Red-Tailed Hawk Sighting
The 2017 bluebird nesting season has started like the proverbial “lion” even though it’s a bit later than March. For monitors, it means we’ve been slogging through wind, rain, and mud to visit nest boxes on our routes, hoping the weather will soon be warmer and drier—for us as well as the birds!
I’m reminded that each season I am treated to unexpected sightings of birds or animals; I think of these as bonuses that come in addition to watching delightful bluebirds. Recently I was checking a nest box that had an open field next to the fence line. As I returned to my vehicle, I saw a red-tailed hawk overhead, clearly intent on the field. The bird found its prey and, like a missile locked on its target, dove to the ground and then swooped up with wings outstretched and its prey clutched in its talons. It lasted just seconds, about 25 yards from where I stood. Just another meal for the hawk, but amazing luck for me to be there at just the right moment.
Thank you to Gwen Martin for this post. Gwen is a retired Human Resources professional. Her love of outdoors started in the mountains and back country of Montana, where she spent most of her adult life. She still has a thirst for knowledge of bluebirds and all other birds in our area, and especially enjoys the contact with her property owners who share their knowledge of tress, plants, and vineyards.
Can we believe it? Is it finally spring on Chehalem Ridge? The answer is a definite yes. While we’ve been hearing bluebirds and occasionally sighting a few, the definite yes comes because our local Birdman, Greg La Haie, is and has been on his weekly runs, cleaning nests and finding real signs of spring. We’ve lived up here for almost 31 years and love to hear the first blue birds, then see them and then begin to feed them. Over the years I’ve learned to call them to dinner. We’ve lived through good and bad years and the damn swallows, but there is nothing like the first sight of momma and poppa on the railing of the deck.
We’re originally from the Midwest. In Missouri we had bright red birds, Cardinals, yes and a baseball team by that name. We had very bright blue Eastern Bluebirds and they were in such abundance we just got used to them. We moved to Oregon in 1960, lived in the Sylvan area for about 25 years then headed back toward space and country side.
But…….no blue birds or cardinals we thought. Then one day a person visited who saw a bird box we’d taken from a falling down fence near our “barn”. She said it was a bluebird box and she knew who made it, she did! Told us there were bluebirds in Oregon and we, who had never thought about it got excited. Tried the box and learned how to tempt them. OK, they aren’t bright blue, but at least the male’s colorful and not so shy, especially if you are between them and meal worms. Three days ago I saw and heard them in the trees and when I whistled they came to eat. It is spring!
Thank you to Morgan Pope for this Post. Morgan Pope has lived in western Washington County on rural acreage in a 100+ year old farmhouse. Morgan became aware of the PBRP effort in 1986 when he moved to the Oregon Countryside. He is a retired physicist, and has worked for Portland State University as Vice President. He learned of the Prescott program in 1986 from Kit Whittaker. Both Morgan and Kit are still involved with the recovery project to this day.