[birding] Re: testing an hypothesis #2

Karan Fairchild alderspr at peak.org
Thu Oct 15 09:35:14 PDT 2015

>From the west side of the Willamette Valley trough, I’d concur that southward crane migrations most often don’t transit the Coast Range side of the valley.  Our long-passed neighbor fondly  recalled them passing directly over (4 mi. due east of Marys Peak) in his 70 year residence, but we’ve rarely seen or heard them here.  Hearing is the better  detection method, and then consider the valley fog.  

Recently back from Summer Lake, we were surprised how many cranes we could hear, gaining elevation above us on Government Harvey Pass Road on a clear day.  The few we did see would vault out of view in only a minute, though they could still be clearly heard.  Marvelous birds!


Jim Fairchild

6 mi. SW Philomath, Benton County


From: obol-bounce at freelists.org [mailto:obol-bounce at freelists.org] On Behalf Of Alan Contreras
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 7:15 AM
To: llsdirons at msn.com
Cc: paul sullivan; OBOL Oregon Birders Online
Subject: [obol] Re: testing an hypothesis #2


Dave's observation is true for the south valley too. Cranes typically pass over the west end of Springfield, though on one memorable occasion in my youth a huge flock came over the UO at treetop level, bellowing and squawking. The whole campus stopped and looked up. Small numbers stage out of Camas Swale near Creswell.

Alan Contreras

Eugene, Oregon


acontrer56 at gmail.com


Sent from my iPhone 



On Oct 14, 2015, at 11:43 PM, David Irons <llsdirons at msn.com> wrote:


Crane movements through the Willamette Valley seem to be mostly if not entirely confined to the eastern part of the trough. In all my days of running Schwan's routes in Yamhill County (nearly five years) I never heard or saw Sandhill Cranes. We get birds over Portland's West Hills, probably funneling along the north-south section of the Columbia (Woodland, WA south to Portland) and then the flight path seems to shift east passing over Silverton, Lebanon, Brownsville and Marcola east of Springfield. I've always presumed that cranes move to the east side of the valley to take advantage of the combination of thermals coming off the valley floor and the uplift over the western foothills of the Cascades. When I lived in Eugene I would regularly see and hear cranes over the Coburg Hills and up against the eastern edge of the valley, but rarely had them farther to the west. 

Dave Irons
Portland, OR


From: paultsullivan at onlinenw.com
To: obol at freelists.org; YamhillBirders at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [obol] testing an hypothesis #2
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:17:12 -0700

To test whether the reports of Sandhill Cranes migrating over Portland could be seen in Yamhill County (where the species is really hard to find) I went to the east end of Parrett Mt., then Chehalem Mt. from 12:25 – 3:25 this afternoon.  The vantage point has a great view of Wilsonville all the way to Mt. Hood.



No cranes


I’ve done a couple watches from there previously with the same result.


Carol & I did see 6 Sandhill Cranes flying over Burgerville in Newburg on Mar. 4, 2007.


Paul Sullivan

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