BOGS (Birds of Oregon and General Science)
Questions about BOGS?
UPCOMING BIRD WALKS
Dec. 9 is a 2nd Thursday. Steve has announced his intention to lead a bird walk on that date.
He will choose our Destination as that date approaches, based on what's being seen locally.
As soon as I have that information, I will post it here and also to the BOGS Facebook group.
WINTER RAPTOR RUNS
Priscilla intends to coordinate two raptor runs each month November through March this year. Some of these will not be on Thursdays, and some may be on Saturdays; and it is possible that some of these will happen with very little advance notice. In those cases there will be email announcements at least one day in advance, (usually two or more days in advance) as well as posting the trips here on this website.
The intentions here are to offer a greater number of trips so as to spread out the attendees over more trips with resulting smaller number of cars on the trips; and also to allow getting out while especially interesting "target birds" are still in the area. Prairie Falcons and Goshawks for example are especially mobile and quick to show up and then disappear in a few days time. We also have some folks who have been unable to attend BOGS events because they have a conflict on Thursdays.
SECOND RAPTOR RUN
The raptor run which had TENTATIVELY been scheduled for Tuesday Nov 23, is now canceled.
While there are raptors in our part of the valley, it takes a much greater effort to find them and many of those we found while scouting last Tuesday were at great distances across large fields. We found we had to park and stand around scanning the fields for 15 -25 minutes to eventually get some distant views. I don't think that's a good situation for a caravan of something like 8 (or more) cars parking along public roads. Both of the roads where we saw the most birds had enough traffic that it would make for an awkward situation to have not only cars on the roadside but people standing around outside their cars as well.
Our usual raptor route through Linn County is mostly roads with much less traffic. We drove those roads also on Tuesday but did not see much bird activity at all in those areas. It is still a little early in the Winter for seeing enough raptors where you can just drive up to an area, pull over and see some birds right away, with some of them even being up close.
I'm still thinking about when to schedule the next raptor run. I have medical appointments on Mon, Dec 6 and Tuesday, Dec 7; (nothing serious). Steve is planning to lead a bird walk on Thursday, Dec 9 (2nd Thurs). So rather than chasing raptors that week, we will look at scheduling a raptor run the following week; i.e.; Dec.12-18. I will post to the BOGS Facebook group as well as here, as soon as a specific date has been chosen.
RECENT ARRIVALS (Wintering Raptors and other Wintering birds)
Here in Lane County, we have already had some arrivals of birds which spend their Winter with us.
LATEST Reports, Nov 22:
Just today (and for the last two days) there has been a GYRFALCON seen in north Lane County. People have been out along Cox Butte Rd (mostly) and Washburn Ln seeing this rare Gyrfalcon and attempting to find it each time it flies off. So far they've found it three days in a row. Today (Nov 22) it has been diving at flocks of Cackler Geese. Yesterday it caught one. As I write this, the Gyrfalcon is being seen off and on this afternoon, mostly along Cox Butte Rd in North Lane County. All this action has been reported live from the field by people using the WhatsApp App.
SEE NEXT SECTION BELOW
"WhatsApp" App Birding Groups
These groups in our area (all over Oregon) originated in Spring 2021. Prior to the formation of these groups, the two main means of communicating bird sightings were OBOL (Oregon Birdrs Online- which is an email listserve) and eBird.org. Neither of those methods are as instantaneous as the WhatsApp App. There was some "political" history to the formation of these groups as well, but it is probably still controversial for some people so I won't discuss it here.
This App allows real-time messaging to a group of people all at once. The advantage is that there is virtually no delay from sending a message to the others getting it. In contrast posts to eBird.org may be delayed several hours in some cases especially if an uncommon bird is reported. The WhatsApp app is free. Download it from the "google playstore" for android, or where-ever iPhone people get Apps. Once the app is downloaded, one has to click an active link to join any of the WhatsApp groups. If you want the link, write to me and I'll tell you who to write to. They change the link for joining now and then to avoid spammers getting in and posting.
The most interesting group for our area is the "Lane County RBA" group. (RBA means Rare Bird Alert). There are no special requirements for joining. Each group has guidelines mostly pertaining to inclusivity and no hate speech. The RBA type groups ask members to limit their posts to information specific to a rare bird being seen; i.e.; the location, time and any tips for finding the bird. There are "OPEN" bird chat groups as well (such as "Lane County OPEN Birdchat" for Lane County), and in those groups any kind of discussion pertaining to birds can be posted freely.
Reports gleaned Nov 4:
Say's Phoebe; Seen Nov. 3. Cantrell Rd; (this bird has been in this area for a week now)
Tundra Swans; Seen Nov. 3. (35 in the distance)at Shore Lane County Park
American Pelicans; Seen Nov. 3. (60 in distance) at Shore Lane County Park
Rough-legged Hawk; Seen Nov. 3. Washburn Ln
Reports gleaned on Oct 31:
Two or three Rough-legged Hawks have been seen, one over in east Springfield
and the other near the north end of Alavadore Rd. A Northern Shrike was seen a day or two ago right from the Royal Ave parking lot.
Also, a Say's Phoebe was seen that same day on K.R. Nielsen Rd. Both of these birds are "regulars" in these areas,
though they are not always easily seen. A Short-eared Owl was photographed near Salem a few days ago at Baskett Slough.
