Sandy River Delta

Migration is winding down and the summer residents are back in force at the Sandy River Delta. Specialty species such as Eastern Kingbird and Yellow-breasted Chat put in appearances, but were not photogenic.

Lazuli Buntings can be found singing from virtually every blackberry thicket.

This male Brown-headed Cowbird was wooing a female. Cowbirds don’t really form pairs. The males display, sometimes in groups, to attract a female. After mating, the two go their separate ways. Since the female deposits her eggs in the nests of other species, there is no need for the male to stick around to help.

I never tire of seeing Bullock’s Orioles, especially when they pose in the open sunshine.

River levels are still very high, so some of the trails at the north end of the site are flooded. Nala, the all-weather, all-terrain, all-the-time puppy, does not mind at all.

6 thoughts on “Sandy River Delta

  1. I love the Lazuli Buntingm, what a beautiful bird. I would love to see the Bullock Orioles too. Great shots and a cute doggie.

  2. 27 may 2012, My wife and I went for a walk in the delta. We live in troutdale and our feeders host
    goldfinches, evening grosbeaks, black headed grosbeaks, house finches, and more. The spotted towhee makes an appearance in spring during its’ migration. This year we were visited for the first time by band taile pigeons. At first two, then three, and then the other day we counted ten of them.
    Word gets around.

    I enjoyed your site very much. I look forward to a return to the Sandy delta for more bird watching.
    I have to ask, do you sit quietly somewhere and wait for the birds? Or do you walk the paths until
    you and the birds intersect.

    I saw a bird at a distance, seeming to feed on a low bush. The bird was larger than a grosbeak and
    had a yellow/orange breast. I didn’t get my glasses on it before it flew off, but now I think it may have been a chat or an oriole. It was too acrobatic to be a grosbeak.

    I am looking forward return to the delta.

    1. Damian,
      I am usually walking at the Delta, as I often have my dog with me. There are times when sitting in one spot can be very productive, but I often don’t have the patience, and my dog certainly does not.

  3. Great pictures of the bitds at the delta. I have been seeing quite a few birds there lately, my favorite is the Pilated Woodpecker. I am there quite often with my dogs, because I live only 5 miles away.


  4. I see many birds in the clumps of blackberry bushes that are still scattered around in the meadows. The USFS has been killing many of the blackberry bushes. I hope someone can explain to the USFS to leave these blackberries alone, because of the many birds who use them for cover and nesting.

    1. It is true that many birds use these blackberry thickets, but Himalayan Blackberries are terribly invasive, crowding out native plant communities. Replacing the blackberries with native shrubs will benefit the birds and other wildlife in the long run.

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