Bird Migration Reports for the West Coast forum: Welcome

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ImagePNWMountaingirl
Feb 18, 2010 5:29 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Please share your bird migration observations with us. Smiling
ImageRarejem
Feb 21, 2010 9:08 AM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
I heard my first varied thrush song yesterday, although I did not see him. Smiling
You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
Imagechickadee
Feb 25, 2010 6:38 PM CST
Name: Kay
Lincoln, Nebraska
Julie, I saw your mention of the Varied Thrush and it caught my eye. I am a ways away from you , but a couple years ago we had a Varied Thrush at our place for the months of December through March. Just one, and he was hanging out with mostly the Robins, but he was quite friendly with all the other birds, and not real shy with us either! My husband just knew it was a different bird than we usually see here, so we investigated to identify it. We happen to have a friend whose brother in law is an orinthologist. He brought him out to see and the guy was freakin out because we are not in their usual range, and very unusual to see them here. We had visits from some folks connected with the Audubon Society, and other birders. Several were able to get photos. There was even a write up in the newspaper with a photo. It was a really neat experience for us here. Haven't seen one since. They are very pretty. Sorry to but in to this thread, but I just wanted to share...
Smiling
ImageRarejem
Feb 25, 2010 7:56 PM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
Chickadee, Welcome!! I am so glad that you joined us! We have been very remiss on setting up our cubit as life has gotten in the way for the last couple of weeks, but any and all birders are welcome!

How very exciting for you to have a "stray" visit your yard! It is even more thrilling that you and your husband were knowledgeable and interested enough to research and share the info with other birders. We keep a "bird checklist" here, and I am sure that many there were excited to be able to add a new bird to their lists!

I just love the Varied Thrushes, and they are just as much a sign of spring to me as the Robins are. They are beautiful birds, and a joy to have in the yard (with the exception of the days that you COULD have slept in if you could have managed to drown out their call!). I am still leaving to work before the sun is up, but it is getting lighter and lighter in the am's now, and I heard another thrush this morning before I left.

I am assuming that you are still covered with snow, as we have several friends in the Midwest area who are. What kind of birds herald spring for you? When do they arrive? I was born in Minnesota, but moved west when I was seven, so I am unfamiliar but facinated to hear about birds in other areas.
You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
Imagechickadee
Feb 25, 2010 9:20 PM CST
Name: Kay
Lincoln, Nebraska
Hello again! Thanks for the warm welcome. Yes, we are still under a crusty, old, blanket of snow. Its been a colder than normal winter, and a lot of snow. I hope we don't have any more, we've not had above 40 degrees since early December...
I used to always think Robins were a sign of spring, but they really kind of stay around here a lot more than they used to.
Red Winged Blackbirds arrive around March 1st. We also look for the Yellow Rumped Warbler as they stop off a while on their journey. Then later, we'll get our Finches and Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, as well as the House Wrens. Another sign of spring and warmer temps is when we say good bye to the cute little Juncos, who keep us company all winter. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, getting late and I can't think ... Rolling my eyes. We also hear a lot about the Sandhill Cranes because they congregate here in Nebraska on and near the Platte River.
Imageangele
Feb 28, 2010 6:55 PM CST
Name: Angele (zone7b/8a)
Elephant Butte, NM
Yeah! I'm a Charley's girl!
I'm trying to think which birds migrate through here. Most seem to take up residence for at least awhile. The hummingbirds should be back late March & last year I had a very early Hooded Oriole show up on March 12th. The Bullock's & Scott's didn't show up until two or three weeks after that.

The Sandhill Crane are flying over now... heading north
ImageRarejem
Mar 1, 2010 4:20 PM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
Welcome Angele!

I wonder if your Sand Hill Cranes are the ones that are headed our direction? We have a "Sand Hill Crane" festival in Othello on the east side of our state that occurs the last weekend in March. It is wonderful fun, as not only do they have tours of areas where crops are grown specifically to be "knocked down" in anticipation of their arrival, but they have lectures on all sorts of bird and conservation topics by well renowned speakers.

It fascinates me to think about where the birds that wander into our area have come from, and also how reliable their timing usually is. Mom is convinced that their movements are based on the changing hours of daylight rather than weather, because we usually only see slight variations in arrival times no matter what our weather has been like.

Mom and I were sitting around having coffee early on Saturday and mussing that the Pine Siskins should be back soon, and guess who showed up at our feeder that very morning? In addition, this weekend we noted that the house finches were back as well. Unfortunately, in noting this down, we saw that the "dreaded" band tailed pigeons are due back soon.... they really raise havoc with the feeders.

You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
Imageangele
Mar 1, 2010 4:48 PM CST
Name: Angele (zone7b/8a)
Elephant Butte, NM
Yeah! I'm a Charley's girl!
There are 10,000 +/- Sand Hill Cranes that spend the winter at Bosque del Apache about 70 miles north of my home & then there is a much smaller population that stays at Caballo Reservoir about 15-20 miles due south of me. So I get fly-overs in the fall and in the spring & sometimes see them during the winter too.

I have the pleasure of the House Finch year-round. I love their sweet song.
ImagePNWMountaingirl
Mar 18, 2010 7:42 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Were over at our vacation house in mid-Eastern WA last weekend. Lots of white-crowned sparrows were there and the sandhills are starting to arrive. Saw trumpeter swans and tundra swans also. A single Western kingbird was calling in the treetops and there were lots and lots of goldfinches (not in full color yet) and redwinged blackbirds at the feeders.

A couple of white-crowned sparrows:

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Mar 18, 2010 7:46 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
We couldn't get close enough to the swans for proper id's but the relative size gave us a clue.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Mar 18, 2010 7:49 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Back here at home the house finches are getting more plentiful (love their singing too) and I saw my first band tailed pigeon for the spring yesterday. They are pretty birds but a bunch have discovered my feeders over the last few years and they are really hard on my bird food budget! And they seem to stay later and later each year too! Sad
Imageangele
Mar 18, 2010 8:27 PM CST
Name: Angele (zone7b/8a)
Elephant Butte, NM
Yeah! I'm a Charley's girl!
Don't the white-crowned sparrows have the sweetest songs? I just love them!
The swans are so pretty.
ImagePNWMountaingirl
Mar 19, 2010 8:45 AM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Yes they do Angele. Do they winter near you?
Imageangele
Mar 19, 2010 8:47 AM CST
Name: Angele (zone7b/8a)
Elephant Butte, NM
Yeah! I'm a Charley's girl!
Year-round bird here.
Imagechickadee
Mar 19, 2010 11:17 AM CST
Name: Kay
Lincoln, Nebraska
Finches are back here too, gobbling safflower! Redwing Blackbirds are all over, they are sure noisy! We had a Western Kingbird nest in our big Austian Pine last year. They have a fun squeaky voice! Smiling Hope it returns.
ImagePNWMountaingirl
May 14, 2010 8:40 AM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
My black headed grosbeaks are back now, and I heard but have not yet seen the Western tanager.
ImagePNWMountaingirl
May 17, 2010 8:06 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Swainson's Thrushes arrived, probably on the 16th. One day ahead of normal.

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