Archive for July, 2016


July 4, 2016

Research shows that Magnificent Frigatebirds are not only magnificent, they fly…endlessly.  Over 250 miles per day, non-stop, no resting on the water. They may fly that for days, weeks…they do land to lay eggs and incubate them.

Here are some pictures I took of frigatebirds around the Galapagos a few years back.  It was a trip organized by Partnership for International Birding.  Haven’t been there?  GO!  Enjoy these champion flyers:FRIGATE ALOFT Frigatebird Dive frigatebird flying by frigatebird on mast Frigatebird Profile FRIG-BIRD EYELEVEL frig-pbird provile


July 4, 2016

Here is a great reason to go birding in western Ecuador.  This is the endemic White-tailed Jay:White-tailed_JayAnd now the Princeton University Press has issued a photographic guide to the birds of Western Ecuador.  Living here in the Pacific Northwest I first notice the birds that aren’t found in this part of the Neotropics.  No scoters, no alcids. But then you settle in to thumb through the book and you notice 8 raptors named “kite,”  over 20 members of the dove/pigeon family, three pages of tinamous and guans (think big pheasants in the forest).  Toucans, barbets (my favorite gang of tropical thugs), hummingbirds for page after page, Tanagers, endless tyrant flycatchers, antwrens and antvireos and antbirds,  Finally near the back of the book you get to the euphonias, dressed like a junior high marching band.euphoniaThis is a Thick-billed Euphonia.

The book includes range maps for each species showing its range across Ecuador.  The book does NOT include the Galapagos.   If you go after that White-tailed Jay, take this book along. Partnership for International Birding offers a panoply of birding trips to Ecuador.  Check ’em out.

ecuador cover

Birds of Western Ecuador:
A Photographic Guide
Nick Athanas & Paul J. Greenfield
With special contributions from Iain Campbell, Pablo Cervantes Daza, Andrew Spencer & Sam Woods

Paperback | 2016 | $45.00 |  ISBN: 9780691157801
448 pp. | 6 1/2 x 10 | 1,500 color photos. 946 maps.  It is also available as an ebook.


July 2, 2016

Here are the birds we saw on our early June trip through the Pacific Northwest over eight days.  Portland to Astoria to Florence to Bend, then back through Portland and north to Nisqually, then Sequim, then Victoria, BC.


