Nature Log | April 2021

April: Photo gallery link

Beaver Willows


04-02-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly cloudy
  • Temperature- 64/41
  • Precipitation-0 in.

Notes

The feather pile under the Cedar tree provided clues that a Mourning Dove was the catch and meal for a hungry raptor. The most likely predator of Mourning Doves at suburban feeders is a Cooper’s Hawk. We know there is one in the area. We’ve ruled out Barred Owls because they don’t leave feathers in the pattern we found on the ground. However, we did find a decapitated baby squirrel that most likely was a meal for the Barred Owl; as that fits the feeding habit of owls.

The nutria observed today was the first one observed in at least a year.

Clearing blackberry thicket from the hill at edge of the North Woods will help give the bracken, Oregon Grape, the Thimbleberry an improved place to grow.

  • Bird Species:
  • Bewicks’ Wren
  • Canada Goose-pair
  • Mallard-pair
  • Mourning Dove-feathers
  • Vegetation:
  • Bracken-fiddleheads
  • Oregon Grape
  • Mammal Species:
  • Nutria

04-03-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly cloudy
  • Temperature- 68/43
  • Precipitation-0 in.
  • Notes:
  • It was a real treat to watch a Green-winged Teal pair as they bathed and preened. Both processes opened opportunities to see and appreciate the colors and patterns of their feathers. There is no artist who is more creative or breath-taking than Mother Nature. Outstanding experience!
  • Bird Species:
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Vegetation:
  • Mammal Species:

04-06-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly sunny
  • Temperature- 65/38
  • Precipitation-0 in.
  • Notes-
  • Barred Owl pair were back today. Initially perched on Cedar branch gazing into forest. Movement in the forest aroused the owls; they flew into the forest it track a Gray Squirrel that became the focus for a hunt. The squirrel was ultimately able to elude the silent flight of the owls as they carefully watched and stalked its movement through the Douglas Fir trees.
  • Bird Species:
  • American Robin
  • Barred Owl-pair
  • Barred Owl-hunting
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Green-winged Teal-pair
  • Green-winged Teal-male
  • Hooded Merganser-pair
  • Hooded Merganser-female
  • Hooded Merganser-male
  • Vegetation:
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Dandelion
  • Red-flowering Currant
  • Mammal Species:
  • Douglas Squirrel
  • Nutria
  • Gray Squirrel

04-09-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly sunny
  • Temperature- 59/42
  • Precipitation-0 in.
  • Notes-
  • I haven’t seen any Dark-eyed Juncos in the last day or so. It looks like it’s changing of the birds season. Beginning to spot Lesser Goldfinches and Orange-crowned Warblers. I don’t have a photo this year, yet… however, I heard the Common Yellow-throat out in our Willows along the berm! The photo quest is on 😉
  • Bird Species:
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Lesser Goldfinch-f.
  • Lesser Goldfinch-m
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Song Sparrow
  • Vegetation:
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Oregon Grape
  • Mammal Species:
  • Gray Squirrels*
  • Douglas Squirrel*
  • *observed, not photographed

04-10-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly cloudy, chance rain
  • Temperature- 51/40
  • Precipitation-05 in.
  • Notes-
  • The Baird’s Shrew was an incidental find while the driveway was swept. Although she was found dead, researching to identify the species was an interesting path of discovery. The choices were narrowed down to two possible species commonly found in this part of Oregon: Baird’s or the Pacific Water/Marsh Shrew. The size is what lead the identification to be decided as the Baird’s shrew. This species is endemic to Oregon. Its habitat is the Coast Range from the Pacific Ocean east to Portland and south of the Columbia River down to Corvallis. It is also found along west slope of the Cascade Range from the Columbia River south to central Lane County.
  • Bird Species:
  • Vegetation:
  • Mammal Species:
  • Baird’s shrew

