Wood Duck

Birdwatching is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in the nation. More than 51 million Americans — one in six of us — participate. A study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that birdwatching-related activities added over $80 billion annually to the U.S. economy and employs over 666,000. Like our own Bird-a-thon at Ladd Marsh, birdwatching festivals are conducted at thousands of communities across the nation. E-Bird.com, an online birding website, gives updated bird observations from thousands of hotspots. The photo depicts a male wood duck showing off his gaudy plumage to a nearby mate. Although not common, the birds are present in many sloughs and backwaters of Northeast Oregon. 

The annual Christmas bird count in Baker County yielded 71 species and thousands of individual birds.

Twelve volunteers followed a route near Salisbury Junction, south of Baker City, on Dec. 21, and 14 people conducted the Baker Valley count Jan. 4, said Bruce Raffety, who helps organize the count.

The routes are within 15-square-mile circles set by the National Audubon Society.

Raffety said that although searchers didn’t see any gray-crowned rosy finches during the official counts, he and his wife, Wanda, saw a flock of more than 100 of the finches the day after the Baker Valley count, in the northeast part of the valley.

“It was truly amazing,” he said.

Following are lists of species and individual birds tallied during three Baker County counts, as well as counts in Union and Wallowa counties.

Baker Valley

Canada geese, 551; American wigeon, 2; mallard, 241; Northern pintail, 4; ring-necked duck, 5; common goldeneye, 7; California quail, 70; wild turkey, 11; pied-billed grebe, 2; bald eagle, 9; Northern harrier, 3; sharp-shinned hawk, 2; Cooper’s hawk, 2; red-tailed hawk, 34; rough-legged hawk, 15; American kestrel, 4; rock pigeon, 115; Eurasian collared dove, 540; great horned owl, 6; downy woodpecker, 4; hairy woodpecker, 2; Northern flicker, 16; Steller’s jay, 6; California scrub jay, 1; black-billed magpie, 75; American crow, 15; common raven, 211; black-capped chickadee, 27; mountain chickadee, 16; pygmy nuthatch, 3; brown creeper, 2; Townsend’s solitaire, 6; American robin, 9; European starling, 1,231; song sparrow, 6; white-crowned sparrow, 1; dark-eyed junco, 104; house finch, 44; house sparrow, 1,066; cedar waxwing, 12

Salisbury

Mallard, 24; common merganser, 156; California quail, 145; wild turkey, 154; great blue heron, 2; bald eagle, 7; Northern harrier, 2; red-tailed hawk, 9; rough-legged hawk, 1; golden eagle, 2; American kestrel, 3; Eurasian collared dove, 51; great horned owl, 2; downy woodpecker, 4; hairy woodpecker, 1; Northern flicker, 3; Steller’s jay, 11; black-billed magpie,73; common raven, 35; black-capped chickadee, 9; mountain chickadee, 17; brown creeper, 5; Townsend’s solitaire, 15; American robin, 8; European starling, 39; spotted towhee, 1; dark-eyed junco, 102

Halfway area, Dec. 28

Canada goose, 73; American wigeon, 2; mallard, 116; green-winged teal, 54; ring-necked duck, 4; hooded merganser, 2; California quail, 754; ring-necked pheasant, 13; wild turkey, 225; great blue heron, 5; golden eagle, 1; sharp-shinned hawk, 1; Cooper’s hawk, 8; bald eagle, 20; red-tailed hawk, 16; rough-legged hawk, 11; Eurasian collared dove, 81; mourning dove, 4; great horned owl, 6; belted kingfisher, 3; downy woodpecker, 8; hairy woodpecker, 3; Northern flicker (red-shafted), 21; pileated woodpecker, 2; American kestrel, 6; merlin, 1; Steller’s jay, 18; blue jay, 7; black-billed magpie, 155; American crow, 14; common raven, 32; black-capped chickadee, 159; mountain chickadee, 23; red-breasted nuthatch, 12; brown creeper, 4; Pacific wren, 2; golden-crowned kinglet, 3; Townsend’s solitaire, 1; American robin, 92; European starling, 286; American tree sparrow, 4; chipping sparrow, 23; dark-eyed junco, 572; song sparrow, 5; red-winged blackbird, 5; house finch, 32; Cassin’s finch, 2; pine siskin, 67; American goldfinch, 43; evening grosbeak, 7; house sparrow, 42

