Our team for the Audubon Society of Portland’s Birdathon made a 360-mile loop through the Willamette Valley, across the Cascades, and east to the high desert. We tallied 110 species for the day. Here are a few.

Acorn Woodpeckers are reliable near Ankeny NWR. This one was hanging out in a nest hole.

Also at Ankeny, this Yellow-breasted Chat posed and sang for us.

This Pygmy Nuthatch was nesting at Black Butte Ranch, just east of Sisters.

Calliope Crossing, north of Sisters, came through with several examples of its namesake hummingbird. The feeder, placed by one of my teammates on a scouting trip, made watching these little guys easier.

Mountain Chickadees were nesting in a hollow stump just inches from the ground.

Calliope Crossing is also famous for hosting a great variety of woodpeckers. This is a hybrid Red-naped X Red-breasted Sapsucker.

At Smith Rock, we watched this Golden Eagle nest with one downy chick.

Bald Eagles were also nesting at Smith Rock.

Ogden Wayside hosted a colony of ground Squirrels. I believe these are Merriam’s Ground Squirrels, although I have trouble distinguishing Merriam’s from¬†Belding’s Ground Squirrel. I need to do some rodent research.

It was a fun, albeit exhausting, day. There is still time to contribute to Portland Audubon’s fundraiser. Click here for more information.



Arizona Hummingbirds

One big draw of southeastern Arizona is the diversity of hummingbird species. The greatest diversity is usually found during the monsoon season of late summer, but even in mid-April I found eleven species. Here are some photos of the more cooperative ones.

broad-billed hummingbird 1Broad-billed Hummingbirds were the most frequently encountered species. This male was at Patagonia.

broad-tailed hummingbirdBroad-tailed Hummingbird, Madera Canyon

black-chinned hummingbirdBlack-chinned Hummingbirds actually have a lovely purple gorget, but the light has to hit them just right for it to show its colors.

magnificent hummingbirdMagnificent Hummingbirds look completely black most of the time. Like the Black-chinned, the light has to hit them just right to see their colors. This blurry shot was the only one from the trip that showed any color at all.

calliopeFrom one of the largest hummingbirds to one of the smallest; Calliope Hummingbird, Madera Canyon

lucifer hummingbird 2The long tail and long curved bill are distinguishing marks of this Lucifer Hummingbird.

lucifer hummingbird 3Here’s a better look at the gorget on the Lucifer Hummingbird.

violet-crownedViolet-crowned Hummingbird, seen at the world-famous Patton yard in Patagonia