Author Archives: John Rakestraw

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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Shorebirds on the rocks

A recent trip to the coast on a sunny and windy day resulted in these images of shorebirds using rocky habitats. Two of these species are usually found on rocks, but the other two are not. I wonder if the … Continue reading

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Twitching in the rain

One of the more popular avian celebrities in Portland this fall is a Virginia’s Warbler that has been visiting the suet feeders at a home for the past several weeks. This is a great bird for Oregon, and the bird … Continue reading

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Koll Center Wetlands

A couple of Black-crowned Night-Herons has been hanging out at Koll Center Wetlands recently. This spot is strictly parking lot birding (pull up, get out of the car, and scan the pond), but it has attracted more than it’s share … Continue reading

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Taverner’s Cackling Goose vs. Ridgeway’s Cackling Goose

On a recent trip to Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, I had the opportunity to observe Taverner’s and Ridgeway’s Cackling Geese side-by-side. Taverner’s are larger, with pale breasts and slightly longer bills. Ridgeway’s have dark, iridescent breasts (on adults) and … Continue reading

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