Bird world is a busy place right now

Bird world is a busy place right now

Up and over the short cherry tree, swinging around in a graceful S-curve, it sweeps up to the nest box. It pauses for only a moment as it feeds one of the young and is off again.
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No joy in California towhee's song

No joy in California towhee's song

Birdsong brings great joy to many. A robin song on an early March day as winter is loosening its grip reminds us that warmer days filled with flowers and more birdsong are soon approaching. I smile as I zip my coat just a little bit higher.
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Jackson County welcomes the grackle

Jackson County welcomes the grackle

There's a new kid in town. This one is a large blackbird with an outrageous tail, appropriately named the great-tailed grackle.
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Believe it or not, jays do have a song

Believe it or not, jays do have a song

The late winter sun provides a touch of warmth while I'm working in the yard, and the first tentative songs are beginning to break the winter silence. A dark-eyed junco rises to the top of a small tree for a few sweet, trilled songs. Some mornings, a few robin songs are heard in the neighbor's yard but nothing proud or sustained. Then there are the collared doves. Do they ever stop singing?
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Listen for the quail's call of 'chi-ca-go'

Listen for the quail's call of 'chi-ca-go'

Rustle. Rustle. Cluck. Cluck. Cluck. Whooosh! Ten? Fifteen? More? Who can tell? The plump birds explode from the shrubs along the driveway and sail off into the neighbor's yard.
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Berry, berry good for robins

Berry, berry good for robins

Around the world, there are clay-colored thrushes, island thrushes, creamy-bellied thrushes, rufous-backed robins, bare-eyed thrushes, Siberian thrushes and common (Eurasian) blackbirds. These and more all are closely related to our American robin.
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Hats off to those tough little hummers

Hats off to those tough little hummers

They should all be dead. The hummingbirds.
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Beauty is in the eye (or ears) of the owl

Beauty is in the eye (or ears) of the owl

Among birds and mammals, symmetry is beauty. Females frequently choose mates, in part, on how balanced antlers, horns, facial features and the like are displayed. Symmetry is even a part of humans' perception of beauty. Left-right (bilateral) symmetry is the general rule in the body plan from the internal organs out: two kidneys, two wings, two eyes, etc., all symmetrically placed.
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It's fall harvest time for the crew

It's fall harvest time for the crew

The large black oak stands alone in the field. It is a survivor. The tree was spared when the rest of the forest was cut to create a pasture. Unlike their white oak relatives, black oaks usually grow in the shade of a Douglas fir forest. Only when well-established can they tolerate an unfiltered Southern Oregon summer.
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Coast rings dinner bell for pelicans

Coast rings dinner bell for pelicans

Summer seems like an odd time for birds to migrate north. Most are wrapping up breeding and preparing for the southward trek. Yet every summer, brown pelicans make the pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest from breeding islands along the coast of Southern California and Mexico.
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January 06, 2012

They sing in the shower

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