November Summary

Top 5 Species (November):
Red-tailed Hawk -- 70 obs
Rough-legged Hawk -- 20 obs (new to Top 5)
Bald Eagle -- 18 obs (-1)
Northern Harrier -- 11 obs (returned to Top 5)
American Kestrel -- 10 obs (-1)

Top 5 Species (Overall):
Red-tailed Hawk -- 332 obs
American Kestrel -- 66 obs (+2)
Turkey Vulture -- 61 obs (-1)
Bald Eagle -- 58 obs (new to Top 5)
Osprey -- 53 obs (-2)

Total Species Overall: 29

Top 5 Observers (Observations):
birdwhisperer -- 295 obs
@cgates326 -- 52 obs
@masonmaron -- 47 obs
@andybridges -- 40 obs
@the-catfinch -- 38 obs

Top 5 Observers (Species):
birdwhisperer -- 20 species
cgates326 -- 14 species
@jnelson -- 13 species
masonmaron -- 11 species
the-catfinch -- 11 species

Species Still Not Observed: White-tailed Kite, Snowy Owl, Northern Hawk-Owl, Spotted Owl, Boreal Owl, Gyrfalcon

New Species in November: None

**Counties Needing Observations: WA -- Columbia -- OR -- Gilliam, Jefferson

News and What to Expect in December: Wow, we are on the last leg of our journey. Thirty days from now, this project will come to a close for the season, thus ending 3 years I've done this project. I wish it hadn't ended so soon but that's how life goes. My biggest goal is to get some new species added. On average and including the coastal survey group, our projects get about 30 species per year. If we were to end the project today, we'd have the 2nd worst record in terms of variety, all because we didn't get one species. I've been successful in getting 30 for the project in both 2019 and 2020 and I'm not stopping now. But with a report of a Snowy Owl in Pendleton, Oregon and a Gyrfalcon in Wallowa, Oregon, I see myself getting busy. Any chances of me revisiting my Blue Mountain Boreal Owl for an iNat-able documentation is out of the question now since the mountains are now under 8 inches of snow, but you might still be able to get it on Mt. Rainier if you're lucky.

Observation of the Week goes to myself because I'm selfish. But come on, look at this male American Kestrel! I've never seen a kestrel so close to my property let alone so cooperative with me standing so close for that fantastic image. Our smallest falcon, kestrels are pretty good mousers and they're better at it than the cats. You can see them in most open habitats sitting on wires, making them a common species for the project, as you can see above. You can see the image here and hopefully you can get a photo too of this adorable little kestrel.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/102147687

I've chosen jnelson's Great Horned Owl from Harney as the Observation for the Month because I think it's a good discussion species. Recently, I've been helping to implement the new avian taxonomy to iNaturalist but I figured out during this that one of these new changes will be the addition of 3 new Great Horned Owl subspecies. Oh boy, that's no good. It's hard to explain the situation in one paragraph but I agree there are some subspecies but individual variation really blurs the lines with other subspecies. The iNat revision will put all southeastern Oregon owls in the new subspecies pinorum. But Nelson's photo shows a bird that looks remarkably pale, almost like unto pallescens of the southwest deserts. That should be way out of range for them and being a sedentary species, the chances are that much more decreased. My theory, Great Horned Owls are polymorphic, like Red-tailed Hawks. I say this because there are owls in Walla Walla, which is the type locality of lagophonus, that are paired with an owl as dark as saturatus in the Haida Gwaii or some pale enough to be pallescens like Nelson's owl. How factual that is, we'll see but I can see for certain the owl in the link is paler than it should be.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/101861045

When I wrote the monthly post last time, the project was at 686 observations. Since then, we've sailed high and above to get 911. That puts us a whole 6 observations away from breaking our 2020 record. I think I can say we got this in the bag, this week is all we need, especially with the inflow we're getting. This also leaves me hopeful we can break our 2019 record, which is currently 147 observations away (1058). We just need to keep up the good work and with Christmas Bird Counts coming up, we're giving plenty of opportunities. Good luck!

Lähettänyt birdwhisperer birdwhisperer, 2. joulukuuta 2021 17:00

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