Date: 1/1/18 7:36 pm
From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...>
Subject: [obol] Re: [birding] farmland transition
Hi Roger & All,

This may be a BOO topic as I'm told that discussion of bird habitat
don't belong on OBOL. So I've taken the precaution of cross-posting to

As much as birders have grumbled about grass-seed monocultures over the
past decade, that era is on its way out, in favor of filbert orchards
and other long-term perennial crops as you note. I'm eschewing the
marketing name "hazelnut" in favor of "filbert," to respect the
preferences of Preston Filbert (local birder and prairie restoration
volunteer, before he moved back to Iowa).

Crazy that Meadowlarks could almost be missed on the Airlie-Albany CBC,
or at Silverton. I only saw one Northern Harrier all day on Sunday's

We're losing our grassland birds.


On Mon, 2018-01-01 at 19:18 -0800, roger freeman wrote:

> As Lars mentions, much of the regional agricultural land, especially at
> least in the northern half of the Willamette Valley, is transitioning into
> long-term perennial crops such as hazelnut orchards, grapes, blueberries
> and hops in the last few years, and nursery stock before the 2008 economic
> crisis. This use is mostly coming from grass seed and declining vegetable
> acreage such as corn, peas and beans.
> This is a contributing reason for the regional decline in Meadowlark,
> Horned Larks, Northern Harrier, SE Owls, American Pipits, etc .... which we
> pretty much missed all on our Silverton CBC last Friday.
> BTW, I had a flurry of kinglet and chickadee activity, along with an
> aggravated Hermit Thrush yesterday, obviously trying to harass a small owl
> (IMO) that I could never see, in some dense brush at our place.
> Roger Freeman
> Silverton OR
> On Mon, Jan 1, 2018 at 6:34 PM, Lars Per Norgren <larspernorgren...>
> wrote:
> > *
> > Yes, many perrenial crops in the vicinity of Seward and McClagan have been
> > replaced with annual rye-grass. The perrenial crops often supported vole
> > populations and raptors that ate them. The stubble of organically grown
> > flax had been a roost for Short-eared Owls and is now gone. Pretty much all
> > of this area may become hazelnut orchards in the coming decade, so enjoy
> > these artificial prairies while you can. Lars
> > On Jan 1, 2018, at 6:03 PM, Mary Garrard wrote:
> >
> > Hi everyone, thankfully the skies cleared today so I took the opportunity
> > to observe and count the Tangent eagle roost, first time this season. Often
> > it’s challenging to distinguish between adults and sub-adults in the
> > gathering dusk but tonight there was a 10-minute window with clear slanting
> > light from the setting sun between two layers of clouds. The white heads
> > and tails of the adults simply glowed before the sun dropped behind the
> > clouds at the horizon. It was a magnificent few minutes and one of the
> > reasons I love living where I have access to the wide open spaces of the
> > mid-valley.
> >
> > 4:15 pm 53 birds, 20 full adult.
> > 4:30 pm 57 birds, 22 full adult
> > 4:45 pm 69 birds, light too dim at this point to be sure of adult/subadult
> > identities.
> >
> >
> > Temperature was 41F and dropped into high 30’s by the time I left. Sunset
> > at 4:44.
> >
> > In the past the surrounding fields were good for raptors including
> > red-tails, rough-leggeds, and harriers, as well as short-eared owls.
> > Tonight: a lone red-tail and a lone kestrel. I’m not sure why, except that
> > the crops may have been rotated to something less appealing. Anybody have a
> > theory?
> >
> > Happy New Year and best wishes for a great year for the birds!
> >
> > Mary
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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