04-11-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly sunny
  • Temperature- 60/33
  • Precipitation- 0 in
  • Notes-
  • The thrill of seeing Barred Owl activity in the yard took a dramatic turn this time. Today’s observation included watching a Barred Owl stalk, capture, kill, and begin to consume its prey. For me, it was a real-world acceptance that the cute little Townsend’s chipmunks that visit the property are more than “wild outside pets” for us. In the natural world they also represent food in the food chain. While I was watching the owl change perches along the riparian zone that runs along the front edge of our property, a chipmunk scampered in front of me- toward the tree where the owl was patiently perched. As quick as I yelled, “NO, no,no,no,no” the swoop occurred.
  • The Barred Owl took the chipmunk to the ground, and stayed there- wings spread- I later realized that was when the little rodent was squeezed in the owl’s powerful talon. With meal in its talon, the owl proceeded to change perches, pick at his prey, until both disappeared in silent flight into the North Woods.
  • Bird Species:
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Barred Owl
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Bushtit
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Pine Siskin
  • Insects
  • Mourning-cloak Butterfly:
  • Mammal Species:
  • Gray-Squirrel
  • Townsend’s Chipmunk

04-12-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly sunny
  • Temperature- 65/38
  • Precipitation-0 in
  • Notes-
  • I was primarily on the look out for pollinators today.
  • Pollinators:
  • Bumble Bee
  • Honeybee
  • Hover Fly
  • Unknown flies
  • Vegetation:
  • Big-leaf Maple
  • Cherry blossoms
  • Crabapple blossoms
  • Pear Tree blossoms
  • Red-flowering Currant
  • Skunk Cabbage
  • Bird Species:
  • Cinnamon Teal

04-13-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly sunny
  • Temperature- 65/40
  • Precipitation- 0 in
  • Notes-
  • A small white butterfly caught my attention on a Cherry blossom. It is a White Veined Butterfly- another new sighting for me! The Great Egret was showy today, lovely to see the fluffing of its delicate white feathers.
  • Bird Species:
  • Canada Goose
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Vegetation:
  • Bitter Cherry
  • Insect Species:
  • Honey Bee
  • White Veined Butterfly

04-16-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly sunny
  • Temperature-79/46
  • Precipitation-0 in
  • Notes-

I copied this from ODFW- Living with Snakes– The Northwestern Garter Snake (Thamnophis ordinoides) occurs in coastal and mountain forest habitats west of the Cascades. It is most commonly found in grassy-brushy areas and in weedy sections of suburban backyards and city parks. It is more slender than other garter snakes and reaches two feet at maturity. The Northwestern Garter Snake is the most variable in color and patterning of all Oregon snake species. The dorsal stripe can be absent or resplendent in various shades and colors, such as red, orange, greenish yellow, tan, blue or white.

  • Bird Species:
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Vegetation:
  • Cherry blossoms
  • Reptile Species:
  • Northwestern Garter Snake
  • Insect Species:
  • White Veined Butterfly

04-17-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly sunny
  • Temperature- 84/45
  • Precipitation-0 in
  • Notes-

I copied this from ODFW- Living with Snakes : The Western Terrestrial Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans) occurs in a wide variety of habitats except along the central and north coastal zones, much of the east slope and crest of the Cascades, and in a small portion of central Oregon. Despite its name, this snake spends a lot of time in the water. It is usually gray-brown or black, with a dark, checkered pattern between yellow stripes although identification can be difficult, because there are three sub-species recognized in Oregon, all varying in coloration: the Coast Garter Snake (T. e. terrrestris), found in the far southwest corner of the state; the Mountain Garter Snake, found throughout the Willamette Valley and southwest Oregon; and the Wandering Garter Snake (T. e. vagrans), found east of the Cascade Mountains. Nearly black forms occur in some areas. Adults are 18 to 43 inches long.

