Author Archives: John Rakestraw

Bullock’s Oriole Nest

I spent a little time watching an active Bullock’s Oriole nest at Fernhill Wetlands. Notice how the birds have incorporated strands from a blue plastic tarp into the nest. Using plastic debris in nest construction is not unusual. In Kansas … Continue reading

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Whimbrels

This spring has seen pretty calm weather. While the sunny days may make for pleasant birding, they do not necessarily lead to great birding. It usually takes some good storms to cause a lot of shorebirds to put down on … Continue reading

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Birdathon

Our team for the Audubon Society of Portland’s Birdathon made a 360-mile loop through the Willamette Valley, across the Cascades, and east to the high desert. We tallied 110 species for the day. Here are a few. Acorn Woodpeckers are … Continue reading

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Spring Continues

Spring migration continues to rev up. Warbler numbers and diversity are increasing along with other songbirds. This Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler was at Tualatin River NWR. Downy Woodpecker showing his tongue This Pacific Wren was singing at Pittock Mansion. These birds … Continue reading

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Spring in the Wetlands

Spring is coming on strong, despite the cold latter half of March. The season is most obvious in the open habitats around wetlands. Local nesters are starting to pair up and collect nesting material.The winter sparrow flocks are starting to … Continue reading

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Eurasian Teal

This Eurasian Teal was hanging out a Jackson Bottom Wetlands. In the United States, Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca crecca) is considered a subspecies of Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca carolinensis), but in Europe, they are considered separate species. Males are pretty … Continue reading

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Random Images

February birding is famously slow around much of Oregon, but, as I like to remind myself, there is always something to see. This male Redhead has been spending the winter at Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton. It is not often … Continue reading

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Ridgefield NWR

On rare occasions, I cross the Columbia River to visit Washington. When the weather is less than stellar, the auto tour at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge offers a nice way to get close to wildlife without getting too wet. A … Continue reading

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Steller’s Eider

The Oregon birding scene has been abuzz the past week and a half about a Steller’s Eider that has been hanging out at the Seaside Cove. Steller’s Eiders normally spend the winter around the Aleutian Islands. Their population has declined … Continue reading

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Glaucous Gull

I found this first-cycle Glaucous Gull at the Seaside Cove recently. He was very accommodating, allowing me close views. I don’t get to see Glaucous Gulls very often, but I was struck by the large size of this bird. He … Continue reading

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