February 2016 – Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
I was pretty excited to get this shot… I think this requires more luck than anything else. This guy only hung around for a few seconds.
March 2013 – Hillsboro, Oregon
These are such fast and active little birds… I’m surprised I was able to get even this mediocre shot. You can just make out a bit of the ruby crown on the back of the head.
December 2012 – Eugene, Oregon
These are extremely active little birds, especially in winter where they have to fight for every morsel of food they can turn-up. Not the best photo here, but the best I could muster after a half-hour of tracking this one through a hedge.
May 2014 – Central Oregon coast
While Western Gulls are common, scenes like this are rare.
November 2012 – Bandon, Oregon
Just another photo of a Western Gull, which I like… A wave crashed behind this gull, and it was just trying to keep its balance when I was able to get this.
May 2012 – Pistol River, Oregon
This Western Gull was scraping the back of an old crab shell – looking for any last morsel left behind… and not above trying to eat the shell itself. Maybe there was something left – a number of other birds were hovering nearby.
November 2009 – Bandon, OR
A Western Gull takes a rest on some rocks along the beach. This bird let me get pretty close. It didn’t look injured, just really comfortable, and not interested in flying away if it didn’t have to.
May 2014 – Champoeg State Park, Oregon
The Western Bluebirds in Champoeg State Park are likely some of the more well-known and well-photographed of their kind. All the birds I’ve seen there have leg bands, which means they were likely raised as chicks in this same location. There are nesting boxes set up all around the park, some not far from the walking paths. As a result, these normally skittish birds can be relatively tolerant of people.
Western Bluebird – Male
Western Bluebird populations have been declining in recent years due to a loss of habitat, and more to competition from more aggressive birds like the European Starling. But, at least this pair is trying to keep the species going… I, um… caught them in the act of making more Bluebirds (photo not shown, as this is a G-rated website)
Western Bluebird – Female
May 2014 – Champoeg State Park, Oregon
This appears to be a Cooper’s Hawk, perhaps a year old – still with juvenile plumage. These hawks are a bit hard to identify, but this one was surely too big to be the similar Sharp-shinned Hawk. Cooper’s Hawks are Accipiters, whose primary prey are other birds. They are quick and nimble hunters, swooping through the trees to snag their prey.
2003 – Hillsboro, Oregon
I’m fairly certain this is a Cooper’s Hawk… a female, possibly young male? The Sharp-shinned hawk looks similar, but is a bit smaller. So, without much else to go on, I’m going by size… even though there isn’t much to get a good scale on. If you have any other opinions, I’d love to hear them. Anyway, it was a fun little encounter – it just hung out on the lawn for a bit, then flew off.
September 2013 – Off the Oregon Coast
Outside the breeding season, these birds take-on a different appearance, and stick mostly to the water. Why come to land if you don’t have to?
November 2008 – Yaquina Head, Oregon
If penguins could fly, they’d probably look a lot like the Common Murre. These were getting ready to roost (not sure if there are nests here) on a rocky outcrop just off of Yaquina Head, near Newport, Oregon.
June 2013 – Banaue area, Philippines
Had a nice moment with one of these in a tree at the Native Village Inn, about 7km west of Banaue. I was lucky to catch a glimpse of this bird. A local person told me this particular bird was a bit of an omen… whether good or bad, he couldn’t say.
Lesser Whistling Duck
June 2013 – Singapore
There were a number of these in the upper pond of the Botanical Garden in the middle of Singapore.
May 2013, Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, OR
I didn’t realize how common these birds are in Ankeny Wildlife Refuge, which is just south of Salem, OR. If you look at most guidebooks, they’ll tell you the range of the Black Phoebe extends just barely along the coast of southern Oregon. Apparently, those need to be updated.
May 2011 – Shore Acres State Park, OR
While this is a fairly common bird in some parts of the US, I hadn’t seen one prior to this occasion in Shore Acres state park, on the southern Oregon coast. Often when I spot a new bird, I’ll get pretty excited – like I just made a new discovered. Later, when I look them up, it’s more of a ho-hum experience. Still, it’s fun to see new things.
A few of these birds were flying around some bushes, catching flies in the air and such. I was having a hard time focusing on them (and just missed an amazing mid-air fly-grabbing shot!), so this one was the best I could do – not exactly a natural setting on some brick tiles, but that’s ok.
March 2013 – Hillsboro, Oregon
For years, the plum tree in our backyard hasn’t produced anything. For some reason, this spring, a flock of bushtits were all over the tree when it was in bloom – on multiple days. Now it’s July, and… we have tons of plums. Coincidence? or are bushtits just great pollinators?
September 2012 – Jackson Bottom – Hillsboro, Oregon
I intercepted a group of Bushtits, who obliged me by picking through a trailside tree for a few minutes. These tiny birds are pretty entertaining as they assume every conceivable pose and position.
July 2011 – Hillsboro, Oregon
A flock of these Bushtits were swarming a tree in my backyard in Portland in July 2011. Anyone who’s noticed these tiny, energetic birds will know how they almost always exist in flocks of 10 to 20 birds… ceaselessly darting to and fro, and chattering non-stop. It’s unusual to see one rest for a little while and fluff its feathers like this. This one was staying warm in the afternoon sun… The birds were pretty oblivious to my presence. I should also point out that these birds are particularly responsive to hearing their species song played back to them. That random chattering really gets them excited; though, it’s best to do this kind of thing in moderation, as it can add a bit of stress to an already-fragile little creature.
April 2013 – Smith and Bybee lakes, Oregon
The Bewick’s wrens have just returned for the spring, and were busy establishing their territories. This location is in north Portland, a bunch of wetlands between a landfill, an industrial zone, and the main port of Portland. You might not think a great natural area could exist here, but it does.
June 2012 – Hillsboro, Oregon
This wren was just hammering an unfortunate caterpillar on the fence. The thing turned into a pulp when he was done. He was feeding fledgling chicks who were hiding in nearby bushes.
April 2012 – Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
This wren was flitting around the branches, singing his heart out. He stopped just for a moment to let me snap his photo.