[midvalleybirds] Common birds: Bewick's Wrens and Golden-crowned sparrows

clearwater at peak.org clearwater at peak.org
Mon Jan 7 10:42:31 PST 2019

Hi all, 

Saturday while covering three of the four main tracts of Luckiamute State Natural Area as part of the Airlie-Albany CBC, walking about 7.5 miles in the process, I had contrasting experiences with two common species: 

BEWICK'S WREN: In the first patch that I covered (back part of the Vanderpool Tract and Willamette Botanicals tract behind headquarters), I tallied 23 Bewick's Wrens while making a big loop along the wooded edges of the area, and zigzagging through a broad strip of 10-year-old native tree/shrub plantings. There was more habitat of the same type that I didn't manage to cover. Several of the wrens were singing. 

By the time I got to the other areas (Luckiamute Landing Tract and front part of Vanderpool Tract)and a light drizzle was starting to fall intermittently, and bird activity seemed to be reduced. I wound up with 33 Bewick's Wrens for the morning, but I wouldn't doubt that are upward of 100 in the area. 

GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW: This was just the opposite. I didn't find a single Golden-crowned Sparrow until I was finishing up in the Vanderpool Tract, when I came across a flock of a dozen or so. By that time I'd recorded every other species of sparrow that we normally find here in winter, except for Savannah Sparrow. In years past, I would have expected to encounter closer to 200 Golden-crowns for these same areas, with that amount of walking. 

Typically we find on the order of 100 Bewick's Wrens and 1000 Golden-crowned Sparrows on this count. It'll be interesting to see how this year's totals compare, and what other Willamette Valley CBCs have been finding. 

Has anyone else been finding anomalously high or low numbers of one or the other? 

Joel Geier 
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis 

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