Whitaker Ponds Nature Park

Barely 48 hours after my Smith and Bybee trip, I took the short trip to Whitaker Ponds Nature Park to see what kind of birds I could find there. The park is about 10 minutes from my house, so close that I may make regular visits to see what waterfowl are “diving” or “dabbling” there.

Whitaker_Ponds_Map_Reduced_Page_1

Map credits: http://columbiaslough.org/index.php/recreational_guides/maps/

I saw what I’m learning are the usual suspects for this region: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Downy Woodpecker, Anna’s Hummingbird, Song Sparrow, Stellar’s Jay, and (my current favorite bird) the Golden-crowned Kinglet. Also seen: Bewick’s Wren, Great Egret, Canada Geese*, and Hooded Merganser – stunning!

*Canada Goose or Canadian Goose?
The correct term is Canada Goose, based on the Latin, Branta canadensis, “Goose of Canada,” but Canadian is sometimes used colloquially. I’ll stick to the more scientific Canada Goose/Geese. These birds were named as such since they were often seen flying towards Canada and residing there though they are common and widespread in North America (Sibley).

An exciting new species I can add to the list is this beauty:

She has a dark head, mostly dark bill tipped with a dull yellow. I was perplexed and wasn’t confident of the species. I did some some research and found a great online resource, a forum called whatbird.com that will aid in the identification of a bird from the online community. So I signed up, posted, and it worked! My educated guess was confirmed, it’s a female Common Goldeneye!

Total species to add: 3

Hooded Merganser
Common Goldeneye
Canada Goose

Tweets and chirps,

Audrey