[midvalleybirds] Fwd: Pygmy-Owl near Silver Falls, cowbirds in Corvallis

clearwater at peak.org clearwater at peak.org
Tue Jan 22 05:50:17 PST 2019

From: Roy Gerig <roygerig at gmail.com> 
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2019 15:56:48 -0800 
Subject: [obol] Silver Ridge Rd (Marion) Pygmy Owl 1/21/19 

Unable to sleep anymore I got up at 0430, looked at obol and political 
news, seeing no hope there. I drove to Silver Ridge Road by Silver Falls 
State Park near Salem 
I listened for Great Gray or other Owls, where Great Gray has been in the 
past decades, sometimes. I heard no Owls or any birds until sunrise, then 
saw my first DIPPER of the year, in the Park 

Back down Silver Ridge Rd at about 0900, just down from State Park land in 
some 15 year old Douglas fir reprod I whistled like a Pygmy Owl for a 
minute into a few 30-35 y.o. firs in an otherwise pure stand of 15 yo 
firs. The only response was some Juncos. Back in the car, within 100 
yards I saw a sparrow sized bird fly into the top of a young fir, following 
me. It was a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL. Not rare by any stretch, but not often 
seen, it looked at me, then turned its head in an less than an instant to 
where its fake eyes on the back of its neck looked at me, too. It went 
back and forth like that for a few minutes, each time I whistled like a 

Roy Gerig Salem OR 


Msg: #8 in digest 
From: Caleb Centanni <caleb at centanni.com> 
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2019 19:26:34 -0800 
Subject: [obol] A lot of Cowbirds--Corvallis 

Hi all, 
Today while walking out to the Irish Bend Covered Bridge on Campus Way west 
of the OSU Campus, I saw something I've never seen before. In the distant 
Starling/Blackbird/Robin flock, which typically contains many Brewer's 
Blackbirds, a few Red-wings, and no other icterids, I started noticing 
small, short-billed birds. I initially wrote them off as Brewer's 
Blackbirds at weird angles, because there were at least five and I assumed 
that this was too many Cowbirds to be in one place in the Valley in the 
winter. I then noticed some much closer birds in an Ash tree, and as I 
studied them I was surprised to find that at least five were Cowbirds. 
Turning attention back to the larger flock, now closer in the grass, I 
realized that a significant portion of the blackbirds present appeared to 
be male Cowbirds. In the next few minutes I estimated at least 30 in total, 
way more than I've ever heard of in the valley in January. Does anyone have 
input on how unusual this is? 

Campus Way between 35th and 53rd Streets is becoming one of my favorite 
patches. Today I had 39 species in total. Here are some other fun ones: 

Savannah Sparrow-1 
Marsh Wren-1 
Black Phoebe-1 
Western Meadowlark-14 
Lincoln's Sparrow-2 

In addition, I saw a fully dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk, which I've rarely 
had in Western Oregon. 

Good birding folks, 

Caleb Centanni 

Joel Geier 
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis 

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