Bird Nerds

Photos and text by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest AmeriCorps Members Lauren McKenna and Nicole Poletto

Last weekend, a group of enthusiastic learners (most self-ranking as a 1 on the birding knowledge scale) gathered at Tryon Creek State Park to glean some info about common birds of the Willamette Valley — and get some good looks at the birds, too!

SOLVE Stream Team Captain, and former Green Team student, Sam Neverick and West Linn High School teacher Jim Hartman did an overview of some native birds and how they have been effected by pollution, climate change and habitat loss.  Then the group headed out into the park to see these cute critters themselves, using recorded bird calls to get responses.  Some favorites that the group spotted:

Red-Breasted Nuthatch: sounds a school bus backing up… beeep beeep beeep…

Winter Wren: such a looooong bird call

Stellar Jay: it has a black mohawk! It also likes to imitate other birds…

Pileated Woodpecker and the Downy Woodpecker: one fits in a beer stein, the other can fit in a coffee cup!  (Left: the larger Pileated Woodpecker makes more rectangular holes in trees)

And as a SOLVE event, of course we all gawked at the fabulous native plants in bloom!

In all we crossed 11 birds off our bird-sighting list!  A beautiful day with some feathered friends!

Thank you to Jim Hartman and Sam Neverick, for sharing your knowledge — and joy! — of birds.  We all learned something new and have a greater appreciation for remembering all those bird calls!

Thank you Tryon Creek State Park for hosting us and for the use of the Kraft room, too!

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