Bjorn Hinrichs, Shawneen Finnegan, and I spent this morning birding the Koll Center Wetlands and the trail that runs along Fanno Creek through Greenway Park. The Koll Wetlands continue to offer decent shorebirding. We had seven species of shorebirds today and found modest numbers of neotropical migrants in Greenway Park and also along the edge of the pond at Koll Wetlands. 

The highlight of the day, if you can call it that, was watching an adult Great Blue Heron catch, dispatch, and consume a small rabbit! We heard a series of fairly loud squeals that were not readily identifiable. As we tried to figure out what the noise was and where it was coming from, Shawneen noticed that a nearby heron had a young rabbit by the nape of the neck. The heron walked a short way with the still-live rabbit and then flew across the pond with prey in tow. The heron landed in the shallows and then dunked the rabbit, holding it under water until expired. We watched in shock as the heron then swallowed the rabbit–which appeared to be about 10" long–in two big gulps. 

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Small mammals make up a significant portion of the prey of Great Blue Herons, particularly in the winter, when herons eat lots of voles. I've seen herons choke down some sizeable fish and frogs, but this was easily the largest mammalian prey that I 've seen a Great Blue take.


Bird List

Koll Wetlands

Sep 03, 2012

Common Name Scientfic Name Count Action
Canada Goose Branta canadensis 4 ---
Gadwall Anas strepera 1 ---
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 59 ---
Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera 3 ---
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata 8 ---
Green-winged Teal Anas crecca 30 ---
Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus 1 ---
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps 1 ---
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 1 see note
Virginia Rail Rallus limicola 2 see note
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus 12 ---
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca 6 ---
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes 1 see note
Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri 2 ---
Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla 21 ---
Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus 25 ---
Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata 2 ---
Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata 25 ---
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura 3 ---
Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi 3 ---
Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna 50 ---
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus 3 ---
Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica 3 ---
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos 3 ---
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina 2 ---
Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota 1 ---
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 30 ---
Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus 1 ---
Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis 6 ---
Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii 2 ---
Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris 1 ---
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 2 ---
Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum 40 ---
Black-throated Gray Warbler Setophaga nigrescens 1 see note
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 4 ---
Wilson's Warbler Cardellina pusilla 1 see note
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus 3 ---
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia 5 ---
Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis 2 ---
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus 9 ---
Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra 2 ---
Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria 3 ---
American Goldfinch Spinus tristis 8 ---

Bird List

Fanno Creek Greenway Park

Sep 03, 2012

Common Name Scientfic Name Count Action
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 5 ---
Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii 1 ---
Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata 3 ---
Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna 12 ---
Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens 2 ---
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus 3 ---
Willow Flycatcher Empidonax traillii 2 ---
Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica 6 ---
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos 2 ---
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 4 ---
Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus 25 ---
Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus 12 ---
Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii 7 ---
American Robin Turdus migratorius 2 ---
Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum 40 ---
Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata 1 ---
Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia 2 ---
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 7 ---
Wilson's Warbler Cardellina pusilla 2 ---
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus 6 ---
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia 4 ---
House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus 4 ---
Pine Siskin Spinus pinus 1 ---
Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria 4 ---
American Goldfinch Spinus tristis 60 ---

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This hatch-year female Wilson's Warblers was at Koll Wetlands on 3 September 2012.


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We were a bit surprised to only find a single Black-throated Gray Warbler. At this time of year this species is typically one of the most abundant Parulids in western Oregon's riparian corridors. This bird is a hatch-year male. Note the heavy streaking on the flanks and blackish mottling over much of the throat. When viewed straight on this bird showed a lot more black on the throat.


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