Eastside Audubon’s Bird of the Month for April 2019 is the Blue-winged Teal. The male Blue-winged Teal has a dramatic white crescent curving down across its face. While in flight a silvery blue patch on the leading edge of the wing and a green speculum on the secondaries marking a contrast visible in flight.
Eastside Audubon’s Bird of the Month for February 2019 is the Swamp Sparrow. The Swamp Sparrow is more closely related to and shares the same genus Melospiza (song finch, from Greek melos, song, and spiza, the chaffinch) with the Song Sparrow (M. melodia).
“The Northern Spotted Owl is an indicator species for Pacific Northwest old-growth forest; in other words, the state of this bird represents the state of these forests. In this role, it has become an icon of efforts to preserve old-growth forests in the region” (Bannick).
The Barred Owl (BARR, due to conflict with Barn Owl being BAOW) is about 21” long with a wingspan of 42” and a weight of 1.6 lb. (720 g). This compares with 17.5”, 40” WS and 1.3 lb. for its cousin, the Spotted Owl.
The Short-eared Owl is an open country, ground-nesting species and one of the world’s most widely distributed owls. One of the ten subspecies worldwide is Pueo (Pu-a’-o), the Hawaiian Short-eared Owl A. f. sandwichensis.
If you are in this small bird’s primary habitat, which is long-needled pine forests such as Ponderosa Pine, you should be able to find it fairly easily because of its hyperactive behavior and incessant and distinctive three note call.
Now is the time of year to keep your ears perked up for the hoo-hoo-HOO-hooo-hoo Good for you, me too call of the Great Horned Owl, probably the most widespread owl in North America which can be found in a variety of wooded sites.
The combination of the Barn Owl’s eerie screaming call, its ghostly white color, and its roosting in church belfries gave rise to many superstitions associated with it. In English folklore the Barn Owl had a sinister reputation and poets Robert Blair and William Wordsworth considered it a “bird of doom”.
The Rufous Hummingbird is one of our beloved Northwest breeding birds which is awaited by birders as a sure sign of Spring. Its breeding area includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Western Montana, British Columbia, and south-central Alaska.