[birding] Ovenbird in Polk County

W. Douglas Robinson w.douglas.robinson at gmail.com
Mon Jun 17 16:25:10 PDT 2013

An Ovenbird was singing this morning at 5:20 about 4 miles west of Falls City post office on Valsetz Road (44.84190, -123.48209). 

There is a pull-off on the north side of the road (a narrow road heads north; a few red shotgun shells are on the road there if I recall correctly) at about 4 miles west of the post office. I was standing there and the Ovenbird sang after I had been there a couple minutes. It was about 50 m to the southwest. It sang a total of 10 times, getting as close as 40 m then went to about 150 m or more to the southeast before I could not hear it anymore. 

It might be like the redstart I found at EE Wilson last June. I heard the redstart coming as it was moving along singing and it kept right on going, never to be seen again. If the Ovenbird was doing the same Brownian motion strategy, then it may be impossible to find again. The habitat where it was singing is not typical for Ovenbirds. Very thick stand of 12-15 year old doug-firs planted super dense. 

If I were gonna look for it, I'd start there and head east, checking in particular the stands of widely spaced older firs that extend from about mile 2.5 to 3.5. The deciduous understory and structure looks just like what Ovenbirds nest in at sites in the Midwest and South. 

Take care if you walk the road. Fair bit of logging traffic, as well as trucks hauling gravel.

As you were

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