  • Bird Species:
  • Barred Owl
  • Vegetation:
  • Apple blossoms
  • Pacific Willow catkins
  • Reptile Species:
  • Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

04-18-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly Sunny
  • Temperature- 82/48 F
  • Precipitation- 0 in
  • Notes-
  • Male Wood Duck seen swimming solo. Not much hope of seeing the new duck house occupied this year. We guess the female is nesting at another location.
  • Bird Species:
  • Canada Goose
  • Common Yellow-throat
  • Great Egret
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Mallard
  • Northern Flicker
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Wood Duck (m)
  • Vegetation:
  • Willow Catkin
  • Mammal Species:
  • Gray Squirrel

04-19-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly cloudy
  • Temperature- 72/47 F
  • Precipitation- 0 in
  • Notes-
  • It was difficult to select the photo for today… so much was going on. This one was actually a literal photo-bombing that occurred when I was taking zoom photos of a Red-winged Blackbird. The Heron and Egret often dispute territory with impressive flight tactics. This capture was a total surprise to me and the blackbird!
  • Good to see the Damsel Fly- their occurrence and that of dragonflies have diminished with the glyphosate applications in the wetland system by CWS and TWSCD.
  • Bird Species:
  • Barred Owl
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Scrub Jay
  • Song Sparrow
  • Vegetation:
  • Dandelion
  • Forget-Me-Nots
  • Mammal Species:
  • Nutria
  • Townsend’s Chipmunk
  • Insect Species:
  • Bumble Bee
  • Damsel Fly
  • Fly
  • Mason Bee (?)
  • Nomada Bee
  • Wooly Bear

04-20-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly Sunny
  • Temperature- 74/46 F
  • Precipitation- 0 in
  • Notes-
  • I’ve been on the hunt for a photo of this year’s returning Common Yellow-throat. I believe there may be three in the area by counting calls and their locations. The photos in this collection demonstrate how small these birds are. I literally must train my ears to take my eyes/lens where they need to go.
  • Bird Species:
  • Common Yellow-throat
  • Mallard
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Vegetation:
  • Horsetails
  • OR Ash
  • Pacific Willow
  • Insect Species:
  • Damsel Fly

04-21-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly Sunny
  • Temperature- 77/47 F
  • Precipitation- 0 in
  • Notes-
  • Barred Owl presences was remarkable today. One or both owls remained perched in trees along the riparian zone edge all day. One attempt was made to capture a chipmunk, but failed.
  • Bird Species:
  • Barred Owl
  • Vegetation:
  • Species:

04-22-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly Cloudy
  • Temperature- 66/46 F
  • Precipitation- 0 in
  • Notes-
  • 51st Earth Day!
  • Bird Species:
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Vegetation:
  • Wild Dogwood
  • Species:

04-26-2021

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  • Weather- Rain
  • Temperature- 51/43 F
  • Precipitation- 0.02 in
  • Notes-
  • Wild Dogwoods blooming in the North Woods are spectacular! Their height and being surrounded by tall Douglas Fir trees takes my breath away each Spring.
  • The apple tree at the edge of the North Woods was especially attractive to bumble bees today. The Black-tailed Bumble Bee always makes me smile- I love their coloring. The bright orange band on the abdomen seems to be contrary to its name. There were also an impressive number of Bombus vosnesenskii.
  • Bird Species:
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Insect Species:
  • Bombus melanopygus
  • Bombus vosnesenskii
  • Vegetation:
  • Apple blossoms
  • Mammal Species:
  • Townsend’s Chipmunk

04-27-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly cloudy
  • Temperature: 66/ 43F
  • Precipitation: 0.03 in.
  • Notes-
  • Ducklings! At least 8 little ones.
  • First American Bullfrog seen basking at the water’s edge below driveway.
  • Bird Species:
  • Mallard
  • Amphibian Species:
  • American Bullfrog

04-29-2021

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  • Weather- Mostly cloudy
  • Temperature- 81 / 49 F
  • Precipitation- 0 in.
  • Notes-
  • It was an encouraging sight to see two native Douglas Tree Squirrels. The two were actively chasing each other round-and-round, up-and-down the trunk of a tall Oregon Ash tree. Quite miraculous that neither one lost traction. This most likely was a mating chase as the two called and chased one another. More on Douglas Tree Squirrel found in this excellent Animal Diversity Web article: Douglas’s Squirrel

Mammal Species:

Douglas Squirrel


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