Fink Family Farm Bird List

Fink Family Farm Bird List

The only list I faithfully keep is a list of all the birds seen on our farm since we moved here in 1977. I thought it would be fun to ad...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Distant Bird Up Close in the Nikon P900

I love both my cameras but usually only carry the Panasonic because it is light and quick to respond, also very good in low light conditions. I am a point and shoot camera person. But I monitor Black Oystercatchers on distant sea stacks at the coast and wanted a camera that could capture birds I couldn't see well with binoculars. So I bought a Nikon Coolpix P900. It is too heavy for me to hold still without support but I am usually somewhere that I can prop it on branches. I also use it in the car on the window. And I had a monopod for it (before I lost it somewhere), so I've ordered a cheap tripod.

Here is a photo of one of the sea stacks that has a Black Oystercatcher nesting on it, then progressively closer photos of the area of the nest. In the last one, the camera is zoomed all the way up. I love this camera.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Evening Grosbeak Feeding Chick

 Some really bad photos from a very cute encounter this morning with a baby Evening Grosbeak being fed by a parent. I had never witnessed a parent bird actually cracking a sunflower seed before feeding it to a chick. Such dedication!

 Here are the photos cropped (and blurry) showing the adult cracking the seed before feeding to chick.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Colorful Song Sparrow

This bird caught my eye as it was feeding on the seed I throw out each morning. We have lots of Song and Fox Sparrows this time of year but this Song Sparrow had the brightest head striping I've ever seen on a Song Sparrow. Peterson's says there are nearly 30 races of Song Sparrows in the west.

colorful Song Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Fox and Song Sparrows

Say's Phoebe, Linn County, Oregon

We saw this bird on our last North Santiam raptor route of the season, March 17, 2016. It was on Gates School Rd. south of Kingwood Ave.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Eurasian Collared-Dove

These birds have colonized Oregon quite rapidly. We get a few here on the farm off and on, although we mostly have Mourning Doves. When both species come in for grain that I throw in front of the barn, the EC Doves are clearly subordinate to the Mourning Doves, who chase their bigger cousins away. But we never get more than two or three EC Doves so maybe things would be different if there were hordes of them.

Recently, an EC Dove managed to get inside the chicken house but could not figure how to get back out. The chicken house is open, through low poultry-sized doors, to the chicken yard and last year's garden, both of which are open on top. We cover the garden with netting during gardening season but the netting is off now. So it was easy enough for the EC Dove to get into the chicken house by flying into the chicken yard and walking through the low door. However, it could not figure out how to reverse that procedure. After three days, Johnny took pity on the bird and caught it. Before he turned it loose I had him hold it every-which-way so I could take photos. I'd never seen the complete underside of the tail. I was surprised at the patterning.

topside of bird has almost-blue coloring on sides of back, under wings

That same blue on top of wings, maybe what Sibley calls "gray band across wing coverts". The eye ring appears to be the same, soft blue.

underside of tail (a little soiled from hanging out on chicken house floor, probably)

pink feet!

soft brown chest

After the photo shoot, Johnny opened his hand and gave a little fling, but the bird just sat there, clinging to his hand. So he set it on a tree branch. It took a few seconds before the bird realized it was free, I guess, but then it took off, flying strongly and well, far, far out of sight. We haven't seen or heard an EC Dove here since. But I suppose others will find the free meal in front of the barn some morning.

I don't mind Eurasian Collared-Doves during the winter, when they are mostly silent. But I would prefer not to have them during their "singing" season. They are pretty birds, but their repetitive calls drive me nuts.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cooper's or Red-shouldered???

 I called it a Cooper's Hawk when I saw it today on our Grand Ronde Raptor Run. But now that I've seen the photo, I think it is a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk because of the vertical streaks on upper breast and horizontal streaks on lower. But the tail banding has wide white bands and I thought they were narrow on RSHA? Also the wings look short compared to the tail (near as I can tell) which would make it an accipiter. Was I right in the first place? I am so confused!

photo cropped and lightened below...

Thanks to Hendrik Herlyn for this response: I think your initial impression was correct - this is an immature Cooper's Hawk. The tail is too long for Red-shouldered, which also doesn't have so many bars (and you are right, it would have narrower white bands). The underside looks too evenly streaked for a RSHA, and the head pattern and color is very typical for a young Cooper's.

And Wayne Hoffman for this: You were right the first time - Cooper's Hawk.  In addition to the characters you mentioned, the head is relatively small.  The underparts pattern does look sort of like a Red-shouldered with the bibbed chest look and paler belly, but is far paler (fewer streaks) them most young Red-shoulders.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mountain and Snowy Plovers

Today Dawn V and I drove to South Beach State Park, just south of Newport, to look for the Mountain Plover that has been hanging around there for weeks with a flock of Snowy Plovers. We trained our binoculars up and down the beach and quickly saw a bevy of little shorebirds north of the trail from the parking area. We walked closer and there was our Mountain Plover, keeping company with a little flock of Snowy Plovers. Farther out toward the ocean were a few Sanderlings running up and down as they like to do, with a few Snowy Plovers trying to keep up with them. The Mountain Plover was much bigger than his Snowy friends. My photos were taken at a distance in light rain (so they're lousy... but numerous.)

Mountain Plover top, Snowy Plover bottom in both  these photos

Mtn. Plover center, Snowies right and left

Snowy Plover

Snowy Plover
Sanderling left, 3 Snowies right

Mountain Plover

Mountain Plover

Mtn. Plover

Mtn. Plover

Mtn. Plover