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 Rock Sandpiper is one of Washington’s wintering shorebirds. It is seen with some regularity along the jetties at Westport and Brown’s Point in Ocean Shores, most often in the company of Surfbirds, Ruddy Turnstones and Black Turnstones, which also forage on rocky shores.
The White-winged Scoter is one of the world’s three scoters, all of which are seen in winter along the Washington coast. They are all in the genus Melanitta from the Greek melas, black, and netta, a duck. Heinrich Boie (1794-1827) Latinized the Greek word for duck and misspelled it. However, the principle of priority allows the error to stand
Anyone who has grown up in the eastern United States knows about the Baltimore Oriole as a woodland and garden bird and the mascot of the baseball team with the same name. Less well known, however, is Bullock’s Oriole, the western North American counterpart to the Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula.
Dunlins are hardy birds that winter farther north than any other shorebird. This fall and winter they will be along the Washington coast from late October to early May. Major stopover points for them are the tidal flats and coastal estuaries around Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor and the Samish and Skagit Flats where they forage on marine and freshwater invertebrates by probing a few centimeters into the mud or fine-grained sand.
“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).