California Quail, Malheur Nat'l Wildlife Refuge

Uptown Quail


WC doesn’t even like Billy Joel, but for some reason the song comes to mind with this bird. WC spent the last three days on a birding trip to Malheur. Photos were taken. Blog posts will follow. For now, it’s late and WC needs to catch up on his sleep.

Yellow-headed Blackbird, Centennial Marsh, Camas Prairie, Idaho

Bird Break


WC needs a break from the various and sundry crises, and assumes readers do, too. So WC declares a bird break. These photos are from a recent trip to Camas Prairie. WC is genuinely baffled how Camas Prairie can support so many Horned Larks; there are clouds of them, and they’ve been around since there…

Swainson's Hawk Deciding Where to Go

WC Is Chasing Birds (Still)


WC and Mrs. WC spent Easter weekend conducting a Short-eared Owl Survey in Camas Prairie. The owl survey is a very small piece of a four state program of citizen science. This survey is north of Camas Prairie. Since Idaho has at least three places called “Camas Prairie,” WC should explain this is the “Camas Prairie” is…

Brewer's Blackbird

Blackbird, Fly


Yes, we’ve looked at North American blackbirds before but spring migration is getting under way. And for WC, blackbirds are the very icon of spring migration. The Red-winged Blackbird is perhaps the most abundant and most commonly studied bird of North America. In Idaho’s limited wetlands, the males’ calls are almost deafening. Idaho shares this…

WC Is Hawkish About Buteos


Buteos (“boot-e-ohs”) are a genus of hawks. Birders use the term to describe any broad-winged, short-tailed hawk. As a group, they tend to be migratory, and the arrival of some Buteos are a birder’s first sign of spring. They don’t all arrive at once, and not all stay. But Buteos have arrived in southwestern Idaho.…

Common Goldeneye Drake

Let’s Do Ducks


In celebration of the University of Oregon’s – WC’s alma mater – success in the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments, let’s have a gander at some real ducks that are moving through in early spring migration. Common Goldeneye is a circumpolar, boreal diving duck, breeding in Alaska and Canada in North America. It’s closely related…