What birds do we see most in Southern Oregon in the winter?
In the Rogue Valley there are over a dozen species of ducks that can be found each winter. We also frequently have Lewis’s Woodpeckers, Cedar Waxwings and Varied Thrush in significant numbers. On every Medford and Ashland Christmas Bird Count the wintering Golden-crowned Sparrow is among the most abundant species. Other birds that show up here in winter include Great Egret, Northern Shrike, Say’s Phoebe, Prairie Falcon, Merlin and hundreds of American Coots.
In the Klamath Basin winter is a season for raptor watching. The local Bald Eagles are joined by dozens who migrate in from further north. Arctic-breeding Rough-legged Hawks join Red-tailed and Ferruginous Hawks in patrolling the fields for rodents. Prairie Falcon cruise the open areas and Short-eared Owls come out at dusk to hunt. This winter there have been Bohemian Waxwings, Common Redpoll and Lapland Longspur, all visiting from the far north. If you find the large blackbird flocks in the cow pastures there’ll almost always be some Yellowpheaded Blackbirds and Tricoloreds among the many Brewer’s and Red-winged Blackbirds. When the flat fields freeze over in winter the ducks and other waterbirds are driven to the open water of the Link River which connects Klamath Lake to Lake Euwana. Among the ducks will be Barrow’s Goldeneye.
Ashland resident, Harry Fuller is a frequent field trip leader for Klamath Bird Observatory, Rogue Valley Audubon Society and through his guide service, Harry Fuller Birding Tours offering detailed information about birds, their habitat, calls, and history. Visit www.towhee.net for detailed information on where and when to find one of Harry’s trips or http://atowhee.wordpress.com for Oregon & Northern California bird updates.
Do not miss Fuller’s Book Release Event for Freeway Birding, San Francisco to Seattle when Fuller takes us on a tour of his favorite and newly discovered birding sites along I-5 on Tuesday, March 12th 7 pm at the GIOS Building (Formerly Headwaters) 84 4th St. Ashland. Across the street from the Rogue Valley Unitarian Church