  1. Brant: 3 on sand spit in Dungeness NWR, seen from Three Crabs Road, Sequim
  2. Canada Goose
  3. Wood Duck, Nisqually NWR, et al.
  4. Mallard
  5. Gadwall
  6. Pintail
  7. Blue-winged Teal: Wapato Pond, Sauvie Island
  8. Shoveler
  9. Harlequin, first seen at Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach; many seen on Olympic Peninsula, esp. Port Townsend
  10. Surf Scoter
  11. White-winged Scoter, one seen briefly off Oregon Coast
  12. Hooded Merganser, Sauvie Island and Nisqually
  13. Common Merganser
  14. Ruddy Duck
  15. California Quail
  16. Sooty Grouse, heard in Deschutes Natl. Forest west of Sisters
  17. Common Loon, some seen in breeding plumage
  18. Pacific Loon
  19. Red-throated Loon
  20. Western Grebe
  21. Pied-billed Grebe
  22. Brandt’s Cormorant
  23. Pelagic Cormorant
  24. Double-crested Cormorant
  25. American White Pelican, along Columbia River west of Portland
  26. Brown Pelican
  27. Great Blue Heron
  28. Great Egret
  29. Turkey Vulture
  30. Northern Harrier
  31. Osprey
  32. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  33. Cooper’s Hawk
  34. Red-tailed Hawk
  35. Bald Eagle
  36. American Coot
  37. Virginia Rail, marsh at Ona Beach State Park
  38. Black-bellied Plover, Dungeness NWR
  39. Killdeer
  40. Black Oystercatcher
  41. Spotted Sandpiper
  42. Ring-billed Gull
  43. California Gull
  44. Glaucous-winged Gull, and numerous Glaucous-winged X Western (known locally as “Olympic”)
  45. Western Gull
  46. Heermann’s Gull, Ediz Hook, Port Townsend
  47. Caspian Tern
  48. Pigeon Guillemot
  49. Common Murre
  50. Ancient Murrelet, ferryboat on US side of border north of Port Townsend
  51. Marbled Murrlet
  52. Tufted Puffin, many flying around Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, one seen from ferryboat
  53. Rhinoceros Auklet, first seen at John Wayne Marina, Sequim, then many from ferryboat
  54. Rock Pigeon
  55. Band-tailed Pigeon
  56. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  57. Mourning Dove
  58. Great Horned Owl, west of Sisters
  59. Vaux’s Swift
  60. Anna’s Hummingbird
  61. Rufous Hummingbird
  62. Belted Kingfisher
  63. Williamson’s Sapsucker, Deschutes Natl. Forest, first near Suttle Lake
  64. Red-breasted Sapsucker, numerous along Oregon Coast
  65. Red-naped Sapsucker, Calliope Crossing west of Sisters
  66. White-headed Woodpecker, Deschutes National Forest
  67. Downy Woodpecker
  68. Hairy Woodpecker
  69. American Three-toed Woodpecker, Deschutes Natl. Forest
  70. Black-backed Woodpecker, Deschutes Natl. Forest
  71. Northern Flicker
  72. Kestrel
  73. Peregrine
  74. Western Wood-Pewee
  75. Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Ona Beach SP
  76. Willow Flycatcher
  77. Dusky Flycatcher
  78. Western Kingbird
  79. Warbling Vireo
  80. Steller’s Jay
  81. Western Scrub-Jay
  82. Pinyon Jay
  83. Clark’s Nutcracker, Mt. Hood
  84. Common Raven
  85. American Crow
  86. Northwestern Crow, Vancouver Island, BC
  87. Skylark, Victoria Airport, BC
  88. Purple Martin
  89. Tree Swallow
  90. Violet-green swallow
  91. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  92. Cliff Swallow
  93. Barn Swallow
  94. Mountain Chickadee, Deschutes Natl.Forest
  95. Black-capped Chickadee
  96. Chestnut-backed Chickadee
  97. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  98. White-breasted Nuthatch
  99. Pygmy Nuthatch, several seen, one nesting pair in Sawyer Park, Bend
  100. Brown Creeper
  101. Bewick’s Wren
  102. Marsh Wren, heard but not seen
  103. Pacific Wren, first at Coffeeberry Lake, Forest Stevens SP
  104. House Wren
  105. American Dipper, Suttle Lake
  106. Wrentit, Coffeeberry Lake in Fort Stevens SP
  107. Western Bluebird
  108. Mountain Bluebird, Mt. Hood
  109. Swainson’s Thrush
  110. American Robin
  111. Varied Thrush
  112. Starling
  113. Cedar Waxwing
  114. Orange-crowned Warbler
  115. Common Yellowthroat
  116. Yellow Warbler
  117. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  118. Hermit Warbler
  119. Townsend’s Warbler
  120. Wilson’s Warbler, first good viewing at Coffeeberry Lake
  121. Spotted Towhee
  122. Chipping Sparrow
  123. Savannah Sparrow
  124. Fox Sparrow, Deschutes National Forest
  125. Song Sparrow
  126. Dark-eyed Junco
  127. White-crowned Sparrow
  128. Western Tanager
  129. Black-headed Grosbeak
  130. Lazuli Bunting
  131. Brewer’s Blackbird
  132. Red-winged Blackbird
  133. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  134. Brown-headed Cowbird
  135. Bullock’s Oriole
  136. Purple Finch
  137. Cassin’s Finch, Mt. Hood
  138. House Finch
  139. Red Crossbill near Darlingtonia Reserve on Oregon Coast
  140. Pine Siskin
  141. American Goldfinch
  142. Lesser Goldfinch
  143. Evening Grosbeak, Palo Alto Road above Sequim
  144. House Sparrow