[midvalleybirds] Ice-skating sparrows and thrushes at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area

clearwater at peak.org clearwater at peak.org
Fri Nov 29 11:00:41 PST 2019

The wetlands in the south end of E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area are waterless, leaving thirsty birds to look for water in dwindling puddles along the roads. 

With this morning's hard freeze, those puddles were all iced over, and some birds had a hard time figuring it out. I saw two separate SONG SPARROWS and an AMERICAN ROBIN fly in and go skidding across the ice on one leg, flapping their wings to keep from falling over. Eventually they figured out to land at the edge of the puddles and then sip water around the edges where the ice was beginning to melt. 

Other birds sipping from around the puddle edges included Northern Flickers, Mourning Doves, a lone Cedar Waxwing, several Varied Thrushes, plus Sooty Fox Sparrows, Golden-crowned Sparrows and Juncos. A Wrentit sang nearby. 

Higher up on the southwest side of the wildlife area I came across a HERMIT THRUSH and more mixed junco-sparrow flocks that included a few Lincoln Sparrows, a White-crowned Sparrow, and a singing White-throated Sparrow. 

Joel Geier 
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis 

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