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



June 26, 2016

Birder Nan Perkins from Wimberley, Texas, goT these three images on a Partnership for International Birding trip around Oregon and Washington in early June:Mountain Chickadee Willow Flycatcher ? Red Cross-billThis Crossbill was near the Darlingtonia Preserve along US 101 on the Oregon Coast.  The Mountain Chickadee was in the Deschutes National Forest on the eastern slop of the Cascades.  The Wood-Pewee was one of dozens we saw on our trip.


June 23, 2016

Here are some images from the Partnership for International Birding that I (Harry Fuller) co-led in early June.  A pitcher plant reserve along the Oregon Coast:PITCHER PLANT2PITCHER PLANT3PTCHR PLANT1`pelco on rok (1280x960)Pelagic Cormorant on rock offshore.  Below: Pigeon Guillemot.pigu air1 (1280x960)pigu air2 (1280x960)Pigu air3 (1280x960)pigu flot (1280x960)foggy dayFrom the foggy coast we headed inland to the sunny Cascades:3-fingersbeargrassburnedce-an-othuschipperAt Suttle Lake, a Dipper:DIPP FLIEZAt Calliope Crossing west of Sisters, OR, a Red-naped Sapsucker:RNS4RNS-BACKRNS-BEST


June 23, 2016

The well-known, often published birdsong expert, Dr. Donald Kroodsma and his son biked across the nation, starting on the East Coast and ending in Oregon where Kroodsma first studied ornithology in graduate school.  The resulting book is an exciting and useful introduction to birdsong, where and when and how to listen.KRRODSMAHere’s a sample page, and publishers have now graduated from CDs to on page links to websites with all the relevant birgsongs, accessible for free:


Listening to a Continent Sing:
Birdsong by Bicycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific
By Donald Kroodsma

Princeton Press.  Hardcover | 2016 | $29.95 | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780691166810
336 pp. | 6 x 9 | 125 line illus.


June 22, 2016

Princeton University has just published a heavy-duty guide to all the world’s known Bovids: deer, antelope (but not our unrelated Pronghorn), sheep, wild cattle, goats.  That’s a total of 279 species.  The book is paperback and would fit in your suitcase for trip to East or South Africa where you’re sure to need it.  My wife and I visited Uganda n a birding trip a few years back: seven antelope species happened to cross our path.  Besides good illustrations of each species and range maps, there are comparison pages: BOVIDS HORNS BOVIDS SIZE The books sells for $35 US and has nearly 2000 illustrations, both drawing and photographs.  Each individual species is shown next to a human outline for some sense of its comparative size.  They range from the lithe, tiny dik-dik up to elands and banteng (cattle of southeast Asia).

Right near the front,and the first species listed, is my favorite member of this tribe, the common impala.  Seeing them almost float through thickets and over logs or boulders is a thrill not to be forgotten.  Go see ’em and take this book with you.
Partnership for International Birding organizes trips to south Asia and all around Africa where many of these animals live.

Bovids of the World:
Antelopes, Gazelles, Cattle, Goats, Sheep, and Relatives
José R. Castelló
Foreword by Brent Huffman & Colin Groves.  Princeton Press. 2016.  664 pages.


June 22, 2016

Jesse Nuth and Harry Fuller led a trip across the Pacific Northwest in early June. The birding group was from Wimberley, Texas, and envrions and they go to see plenty of birds not wandering about Hill Country or the Rio Grande.  Here are a few of Harry’s photos:PUMA3 (1280x960)Purple Martin above, White Pelicans below…both along lower Columbia River downstream from Sauvie Island.WPEL GROUP (1280x960)Two juvenile Bald EaglesMound:EGLE-TWORock full of Common Murres along Oregon coast.  Their whistling sound was piercing.MURRE MOUNDPelagic Cormorants in breeding plumage, that white rump patch goes away at end of summer.Two young Peregrines, below, in nest at Yaquina Head, OR.perebabesWrentit, Fort Stevens State Park northwest of Astoria.QW-TIT4 (1280x960)W-TIT1 (1280x960)W-TIT2 (1280x960)Male Wilson’s Warbler belting out his song, also at Fort Stevens: WIwa sings (1280x960)


June 22, 2016

nans brandtNan Perkins was one of the Texas birders on a recent trip we did across the Pacific Northwest.  It was a Partnership for International Birding trip.  When did you last get a good look at the bird gular pouch of a nesting Brandt’s Cormorant?  This is Nan’s great shot from along the Oregon Coast.

Here are two more of her shots, angry Osprey and a singing Pacific Wren:osprey anger pac wren sing


March 7, 2016

Wildlife of the Galapagos.  Pocket Guide. By Julian Fitter, Daniel Fitter, David Hosking.  Princeton Univ. Press.  Second edition. 2016. paperback. 272 pages.  $19.95.

This new, updated, handy field guide will  fit in your pocket.  It describes over 400 species from insect to mammal. It uses colored photos, not drawings.  There are range maps only for Darwin’s finches.  It also has good advice on photography (flashes are banned) and other practical travel advice for the naturalist.  It also explains the different climate zones that exist on the larger islands depending on direction of slope and elevation.

This small guide will fit even into your carry-on luggage for in-flight study.

There are Short-eared Owls on the Galapagos as there are in Hawaii.  Those guys sure get around.

gala1 gala2 gala3


March 7, 2016

Here’s email I got from good friend and fellow birder:  “We went to Big Sur for my birthday this week.  While have a massage in the room, the masseuse told us that she saw 3 condors fly by our window.
“She mentioned it after we were finished….otherwise I would have grab[bed] the bins and started following them!  We generally walk to the hot tub which is
about two minutes away near the room after our massages.  So I say to R that we should go to the hot tub and soak for awhile… we are walking there and told her “I wish I could see a condor…..that is my birthday wish” (it has been around 8 yrs since I’ve seen one…I sent you those photos)……so I keep looking up at the sky hoping to spot one……so one minute later as we approach the hot tub…….I can’t believe what I see…..3 condors pecking at the thermostat for the pool….right by the pool…..I whisper to R that I’m going back to grab my camera and try to capture this moment……I looked like Usain Bolt running the 100 mm race at the Olympics going back to the room…..I dash back as fast as I can and started taking some photos… they are pulling the towels from a high stack of towels for the guests!  They were hilarious….as the towel in the middle was being pulled out….they jumped back to avoid having the whole stack fall on them….two of them had tags, while the young one was untagged….their wing span must have been 7 to 8 feet wide [adults are near 9 feet, longest in U.S.  White Pelicans #2]…..incredible! I could have got closer, but I didn’t want them to fly away. so I’m going to send you the pics for your enjoyment…….I mentioned what happened to the staff and there is a website called “” which tells you information about the specific condor……wow, what a birthday gift!”

cndor 13cndor1cndor2cndor3cndor4cndor5cndor6cndor7cndor8If the towel had been dirtycndor9If the towel and been dirty and smelly would it have held more interest for them?  Or are they simply curious?  Adults do collect shining objects and carry them back to the nest sometimes.cndor10Icndor11