[birding] Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nesting in Benton County

Snetsinger, Thomas Thomas.Snetsinger at oregonstate.edu
Thu Jul 13 18:03:40 PDT 2006


Joel or Marcia,
Okay . . . since this popped into my mailbox while I was sitting here, I will be the first to ask. Can you comment on the potential for others to see these birds? 
 
Thanks,
Tom

________________________________

From: list-bounces at midvalleybirding.org on behalf of Joel Geier
Sent: Thu 7/13/2006 5:16 PM
To: Mid-Valley Birders
Subject: [birding] Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nesting in Benton County



Hello folks,

Elsie Eltzroth and Marcia Cutler today (13 Jul) confirmed nesting by a
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at a private residence south of Philomath. The
nest was in a fork of a nearly bare, lowest branch of a cherry tree just
3-4 ft. off the ground. A bluebird trail volunteer found the bird
nesting and reported it to Elsie. Apparently the bird was off the nest
much of the day (so presumably still laying) until today when it began
brooding.

Last year's summer find of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on Coffin Butte by
Wren Franko and Michael Dossett was the first county record. However as
the climate warms and as we humans modify habitat toward the brushy
realm in other ways, this species may be extending its range northward.
I'm wondering if an effort to cover brushy habitats along the base of
the Coast Range might turn up more.

It's already been an interesting nesting season with the transient
Northern Mockingbird in Philomath (with several other mid-valley
reports), the territorial Red-throated Vireo at E.E. Wilson (which also
seems to be part of a surge in the region), and now this bird. What else
is out there?

Happy birding,
Joel

P.S. As a midwestern transplant I just cannot wrap my brain around the
idea of a grackle being exciting, sorry!

--
Joel Geier
jgeier at attglobal.net
745-5020 or 745-5821

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