Bird Alliance of Oregon Backyard BioBlitz Report: May 4, 2020

By Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director

Thank you for participating in week one of the Bird Alliance of Oregon Backyard BioBlitz!

We had 164 reports submitted in the second week of the Backyard BioBlitz. Participants included kids and adults, families and schools classes. We will continue to do the BioBlitz each Tuesday for the rest of the summer so please keep participating and invite your friends. We have summarized the data from the first two weeks below so that you can see what other folks are seeing in their yards and neighborhoods. 

This week, Anna’s Hummingbird and American Crows took over the lead spots from American Robins as the most commonly seen birds on the urban landscape. Anna’s Hummingbirds are one of the earliest nesting species in the Metro area. Many Anna’s Hummingbirds have already fledged their young while many other species are just starting their nesting cycle. Crows are perhaps one of the most easily recognized species. In the winter, they form large communal roosts, but in the spring adults return to their individual territories to raise their young. One really cool thing about crows is that the young from prior years help their parents raise their young the following season. So if you are seeing several crows hanging out together on your block, that is mom and dad plus last year’s offspring working together to raise this year’s nest.

The following is a summary of species reported on April 28 and May 4.  (Species and the percent of participants reporting.)

An American Crow standing on asphalt near a lawn.
American Crow, photo by Mick Thompson.

Birds April 28          May 4
American Robin 76%                53%
American Crow 72%                71%
Black-capped Chickadee 66%                67%
Anna’s Hummingbird 62%                73%
Dark-eyed Junco 56%                57%
Song Sparrow 53%                60%
California Scrub Jay 49%                42%
House Finch 46%                55%
Spotted Towhee 44%                35%
Steller’s Jay 40%                40%
Bushtit 37%                34%
Mourning Dove 30%                20%
Lesser Goldfinch 30%                43%
Downy Woodpecker 29%                24%
American Goldfinch 29%                38%
European Starling 26%                30%
Red-breasted Nuthatch 25%                26%
Bewick’s Wren 22%                15%
House Sparrow 22%                23%
Rufous Hummingbird 21%                32%
Yellow-rumped Warbler 20%                6%
Mallard 18%                12%
White-crowned Sparrow 16%                14%
Red-tailed Hawk 15%                7%
Canada Goose 15%                10%
Pine Siskin 13%                14%
Vaux Swift 12%                15%
Red-breasted Sapsucker 10%                5%
Hairy Woodpecker 8%                  9%
Band-tailed Pigeon 8%                  6%
Great Blue Heron 8%                  4%
Black-headed Grosbeak 7%                  6%
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7%                  3%
Northern Flicker 6%                 20%
Tree Swallow 6%                 4%
Coppers Hawk 5%                 5%
Brown Creeper 5%                 4%
Pileated Woodpecker 5%                 4%
Violet-green Swallow 4%                 3%
Wilson’s Warbler  4%                 9%
Orange-crowned Warbler 4%                 6%
Raven 4%                 3%
Western Tanager 3%                 2%
Barred Owl 3%                 2%
Barn Swallow 2%                 2%
Golden Crowned Sparrow 2%                 1%
Black-throated Gray Warbler 2%                 2%
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1%                 2%
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 1%                 3%
Western Screech Owl 1%v                0%
Green Heron 1%                  0%
Peacock 1%                  0%
Bald Eagle 1%                  1%
Belted Kingfisher 1%                  1%
Eurasian Collared Dove 1%                  1%
Turkey Vulture 1%                  2%
White-breasted Nuthatch 1%                  1%
Red-winged Blackbird 1%                  1%
Purple Finch 1%                  1%
Hermit Thrush 1%                  0%
Ring-necked Pheasant 0%                  1%

Also seen week of May 4th: Turkey Vulture, Rock Dove, Purple Finch, Warbling Vireo, Cowbird, American Kestrel, Wood Duck, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Winter Wren, Osprey, White Pelican

Mammals April 28          May 4
Eastern Gray Squirrel 39%                50%
Free-roaming Cat 23%                29%
Fox Squirrel 23%                25%
Douglas Squirrel 15%                20%
Bat Species  5%                  4%
Raccoon 3%                  5%
Coyote 3%                  1%
Opossum 1%                  2%
Red Fox 1%                  0%

Also seen on May 4: Townsend’s chipmunk, striped skunk, brush rabbit, eastern cottontail rabbit, mole, deer

Insects April 28          May 4
Bumblebee 46%                59%
Honey Bee 37%                47%
Mason Bee 23%                29%
Common Green Darner 1%                  4%
Tiger Swallowtail 0%                  1%

Other insects observed on May 4: White cabbage moths, earwig, phidippus jumping spider, stinkbug, wasp, lady bugs, box elder bugs, gnats, crane flies, painted lady butterfly, various ant species, various moth species, various butterfly species, various spider species,

Photo of the Week

Picture of the Week

This photo of a Barred Owl was taken by Mike Houck in Washington Park and posted on our Backyard BioBlitz Facebook Page: Barred Owls were historically considered an eastern species but have moved across the Great Plains of Canada and have established themselves in British Columbia, Washington  and Oregon in recent decades. Today they are one of the most commonly sighted owls on our urban landscape.

Tip of the Week:

Many ducks in the urban environment nest away from water. Many of our parks are over-crowed with other waterfowl as well as potential predators. Ducks will often find a quiet place away from water sources to lay their eggs—sometimes as much as mile. They can fly back and forth to the nest while they are incubating the eggs, but once the eggs hatch, they must lead their flightless ducklings to the water on the ground. It is not uncommon to see parent ducks leading a line of duckings across our urban landscape. While it is tempting to try and “rescue” the ducklings, please don’t. Often when people try to capture the ducklings, the parent flush (fly away) and the young scatter. The results is lots of orphans. The best thing you can do is to let them make their own way, or if you feel inclined to try and clear a path for them (ask people to step out of their way, stop traffic if it can be done safely, etc.) For more information on nesting ducks and ducklings, click here.

Barred Owl, photo by Mike Houck

To Learn More:

Bird Alliance of Oregon BioBlitz Facebook Group Page: You can post pictures, information or questions about what you are seeing at any time on our Backyard BioBlitz Facebook Group Page. We are also posting information and opportunities to learn more about the region’s wildlife here as well.

Ask a Birder: Every Wednesday from 7-8 pm, Bird Alliance of Oregon experts will be online talking about the birds that are passing through our region and answering questions. Learn more.

Learn About Birds that Are Passing through Portland on Migration: Each week Bird Alliance of Oregon naturalist Dan van den Broek provides information about the species you are likely to see passing through. 

Need Birdfeeding Supplies?  The Bird Alliance of Oregon Nature Store is now online! Everything from feeders to birdseed and suet to guides and optics is available for online purchase and can be either shipped or picked-up curbside.