[birding] Vesper Sparrow at Luckiamute SNA, no Red-eyed Vireos or cuckoos heard today

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Thu Jun 13 13:37:18 PDT 2013

Hi all,

On a walk along the trail at Luckiamute State Natural Area's North Unit
(Luckiamute Landing) this morning, I saw a single VESPER SPARROW fly
over the trail a bit southwest of where the trail goes into the gallery
forest. This was exciting because it's been several years since a Vesper
Sparrow has been sighted in the area during nesting season.

For GPS fans, here are the coordinates of my initial sighting:
This is close to one of the traditional nesting areas, in the field next
to what we used to call the reed canary-grass slough (now planted with
young trees & shrubs with interspersed weeds/grass and areas of bare

The sparrow flew ENE from there and landed in some of the new shrub
plantings on the north side of the fescue field. The shrubs are still
mostly in the height range of 2-3 ft, with 1-2 ft high grass in between
plus strips of bare ground where weeds were sprayed earlier this year.

In other words, the habitat in some ways resembles young, weedy
Christmas tree farms which Vesper Sparrows sometimes use for nesting.
It might be suitable habitat this year but will become less suitable as
the shrubs grow in.

I didn't hear the sparrow sing today, but it could be worth checking
back on a day with nicer weather.

I listened for Red-eyed Vireos and (very optimistically) Yellow-billed
Cuckoos along the trail through the gallery forest, but didn't hear
either species. Lots of more common riparian forest birds were singing
(full list on www.birdnotes.net). A CHIPPING SPARROW was singing
persistently from the edge of the ponderosa pine plantings, closer to
the parking area.

In the meadow by the boat-in campground, wildflowers included
FORK-TOOTHED OOKOW (nearly done blooming) and HARVEST BRODIAEA (just
coming into bloom).

Happy birding/exploring,

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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