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Meet the Birds

The Grosbeaks

A sure sign of spring in the Willamette Valley is the arrival of the Grosbeaks. The new season brings us two species - the Black-headed Grosbeak arrives in May from its Mexican wintering grounds and the Evening Grosbeak invades our cities from southern Oregon and California. Despite differing habitat preferences, both species are possible in your backyard and are attracted to a feeder filled with Black Oil Sunflower seeds Read more...

Finch Family

While they all readily gobble up black oil sunflower seeds, the smaller finches also enjoy having their own feeder stocked with Nyjer seeds. Finches tend to be nomadic, so you may see many birds one week and few birds the next. Read more...

Varied Thrush

A visit from a Varied Thrush can brighten up a drab winter day. This striking bird may remind you of its cousin, the American Robin, only dressed in orange instead of red. Read more...

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskins will delight you all winter long with their aggressive and acrobatic antics in your backyard and at your feeder. This common winter bird has a bright yellow bar on each wing and at the base of the tail that will help you distinguish it from many of its finch relatives. The rest of its body is streaked brown. Read more...

Canada Goose

Canada Geese are eye- and ear-catching birds that have captured the imagination of Americans for hundreds of years. Living symbols of the changing seasons, they are a source of wonder and speculation even today. Read more...

Cowbird

You know how it is. Once someone gets a bad reputation, they’re deemed responsible for all kinds of mischief, deservedly or not. So it is with cowbirds, who leave the care of their young (from eggs to adulthood) to other species. The unlucky foster parents are often warblers, sparrows or finches. Read more...

Sharp-shinned Hawk

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a very impressive hunter of almost entirely small birds! Perhaps you’ve seen one as you stood at your window, watching an array of small birds feeding at your feeder: suddenly the birds fly off helter-skelter! A small hawk flashes in, turns abruptly, extends its long legs forward and grabs a songbird right off its perch! Read more...

California Quail

Is there anything cuter than watching California Quail parents stroll into your backyard with a covey of young to eat millet or cracked corn and drink water from your birdbath? Read more...

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are family favorites! We all love to watch the “Downies” who feed regularly at a suet feeder hanging from a wrought iron crane outside our family room window. Read more...

House Wren

House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) are familiar birds, largely because they thrive in altered habitats, including forest clear-cuts, parks, brushy thickets, and residential areas, and because of their habit of nesting in man-made objects, such as bird houses, mail boxes, old hats, and other objects left outside. Like other wrens, House Wrens have loud bubbling songs and harsh scolding call notes. Read more...

Backyard Hawks

When you attract songbirds to your yard, chances are good that you will eventually attract avian predators as well. While some people don’t like the idea of hawks feeding on “their” birds, many others welcome this opportunity to see raptors up close. Read more...

Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Juncos are common sparrows found throughout North America. They show a great deal of geographic variation, with many subspecies divided into five recognizable groups. The group found locally is known, appropriately enough, as Oregon Junco. Read more...

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) are found in Oregon all year, but their nomadic behavior makes it hard to predict where you will find them at any given time. They may arrive in your yard one day (usually in a flock), spend a day or two, and then disappear for months. Read more...

Mourning Dove

If you’re looking to bring some new visitors to your yard, throw out a handful of millet and see if the fascinating Mourning Dove will find it. Mourning Doves, with their distinctive coo and exciting courtship and aggressive displays, are one of the most interesting backyard birds to watch. Read more...

Great Blue Heron

Few Portland area wild bird lovers are unfamiliar with the dramatic silhouette and raucous honking of the Great Blue Heron. Its four-foot height and six-foot wingspan make it one of the largest birds around. Read more...

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