[Tweeters] Wood Ducks, Turkey Vultures and Osprey
dennispaulson at comcast.net
Sun Apr 1 11:43:18 PDT 2012
Michael, that is truly mind-boggling. This is a species that didn't even winter regularly in Washington, except for a few individuals, when I first moved here four decades ago! It's one of a long list of species that have changed their winter ranges because of human activities, not even counting climate change.
Grain elevators and all the spilled grain they entail have really had an effect on birds. I assume some of you have seen the large flocks of diving ducks that winter in the shadow of the elevators at Myrtle Edwards Park in Seattle, and I've seen the same thing in Commencement Bay in Tacoma. They are either feeding on spilled grain or marine animals that are attracted to the grain itself or are more abundant because of increased productivity at those sites. I wish I knew which.
And that doesn't count the big flocks of geese, wigeons, Mallards and pigeons attracted to the grain, also blackbirds in some areas. I have seen large numbers of Band-tailed Pigeons feeding with Rock Pigeons at the Tacoma site. The largest numbers of Eurasian Collared-Doves I've seen in North America have been at grain elevators on the Plains. The grain elevators at Churchill, Manitoba, attract huge flocks of Lapland Longspurs and Snow Buntings in the spring.
On Apr 1, 2012, at 10:05 AM, Michael Hobbs wrote:
> On February 17th this year, I saw 750-1000 Wood Ducks at dusk at the grain elevators adjacent to Hoods Park in Burbank, Walla Walla county. There were probably 3000 ducks total, the rest being Mallards, all crowding the entire ground surface beneath the bins, with many more tightly packed in the water below. Strangely, the Wood Ducks would laboriously clamber up the steep grass slope from the water rather than flying.
> On November 11, 2011, there were several hundred Wood Ducks (again with Mallards) at dusk at a grain elevator in Clarkston, Asotin county.
> In both cases, I have no idea where they all were hiding during the day. Both of these notable sightings were at last light – just before full dark, with the birds hard to make out in the gloom.
> == Michael Hobbs
> == Kirkland, WA
> == http://www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
> == http://www.marymoor.org/BirdBlog.htm
> == birdmarymoor at frontier.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson at comcast.net>
> To: Carol Riddell <cariddellwa at gmail.com>
> Cc: TWEETERS tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
> Sent: Sun, Apr 1, 2012 9:11 am
> Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Wood Ducks, Turkey Vultures and Osprey
> I'd call it a noteworthy number. I've seen Wood Ducks all my birding life and
> all over their range and have never seen that many together! The largest number
> I ever saw was perhaps 20 spread out over a couple of sewage ponds along hwy 14
> east of Vancouver, WA, one day. I was impressed by that. Maybe southwestern WA
> is an especially good area for the species.
> Dennis Paulson
> 1724 NE 98 St.
> Seattle, WA 98115
> dennispaulson at comcast.net
> On Mar 31, 2012, at 10:13 PM, Carol Riddell wrote:
> > On my way home from Portland this afternoon I took time out for a walk in the
> fields on the Dike Access Road near Woodland. There were hundreds of Cackling
> Geese, lots of Mew Gulls, one Osprey in a tree near the Columbia (my first of
> year), and a gathering of 30 Wood Ducks, mostly drakes but with a few hens. I
> know this is not a noteworthy number but it is probably the largest flock I have
> seen, so it was personally noteworthy and a delight to my eyes. At milepost 27
> on I-5 I noted two Turkey Vultures, my first of year for Western Washington.
> > Carol Riddell
> > Edmonds
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