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  • thomasmoconnor10

A Year In

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

A year after I started this blog, a lot has changed. I have seen almost 100 species of birds in the past year. Not a ton, but not an insignificant amount either. My life list passed 600, I turned 18, I entered senior year, I started the process of applying to colleges, a new president was elected, and so much more.

This Saturday was a splendid weekend morning at the start of migration season. We saw a female rose-breasted grosbeak, the first in a year or so for me, down by the Columbia Basin. Some early warblers also showed up, and I bagged a northern waterthrush, and a couple magnolia, blackpoll, Nashville, and yellow-rumped warblers. Fall warblers are extremely hard for me, as all of the males are in their non-breeding plumage, and the males and females of each species look very similar both to each other and other species.

A downy woodpecker enjoying a twig

Another highlight was a red-shouldered hawk that we saw high above the East Lagoon. Most raptors that we get in the city are red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, and peregrine falcons, so this was a welcome addition to the day. Red-shouldered hawks are best distinguished from their red-tailed counterparts by their underside, which is especially useful when identifying tiny specks hundreds of feet in the air. The red-tailed hawk will have a black belly band, whereas the red-shouldered hawk will be russet on the belly.

Perhaps the Red-shouldered hawk that we saw was looking for this little chipmunk

I would like to thank you all for reading my blog for a year. It has been a joy to write about my greatest passion of birding. I hope to continue my blog into the future.

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