Birding at Malheur

When I was a child, my parents took me to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. I have been wanting to take my husband, an avid birder, there for years. We finally got our chance and my husband’s sister’s family and my brother joined us on the trip too. We had lots of fun and saw scores of birds. On the trip my husband and I identified 82 birds. (My list is at the bottom of the post.) Rather than tell you anymore about our trip. I’m just going to share tons of pictures with captions in chronological order of how they were taken.

Horned Lark

Horned Lark — taken in John Day, Oregon, shortly before we arrived at Malheur.

Uncle J. with bird scope

My brother with our new bird scope.

American Avocet

American Avocet

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

White Faced Ibis

White-faced Ibis

Yellow-throated Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler–in flight and perched

Lazuli Bunting Pair

Lazuli Bunting Pair

Pancakes in Malheur

Happy campers enjoying a pancake breakfast.

Cliff Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Duck–Can you see his blue bill?

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Canada Goose & Goslings

Canada Goose with goslings.

House Wren

House Wren serenading us during our lunch.

American Robin & Chicks

American Robin feeding her chicks. It was really special to watch the parents feeding these chicks. They were perched right in between a couple of our tents. This was one bird that the kids were actually willing to stay quiet to watch.

Birding

Looking at a Northern Pintail–sorry no picture of the Pintail, but boy, was I happy to see it!

The Photographer

My favorite photographer in the world! (My husband)

Common Raven and chicks

Common Raven and chicks–This Raven is landing in her nest. You can see the mouths of the babies wide open waiting for their snack.

Malheur

Just a nice view (to prove that my point-and-shoot can take good pictures too! Actually, i took all the people pictures with my point and shoot too.)

Zippy the Birder

Zippy, the birder.

We don’t completely have Zippy’s life list updated with her Malheur list. We have to finish weeding out the doubles, but she should have around a hundred when we are finished. Not too bad for a nine year old who’s been working on her life list for a year.

Red-winged Blackbird

A displaying Red-winged Blackbird

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Female California Quail

Female California Quail

Western Tanager

Western Tanager–Is he pretty or what?

Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant–This seemed to be the kids’ favorite bird to see and he really is a beauty.

Long-billed Curlew

Long-billed Curlew

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

Great Egret

Great Egret

We read the book The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon while we were on our expedition. (A few times actually. It was such a good one.) That is the artist that we’ve decided to learn about right now. I thought it would be fun to learn about him while we were getting to do this birding trip. We’re really enjoying learning about nature and art together.

We also tried our hand at our own bird illustrations. The two big kids and I did some nature journal entries in our individual journals.

Ring-necked Pheasant by Zippy (age 9)

Ring-necked Pheasant by Zippy (age 9)

Sandhill Crane by JD Boy (age 6)

Sandhill Crane by JD Boy (age 6)

American Avocet by me

American Avocet by me

Here is our list of identified birds from the trip:

1

Horned Lark

 

42

Yellow-breasted Chat

2

Bald Eagle

 

43

Common Raven

3

Wilson’s Snipe

 

44

Cliff Swallow

4

Wilson’s Phalarope

 

45

Goldfinch

5

Magpie

 

46

European Starling

6

Common Grackle

 

47

Song Sparrow

7

Western Kingbird

 

48

Bobolink

8

American Robin

 

49

Barn Swallow

9

Mourning Dove

 

50

Brewers Blackbird

10

Great Egret

 

51

Northern Harrier

11

Great Blue Heron

 

52

Mallard

12

Canadian Geese

 

53

Trumpeter Swan

13

Red-winged Blackbird

 

54

Spotted Sandpiper

14

Western Meadowlark

 

55

Black-crowned Night Heron

15

Killdeer

 

56

Black Tern

16

American Kestral

 

57

Ruddy Duck

17

American Avocet

 

58

Forster Tern

18

Black-necked Stilt

 

59

Tree Swallow

19

Yellow-headed Blackbird

 

60

Redhead

20

Long-billed Curlew

 

61

Lesser Scaup

21

Franklin’s Gull

 

62

Northern Pintail

22

Sandhill Crane

 

63

Bufflehead

23

Northern Shoveler

 

64

Willet

24

American Coot

 

65

Gadwall

25

Brown headed Cowbird

 

66

Western Grebe

26

Turkey Vulture

 

67

Black-headed Grosbeak

27

White Pelican

 

68

Western Wood Pewee

28

Ring-necked Pheasant

 

69

Osprey

29

California Quail

 

70

Western Tanager

30

Double-crested Cormorant

 

71

Olive-sided Flycatcher

31

White Faced Ibis

 

72

Evening Grosbeak

32

Cinnamon Teal

 

73

House Sparrow

33

Common Yellowthroat

 

74

Red-tailed Hawk

34

Bullock’s Oriole

 

75

Pine Siskin

35

Red-shafted Flicker

 

76

Warbling Vireo

36

Yellow Warbler

 

77

Eastern Kingfisher

37

Lazuli Bunting

 

78

Canvasback

38

Virginia Rail

 

79

California Gull

39

House Wren

 

80

Mountain Bluebird

40

Song Sparrow

 

81

Scrub Jay

41

Cedar Waxwing

 

82

Mountain Chickadee

8 thoughts on “Birding at Malheur

  • May 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm
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    What a terrific opportunity! And, what gorgeous pictures! The drawings are terrific too. I would love to have more time and opportunities in my life to bring my kids places like this. Thankfully though, we do live in total country so they do get to see lots of wildlife :-) Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  • May 25, 2009 at 6:31 pm
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    We saw a Western tanager this last week on our trip to Yosemite….striking colors! New to our list too.

    This looks like an awesome trip and isn't it wonderful that all the family can participate and enjoy such a refreshing activity together.

    Bravo on the photos, love the raven and chicks!

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip. I was hoping you would share soon. :)

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  • May 25, 2009 at 7:26 pm
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    Oh my gosh Rhonda! You rock! This is an outstanding post! We are also birders and I am so impressed with your photos…and all this with a point and shoot, Wow!

    I love the Western Tanager, I was just watching a female Summer Tanager this afternoon. It is also interesting to see the different birds that you guys have up there that we don't have here.

    I am so impressed, I guess you can tell :-).

    Blessings and have a great week!

    Julie

  • May 26, 2009 at 6:06 am
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    Wow! That is so cool! You all found a lot of birds!We have a tiny bird refuge here in town. You mostly see ducks, geese and cardinals.

    Blessings,

    Dawn

  • May 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm
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    All I can say is wow. Such a variety of birds! How big is his lens? Were you actually able to see some up close like that? I mean could you see the Robin feeding her babies and the Cliff Swallow in it's nest with your naked eye? Very neat. I like that first bird that you saw the best only because it's so unlike anything I've ever seen. Love it's little eyebrows.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you got to go there and got to go having been so well outfitted. That's neat too to infuse your young ones with a love for birds.

    Cathy

  • May 28, 2009 at 11:26 pm
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    You're pictures are just spectacular!

    One small correction, if I'm alllowed: I believe your "Yellow-throated Warbler" is actually a Common Yellowthroat.

    Sincerely yours,

    an amazed viewer!

  • May 28, 2009 at 11:50 pm
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    Amazed Viewer,

    You're absolutely right. My husband is a walking bird book and he told me it was a Yellow-throat, so I looked through the bird book under yellow-throat to make sure that I got the whole name. I got the wrong one.

    Thanks much. I corrected it.

    Rhonda

  • May 31, 2009 at 8:21 pm
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    I have awarded you a blog award! Stop by my blog to pick it up. Visit me at cabin in the woods.

    Diane

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