Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lunch with the Birds revisited

American GoldfinchAmerican Goldfinch, Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, Hillsboro, Oregon on April 21, 2010 by Greg Gillson.


White-crowned SparrowRed-winged BlackbirdBack in October I began my turn hosting Lunch with the Birds, a free weekly public invitation to watch birds for an hour at noon at Jackson Bottom Wetlands in Hillsboro, Oregon. Started 12 years ago, many local people have been introduced to the wetlands and its birds.

Recently we moved from the north viewstand down to the back deck of the Education Center, one mile to the south. The original ponds had grown up with willows and shorebirds no longer occur and the ducks are distant. The Bald Eagles have moved their nest to a more distant grove of trees. There just weren't as many birds visible at the north viewstand as there used to be.

White-throated SparrowPine Siskin and Lesser GoldfinchThe Education Center is about 7 years old now, has restrooms, gift shop, a real Bald Eagle nest in the exhibit hall with other educational displays, and a big covered deck. Landscaping has been established with native plants and interpretive signs. Bird feeding stations have been set up with easy viewing. The Center is the trailhead for over 3 miles of wetland trails. It just made sense to move to the south end.

And that's just what we did earlier this month. Yesterday was the second week having Lunch with the Birds at the Education Center. The first week we had a retirement group visit. This week, just 3 "regulars" showed.

View from back deck of Jackson Bottom Education CenterCinnamon TealAs we talked about birds on the back deck we watched birds come and go at the feeders: Red-winged Blackbirds, Pine Siskins, Spotted Towhees, American Goldfinches, Song Sparrows, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, White-crowned Sparrows, Lesser Goldfinches, Mourning Doves, and Rufous Hummingbirds. A rather rare White-throated Sparrow showed up, too!

And out in the distance, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Northern Shovelers, and Gadwalls made up the ducks. And a Bald Eagle circled overhead....

Join me every Wednesday at noon at the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve Education Center, 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy, Hillsboro, Oregon, just one mile south of Baseline and First Street in downtown Hillsboro.

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