The arrival of spring, some early migrants and territorial fever.

I may not have mentioned how much I love birds. It’s a family tradition at least as far back as my mother’s father. This wonderful blog, rivermile14, feeds my need for more birds than I see in the city.

river mile 14

Snow Geese take flight with a "Blue Goose" front and center on Sauvie Island! Snow Geese take flight with a “Blue Goose” front and center on Sauvie Island!

Sunny days in late winter are a great time to watch overwintering waterfowl – like the stunning Snow Geese taking flight above – in our local refuges.  It’s also the best time of the year to listen for owls as they hoot, pair up and establish their nesting territory.  From my balcony on the river, I have heard Great Horned Owls, Northern Saw-whet Owls and Western Screech-Owls hooting in the vicinity of Ross Island and the Holgate Channel – especially in the calm hours between 3 – 4 am.  I’ve been lucky to catch a glimpse of a few owls in recent months.

Distant male Great Horned Owl found sleeping not far from another nesting female. Distant male Great Horned Owl found sleeping not far from another nesting female.

A Northern Pygmy-owl was nonchalant about my taking his photograph in the drizzly rain and rarely looked my way.  I…

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