Summer birding at our house revolves around keeping the hummingbird feeders full, monitoring the nest boxes, and watching the various species of hatchlings beg for food from their frenzied parents. The juveniles are so vulnerable as they learn to fly, watch for predators, and fend for themselves. They are usually loud and rather conspicuous. Watching them is entertaining but at times nerve-wracking.
At the end of 2011, our backyard list stood at 97 species after 36 years of watching birds at our home in the Friendly Neighborhood (see the March 2012 Quail). This is an update for 2012 and early 2013. I’m sure all avid Quail readers have been waiting anxiously to see when and if the 100-species threshold could be reached.
On May 18, while sitting on our deck, my wife Susan and I counted eight Cliff Swallows overhead (#98). After the March 2012 snow storm, the birch tree across Van Buren Street was taken down. On May 19, before it was felled, it was the perfect perch for an Olive-sided Flycatcher (#99). The next bird seen or heard in or from the yard would be the magical number 100.
Each time I travel away from Oregon, I’m happy when I return to the Willamette Valley. We live in a beautiful, green location surrounded by awesome scenery, clean air (relatively) and in an area where we can easily find a respite from cars and people.