learning more about them last spring.
Since we couldn’t get close enough to photograph the Sandhill Cranes and Swans, we headed out to Crystal Springs in Portland.
It was raining and once again I left my camera raincoat behind! I used my rain pants, which was a great substitute! You can see raindrops on the Wood Duck’s back while we experienced a moment of clearing.
This American Wigeon and other waterfowl came running at the sound of children’s voices. Apparently they know when kids are around they get treats!
I tend to look for the unusual ducks, but this Mallard was begging to have his portrait taken.
I can’t figure out what the waterfowl behind the Mallard is. Canvasback maybe? Not exactly.
I have many more photos to process but will stop here so I can deliver a print today, ordered by a friend.
Don’t forget, “Fine Feathered Friends” opens at Columbia Art Gallery First Friday, March 6th and runs through March 30th. Co-curator Robin Panzer and I have put together a fabulous month of events for your enjoyment in addition to 16 artists presenting their artwork! Many of our artists will demonstrate their process during the month and we’ll have an interactive display on loan from Conboy National Wildlife Refuge. On Mar 7th come see Raptors, live in the theater at Columbia Arts! Mar 14 you can paint a birdhouse in the studio. Mar 21st, enjoy a fashion show of feathery tattoos and a tattoo demonstration. Mar 28 join us for a short hike up the Hood River stairs into an older neighborhood to see and learn about our resident birds with field biologist, Cathy Flick.