I am not sure why the hottest days of mid-summer are referred to as “dog days.” My dogs want nothing to do with the heat, and the hot weather puts a damper on bird activity as well. Wetlands tend to be a little more active than woodlands this time of year, so here are some recent images from area wetlands.
This Purple Martin is from the colony at Fernhill Wetlands. The recently installed nesting boxes there have been a great success.
Tree Swallows are everywhere. It is nice to find one perched on a stick instead of on a nest box.
Ospreys on the nest at Jackson Bottom
This House Finch was feeding on green Elderberries at Smith and Bybee Wetlands.
Spotted Towhee at Smith and Bybee
Bewick’s Wrens seem to be very fond of dust baths this time of year.
It is baby crow season. These youngsters were exploring the shallow waters of a slough at Smith and Bybee.
It is harder to find herps in the hot weather. This Northwestern Garter was stuck in a vault for a water shut-off valve. I lifted him out and sent him on his way.
This is a very small, very thin Long-toed Salamander (note the insect parts nearby for scale).
Smith and Bybee Wetlands is thick with Green Herons right now. There were at least a dozen in this little slough.
Shorebird migration is starting to pick up. Unfortunately, there is very little mudflat habitat in the Portland area right now. This Greater Yellowlegs was one of several sharing the slough with the Green Herons.
Three Lesser Yellowlegs were also present at Smith and Bybee.
On the home front, we were treated to three baby Western Screech-Owls playing in the back yard. Two of them perched on the rope holding the sunshade and tried to untie the knots. It was almost too dark to see, so this is the best image I was able to get (6400 ISO). Pretty adorable.