Date: 12/1/19 12:16 am
From: David Bailey <davidcbaileyoregon...>
Subject: [obol] Here's the post minus the ads and photos: Re: birds in a suburban garden--McMinnville
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BIRDS IN SUBURBAN GARDEN–MCMINNVILLE
This November ends cold…and dry. Our total rainfall in McMinnville this
month is less than an inch. That means we are nearly seven inches behind
average for this time in the rainy season and November saw us get less than
12% of average rainfall for the month. This morning dawned as coldest day
of the season so far. The birds in our garden were early, eager and eatin’.

7AM Temp is 20. The juncos are already picking sunflower seeds off the
veranda. I turn on the outside lights to see them better. Official
sunrise is almost a half hour away but there is a bit of a bright glow to
the east under fairly clear skies.

745AM The sun is now rising above the eastern horizon and natural light is
increasing. Several species are awake and active around our feeders which
I have refilled. I put warm water on the icy surface of both bird baths.
Present, coming and going, besides the juncos: Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned
Sparrow, Bewick’s Wren, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, one female House Sparrow.

757AM The Red-breasted Nuthatch makes first run on seeds, followed by male
House Finch, alone.

802AM First starling appears, then suddenly there are five hanging on the
suet log and suet block.

804 Female Spotted Towhee makes first appearance. She moves cautiously
through the twelve-foot tangle of hydrangea vine that climb along the
wooden back fence near the feeders. Nearly always she stays on the ground
for the seeds and suet bits there. Many of the smaller birds use this
sneak approach, unlike the screaming scrub-jays or wing-whistling doves
that arrive with sound alarm announcing their coming.


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805 Flicker lingers in opening in the thicket and early morning sun
suffuses the plumage. The bird does not approach a feeder, perhaps not
wanting to deal with the starling gang that’s already at the suet. One
House Sparrow doesn’t hesitate and joins starlings on the suet log.

807 First male House Sparrow appears. He, too, joins starlings at the
suet log. Meanwhile, one starling flies to bird bath for a drink. Juncos,
juncos, juncos.

808 Four collared-doves arrives with wings whistling. They feed on the
ground, go to bird bath for drink.

809 First squirrel arrives. Later there’ll be as many as five at one time.

815 24 degrees.

820 Pine Siskin lands on seed tray and feeds while House Finch is at other
end of the tray. Juncos jumping around in hydrangea and on the ground.

822 Siskin and a junco drink together from bird bath.

824 Flicker reappears still doesn’t feed. Chestnut-backed Chickadee grabs
a beak of suet. They never linger at one place. Larger birds like finches
and sparrows will land and feed or hop about on the ground. Nuthatch and
chickadees grab a bite, and fly off to eat in private. On the ground:
juncos galore, Golden-crowned Sparrows (one mature, one immature),
squirrels.

827 On one platform a junco and House Finch have aerial tussle. Junco
prevails, finch retreats.


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836 Temp now 26. Sun is bright and above the neighbor’s roof line.

843 Persistent, consistent, resistant: juncos all around.

844 Immature Golden-crowned Sparrow with streaky chest on the ground,
again.

856 We hit peak starling—ten in garden and bashing about the suet
feeders. They frighten the smaller birds. They behave like a high school
football team after a victory.

900 Temp now 29.6.

905 Female towhee sneaks back into view.

920 Nora the dog insists we go into the yard and play fetch. While there
a Red-breasted Sapsucker flies over our heads and lands atop one of the
bare dawn redwoods.

930 Both Golden-crowned Sparrows feeding on the ground. Other feeders
now: House Sparrow (5), House Finch (4), junco (10), starling (12).

935 Temp finally above 32

942 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) flies down to ground to feed. Not
all warbler species will do that. This bird is often aggressive,
especially toward wren, juncos, chickadees—birds he can bully. The
starlings now cover both suet feeders; at least a dozen are jostling and
jousting.

945 Chestnut-back Chickadee sees approaching starling and leaves suet log.

1007 Starlings have departed, apparently even they have a limited capacity
for suet. Bewick’s Wren celebrates their absence by hopping through the
hydrangea.


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1020 Five squirrels now feeding, climbing and jumping about—pushy toward
one another and scaring off the smaller birds.

1035 Temp is 39 in shade, 42 in sun. Juncos… Lout in the yard with dogs
a robin flies over. They will use bird baths, never the feeders.
Scrub-jay now heard more than seen unless I throw out peanuts. Crows were
heard at dawn but never come into our enclosed garden. Red-breasted
Nuthatch honking from inside the Colorado spruce.

1045 Warbler back feeding on the ground. No starlings now. Juncos…

1047 Temps: 47 in the sun, 43 in shade. One squirrel seated in hanging
seed tray. Juncos, up to 20, scattered across the veranda and in nearby
shrubs. House Sparrow colony present. One starling hanging on suet
block. Yellow0-rump and Golden-crowns present. Lotsa of birds. The
starlings are sloppy eaters and constantly shower bits of suet onto the
ground. Other starlings and the smaller ground-feeders gather those bits.

1240PM Whole junco flock and the warbler, larger birds stuffed and
sleeping it off.

1257 Bewick’s Wren lands on seed tray, warbler chases it away.

118PM Spotted Towhee female returns, no sighting of male today. Other
misses today: hummer, Downy, Black-capped Chickadee.

130PM The local Bushtit gang arrives, nervous, unsettled, busy at both suet
feeders. Hard to count but approximately 22.3 Bushtits in this flock. They
stay less than 90 seconds. Gone to the next stop like the little express
buses that they are.


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235PM Trio of Chestnut-backed Chickadees at feeders. Yellow-rump chases
one, then the next. It is cloudy now and the sun’s warmth is partially
blocked from the earth. Juncos…their feeding will continue until after
sunset.

GALLERY

Male flicker in rich, warm light of early morning:

FLCKR-MALE (2)FLCKR-MALE2 (2)
Sapsucker up high, warbler low down:

RBS IN DR_LI (2)YRW IN HYDR (2)YRW IN HYDR2 (2)
YRW ON GRND (2)

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Note the Audubon Warbler’s golden crown patch in middle image.

Frosty dawn:

FROST1FROST2
Cold bath any one? Junco and siskin:

JNC-BATH (2)SISK-BATH (2)
Bushtits attack suet:

BT ATTAK (2)BT ATTAK2 (2)


And then:

DOVS (2)EUST-SUET (2)
SQRL (2)

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820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 30, 2019 7:00 AM.
19 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove 4
Northern Flicker 1
Red-breasted Sapsucker 1
California Scrub-Jay X
American Crow X
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3
Bushtit 20
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Bewick’s Wren 1
European Starling 12
American Robin 2
House Sparrow 6
House Finch 4
Pine Siskin 1
Dark-eyed Junco 20
Golden-crowned Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 1
Spotted Towhee 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 Audubon’s

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On Sat, Nov 30, 2019, 22:23 Harry Fuller <atowhee...> wrote:

> https://atowhee.blog/2019/11/30/birds-in-suburban-garden-mcminnville/
>
> --
> Harry Fuller
> author of: *San Francisco's Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars:*
> https://ecowise.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/sfnh/
> author of *Great Gray Owls of CA-OR-WA*:
> https://ecowise.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/the-great-gray-owl-book/
> author of *Freeway Birding*: *freewaybirding.com
> <http://freewaybirding.com>*
> birding website: http://www.towhee.net
> my birding blog: atowhee.wordpress.com
>

 
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