These Owls start making their appearance as early as October. Some of the early sightings are birds which are on their way
further south to California and they stop in various places here in the valley or on the coast for one or a few days
before continuing south. A Burrowing Owl was seen for one day near the airport two weeks ago. It too, moved on further south
and was not seen again. In November just about every year, a few Short-eared Owls are seen at Meadowlark Prairie.
These might stay around for the Winter, we don't know for sure, but if so, they move around a lot and are not seen often.
This species is known to be nomadic and pretty much solitary in Winter except at locations with lots of their favorite prey, which
are meadow voles. Short-eared Owl numbers seem to increase at good food sources as Winter progresses.
If you feel like going out near sunset to look for them at Meadowlark Prairie,
park at the lot at the Greenhill overlook and watch especially to the Southeast in the distance.
In recent years, Short-eared Owls have been making similar sporadic appearances at Fern Ridge along Royal Ave, so that is another place to check as sunset approaches.
Brush up on your raptor skills! RAPTOR TUTORIAL
WINTER TERM: NO INDOOR PRESENTATIONS
The Campbell Center is limiting room occupancy during Winter term to only 25 people due to the Co-Vid pandemic. Our attendance for indoor presentations has always been larger than that, so Doris has suggested we hold off on returning to indoor presentations and see how things develop for Spring term:
"We are watching and waiting for an opportunity to restart indoor meetings, and we will need some reorganization after we get going."
SLIDESHOWS FOR 2021 Spring/Summer BIRD WALKS
For convenience, I have always posted links to recent slideshows added to the website further down on (this) home page. There is a much more complete listing of BOGS bird walk slideshows and trip reports on this website, going back to 2013. I am putting a link to that immediately below, but it can also be accessed directly from the black menu bar at the top of this page. Simply click on the "BOGS-LINKS" item in that black menu bar. The listings on that page are chronological with most recent at the top. (The link below takes you to that same page)
The further back in time you go on this website, the more pages you will find which need repair. On some pages the entire slideshow is missing. On other pages all the formatting is gone - font types, sizes and colors are wrong as well as text boxes and background colors. It took me a very very long time to figure out why these things were happening. I'm happy to say, I have finally found the sources of ALL these types of problems and will be restoring the pages - a few at a time. My repair work will be directed at the most recent material first. I think all of 2021, 2020 and 2019 are already repaired but some work needs to be done yet on pages from 2018 and even more so for the years preceding 2018.
BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT BOGS - (during NORMAL TIMES)
Below I have included a list compiled by both Doris and myself, of all the places Steve Barron has taken us, as well as a few additional places we have gone only during previous Summers.
Here is a list of places BOGS has gone birding in the past
Is that a (give bird name) that I hear singing?
BIRD SONGS: Online Resources - listen to any bird's songs or calls
If you have a smartphone, there are numerous apps for birding which can play the songs and calls of birds,
but if you don't have one, you can go online and explore the songs and calls of any bird.
Here are two exceptionally good websites for this:
The McCaulay library includes not only recordings of songs and calls, but also has photographs and videos of birds, mammals, reptiles
and amphibians! Here is the "How to" page with instructions for using this website:
CLICK HERE FOR: Winter Raptors: A Mini-Tutorial by Priscilla Sokolowski Meant for those not very familiar with Hawks and other raptors found in the Southern Willamette Valley from November to March, and who want some helpful "look-for-this" kinds of details. This tutorial includes the most common Winter-only species. It does not include some of the year-round hawks such as Cooper's, Sharp-shinned or Red-shouldered Hawks; nor does it include Owls. Some who have worked through this tutorial have found it very helpful and easy to use. Check it out before our Raptor Runs this Winter!
ACCESSING eBird Data to Find Birds
MOST RECENT SLIDESHOWS AND TRIP REPORTS ADDED TO WEBSITE:
NOTE: Click on the "BOGS-LINKS" menu item on the black menu bar
at top of the page for the most complete listing of BOGS slideshows and trip reports
dating back to 2013.
In the list below,the more recent additions are nearer to top; but not precisely in chronological order. Also the following list only goes back about two years
Three November Birding Trip SLIDESHOWS
Five OCTOBER BOGS bird walk slide shows
ROAD SCHOLAR TRIP TO MAINE: "A Birder's Dream; Birding Down East Maine"
ROAD SCHOLAR TRIP TO MAINE: "A Birder's Dream; Birding Down East Maine" - PART 2
Don Laufer: Ruff Park
Raptors: Belts and Diamond Hill area roads,
THE LATEST BIRDS REPORTED to eBIRD in Lane County
Back in February or April, the folks who do the computer programming at Cornell's eBird.org website, re-did much of the website.
While their work made improvements, especially in the ease of use by smartphones, one unfortunate result is that the widgets
by BirdTrax, which use eBird data, no longer function. This will probably be a permanent state of affairs, so I have removed the widgets
from the "Recent Sightings" page of this website. I still have a frame with working links from the eBird.org site,
so plenty of information can still be gleaned that way.
RECENT SIGHTINGS reported to eBIRD for Lane County
RECENT SIGHTINGS reported to eBIRD for Lane County
ALL BOGS TRIP REPORTS & SLIDESHOWS
ALL Non-BOGS SLIDESHOWS from Trips, Festivals, Projects
Original Home Page
About the thumbnail photos:
The rows of thumbnail-sized photos adorning the home page are some of my best photos or else some of my most interesting. Most of them were taken on non-BOGS birding outings. If you click on a thumbnail it will give you a full screen view of the image. Use the back button/arrow on your browser to return to the home page.