Date: 1/11/19 10:54 am
From: Romain Cooper <romain...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Nice January walk in California? No, Polk County, Oregon
This is an excerpt from a post I sent to OBOL on
6/19/2014 re: Great-tailed Grackle at the Cave
Jct sewage treatment plant, Illinois Valley,
Josephine Co. Unfortunately, the facility no
longer allows access to birders. Many of the
ponds are viewable (using a scope) from outside
the chainlink fence but the bad part about this
is that the decent viewing opportunity is due to
an almost total eradication of the wetlands vegetations that the site once had.

This morning (6/19/2014), we visited the Cave
Junction oxidation ponds. Great-Tailed Grackle
are still around. A male was very obvious &
vocal. The female was more cautious but we
observed her bringing food items into a thick
clump of cattail 3 times. We strongly suspect nesting.

Other birds at the Cave Jct plant included Wood
Duck and Mallard w/ young, Green Heron, (2)
Pied-Billed Grebe, Black Phoebe with youngsters
on nest (on side of a building).

At 10:17 AM 1/11/2019, Alan Contreras wrote:
>Gt Grackle has also bred lately near Grants
>Pass, I think. The Ontario colony seems to be
>year-round and self-sustaining now.
>I have not looked at count data but I think both
>Acorn Woodpecker and WB Nuthatch are down in
>Lane County from 1970s levels. Western Bluebirds
>are way up in all of western Oregon, owing at
>least in part to the bluebird trail projects
>conducted by Elsie Eltzroth, Hubert Prescott and Al Prigge in the 1970s-80s.
>Alan Contreras
>Eugene, Oregon
>>On Jan 11, 2019, at 10:06 AM, Wayne Weber
>><<mailto:<contopus...><contopus...> wrote:
>>Oregon birders,
>>Nearly all the bird species mentioned by Joel
>>and Harry are stereotypical California
>>species-- species which breed through much or
>>most of California, and have done at least
>>since the earliest ornithological explorations.
>>However, one of these, the Great-tailed
>>Grackle, is a newcomer even to California. The
>>first record of Great-tailed Grackle in
>>California was in the Colorado River Valley in
>>1964. When I made my first visit to that part
>>of California in 1970 (near Imperial Dam), I
>>was highly surprised to find Great-tailed
>>Grackles there. None of the bird-finding guides
>>or standard ornithological references indicated
>>that they should be there. This species has had
>>a much bigger range expansion than the other ones mentioned.
>>The regular occurrence of Great-tailed Grackles
>>in Oregon is quite recent—recent enough that I
>>have not yet seen one in Oregon! It appears
>>that they may be breeding in Malheur County in
>>the southeast as well as in Jackson County.
>>(Yes, I’ve seen GTGR both in BC and in
>>Washington, but they sure don’t breed there!)
>>One of my priorities for 2019 is to finally add GTGR to my Oregon state list.
>>All this just goes to emphasize how dynamic
>>bird populations are, with never-ending changes
>>in breeding (and wintering) ranges. There have
>>been some major range contractions as well,
>>such as Western Bluebird (disappeared from all
>>of southwestern BC and much of western WA),
>>California Condor, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
>>The longer you watch birds, the more things change.
>>Wayne C. Weber
>>Delta, BC, Canada
>>On Behalf Of Harry Fuller
>>Sent: Friday, January 11, 2019 7:57 AM
>>To: <mailto:<clearwater...><clearwater...>
>>Cc: Midvalley Birding Midvalley; OBOL
>>Subject: [obol] Re: Nice January walk in California? No, Polk County, Oregon
>>Other birds coming up from the south:
>>Great-tailed Grackle now nest in Jackson County
>>as do Mockingbirds and White-tailed Kites. The
>>California Towhee, Wrentit and Oak Titmouse are
>>well-established there as well as breeding BG
>>Gnatcatchers...I suspect many of these species
>>move up the coast first and then follow rivers
>>inland...not coming over the 4300 foot high
>>Siskiyou Pass...but once in the Rogue or Umpqua
>>or Willamette Valley they should
>>thrive. Nuttall's may have a harder time
>>because it is highly dependent on oaks and
>>cottonwoods, not common along the coast or in
>>Siskiyou and Modoc Counties on the northern Cal
>>border. THere is some suspicion but no proof
>>yet that Cak Thrashers are also breeding in
>>Jackson County. I am currently working on an
>>update to a federal publication of 1975, Birds
>>of Jackson County...two major trends stand out:
>>1) we know a hell of a lot more about birds
>>there now (i.e. where the Great Grays and
>>Spotted Owls nest), 2) several species have
>>moved north and gotten established...I've seen
>>Red-shouldered Hawks as high as 4500'
>>elevation...Anna's Hummingbird in 1975 was
>>considered a rare summer visitor, now males
>>stay year round along with s few females who don't migrate out.
>>In 1975 there had been no record of even a
>>sighting of Red-shoulder or kite in Jackson County!
>>On Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 5:21 AM
>><<mailto:<clearwater...><clearwater...> wrote:
>>>Hi all,
>>>Yesterday afternoon I was out for a stroll
>>>through vineyards and and oak woods on a small
>>>winery between Dallas and Monmouth, in sunshine and pleasant 50 F temperatures.
>>>A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was sneaking around the woods along a small creek.
>>>A BLACK PHOEBE was chirping and catching insects around the barn.
>>>I heard ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS grinding away at
>>>their song, at three different spots along the walk.
>>>Two or three decades ago, all three of these
>>>species were more associated with northern
>>>California and the southwest corner of Oregon.
>>>Now they are part of our regular local avifauna in the mid-Willamette Valley.
>>>Turkey Vultures have also become a frequent
>>>though still uncommon sight on warm, sunny
>>>days in winter, and Acorn Woodpeckers colonies
>>>are widespread. We're still missing Nuttall's
>>>Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, and California Towhee, at least for the time being.
>>>Joel Geier
>>>Camp Adair area north of Corvallis
>>Harry Fuller
>>author of: San Francisco's Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars:
>>author of Great Gray Owls of CA-OR-WA:
>>author of Freeway Birding: <>
>>birding website: <>
>>my birding blog: <>

Romain Cooper
10398 Takilma Road
Cave Junction, OR 97523

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