Union County, Dec. 15

Snow goose, 3; cackling goose, 1; Canada goose, 919; tundra swan, 93; wood duck, 1, gadwall, 7; American wigeon, 14; mallard, 5,713; Northern shoveler, 40; Northern pintail, 1; green-winged teal, 11; redhead, 6; ring-necked duck, 140; lesser scaup, 6; bufflehead, 6; common goldeneye, 7; Barrow’s goldeneye, 2; common merganser, 25; ruddy duck, 6; California quail, 344; ring-necked pheasant, 39; gray partridge, 5; wild turkeys, 88; great blue heron, 6; golden eagle, 7; Northern harrier, 19; sharp-shinned hawk, 2; Cooper’s hawk, 5; Northern goshawk, 1; bald eagle, 17; red-tailed hawk, 165; rough-legged hawk, 34; ferruginous hawk, 2; buteo species, 1; Virginia rail, 3; killdeer, 1; Wilson’s snipe, 1; rock pigeon, 828; Eurasian collared dove, 315; mourning dove, 35; barn owl, 1; Western screech owl, 2; great horned owl, 14; Northern pygmy owl, 4; Northern saw-whet owl, 1; belted kingfisher, 3; downy woodpecker, 9; hairy woodpecker, 4; white-headed woodpecker, 1; Northern flicker (red-shafted), 43; American kestrel, 21; prairie falcon, 8; Northern shrike, 4; Steller’s jay, 17; black-billed magpie, 674; American crow, 18; common raven, 66; horned lark, 53; black-capped chickadee, 111; mountain chickadee, 13; red-breasted nuthatch, 7; white-breasted nuthatch, 5; brown creeper, 2; Pacific wren, 3; marsh wren, 24; Bewick’s wren, 42; American dipper, 1; golden-crowned kinglet, 5; Townsend’s solitaire, 7; American robin, 82; European starling, 2,272; American pipit, 10; cedar waxwing, 18; yellow-rumped warbler, 1; American tree sparrow, 25; dark-eyed junco (slate-colored), 6; dark-eyed junco (Oregon), 357; white-crowned sparrow, 85; Harris’ sparrow, 1; song sparrow, 313; spotted towhee, 1; red-winged blackbird, 581; western meadowlark, 21; Brewer’s blackbird, 88; pine grosbeak, 3; house finch, 398; pine siskin, 14; lesser goldfinch, 8; American goldfinch, 256; evening grosbeak, 4; house sparrow, 752

Wallowa County, Dec. 22

Snow goose, 3; cackling goose, 1; Canada goose, 595; mute swan, 1; wood duck, 31; gadwall, 4; American wigeon, 50; mallard, 630; Northern shoveler, 1; Northern pintail, 8; green-winged teal, 22; redhead, 1; ring-necked duck, 60; bufflhead, 30; common goldeneye, 10; Barrow’s goldeneye, 3; hooded merganser, 2; common merganser, 8; California quail, 125; ring-necked pheasant, 18; gray partridge, 15; wild turkey, 31; pied-billed grebe, 1; great blue heron, 6; golden eagle, 7; Northern harrier, 5; sharp-shinned hawk, 2; Cooper’s hawk, 4; bald eagle, 38; red-tailed hawk, 116; red-tailed hawk (Harlan’s), 2; rough-legged hawk, 24; buteo species, 3; eagle species, 1; Virginia rail 1; American coot, 5; rock pigeon, 73; Eurasian collared dove, 200; mourning dove, 31; barn owl, 2; Western screech owl, 1; great horned owl, 7; Anna’s hummingbird, 1; belted kingfisher, 3; downy woodpecker, 11; hairy woodpecker, 2; Northern flicker, 14; Northern flicker (red-shafted), 5; pileated woodpecker, 4; American kestrel, 4; merlin, 2; gyrfalcon, 1; prairie falcon, 6; Northern shrike, 2; Steller’s jay, 11; black-billed magpie, 266; Clark’s nutcracker, 1; American crow, 8: common raven, 89; black-capped chickadee, 51; mountain chickadee, 39; chestnut-backed chickadee, 4; red-breasted nuthatch, 23; white-breasted nuthatch, 6; pygmy nuthatch, 3; brown creeper, 14; Pacific wren, 1; marsh wren, 1; Bewick’s wren, 1; American dipper, 8; golden-crowned kinglet, 2; Townsend’s solitaire, 32; American robin, 159: European starling, 517; Bohemian waxwing, 1; cedar waxwing, 66; snow bunting, 7; American tree sparrow, 3; dark-eyed junco, 30; dark-eyed junco (slate-colored), 1; dark-eyed junco (cismontanus), 5; dark-eyed junco (Oregon), 34; Harris’ sparrow, 1; white-throated sparrow, 1; song sparrow, 17; red-winged blackbird, 32; pine brosbeak, 1; house finch, 306; common redpoll, 4; American goldfinch, 53; evening grosbeak, 51; house sparrow, 457.

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