Date: 7/28/20 3:29 pm
From: Joel Geier <clearwater...>
Subject: [obol] Some recent fledglings in southern to mid-Willamette Valley
Around 6:30 AM on Sunday (7/26) I found a CEDAR WAXWING fledgling sitting in the middle of Cantrell Rd., just west of K.R. Nielsen. When I picked it up to move it to a perch on a shaded twig in an ash sapling alongside the road, it squawked and did its best to bite me as the parents fussed in the lower branches of a larger ash tree. An hour later when I came back that way, it was still perched there with parents calling nearby. It looked like it only left the nest a day or two too early.

An adult GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was giving alarm calls in a restored prairie site nearby, where I reported a fledgling and an adult adult giving alarm calls last week. Now I'm wondering if what I saw was actually a female flying away from a nest (grassland sparrows tend to make very weak flights, similar to nestlings, when flushed from a nest), rather than a fledgling. So -- for Paul Adamus and anyone else keeping track of breeding bird status, maybe best to leave this in the "probable" rather than "confirmed" category.

Later on the same morning, I saw a family group of WESTERN MEADOWLARKS with at least three youngsters perched along barbed wire atop the chain link fence on the east side of the Eugene airport (along Green Hill Rd.). A Horned Lark was singing just inside the fence.

Today on a private restoration site on the edge of the Coburg Hills south of Brownsville, I saw what looked like a very young juvenile GOLDEN EAGLE, sitting out in a recently harvested ryegrass field. When it saw me looking at it, it picked up and flew a short distance to drop down into an artificial wetland (mostly dry now). Dan Fenske tells me that there have been up to two pairs nesting in that area fairly consistently in recent decades, so this might have been a local youngster.

Also in that same field, I found a pair of STREAKED HORNED LARKS hauling grasshoppers and beetles to at least a couple of fledglings that were hopping around (not able to fly yet) in between the windrows of straw, about 30 yards out from a fallow area where they likely hatched.

Finally -- not a fledgling but just interesting -- I noticed from eBird that Duncan Evered spotted a PRAIRIE FALCON soaring over South Corvallis this morning. The location is about 15 miles north of the field where I saw one hunting east of Harrisburg, two weeks ago (7/15).

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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