Portland Audubon Backyard BioBlitz Report: May 12, 2020

By Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director

We had 131 reports submitted in the third week of the Backyard BioBlitz. Participants included kids and adults, families and schools classes. We will be continuing to do the BioBlitz each Tuesday for the rest of the summer so please keep participating and inviting your friends. We have summarized the data from the first three weeks below so that you can see what other folks are seeing. 

This week, Anna’s Hummingbird and American Crows were again the most commonly seen birds on the urban landscape.  Robins, Black-capped Chickadees, Spotted Towhees, Dark-eyed Juncos and Song Sparrows were also seen by more than 50% of participants. This is an exciting time of year for wildlife in the City. Many bird species are still passing through on their annual migrations and many species are now nesting now as well. Lots and lots of birds are singing to attract mates.  Sunrise is a great time to see and hear birds if you are willing to get up early!

The following is a summary of species reported on April 28, May 4 and May 12.

Steller's Jay, photo by Mick Thompson

Birds April 28 May 4 May 12
American Robin 76% 53% 55%
American Crow 72% 71% 76%
Black-capped Chickadee 66% 67% 65%
Anna’s Hummingbird 62% 73% 71%
Dark-eyed Junco 56% 57% 54%
Song Sparrow 53% 60% 68%
California Scrub Jay 49% 42% 42%
House Finch 46% 55% 55%
Spotted Towhee 44% 35% 52%
Steller’s Jay 40% 40% 37%
Bushtit 37% 34% 27%
Mourning Dove 30% 20% 25%
Lesser Goldfinch 30% 43% 40%
Downy Woodpecker 29% 24% 27%
American Goldfinch 29% 38% 24%
European Starling 26% 30% 34%
Red-breasted Nuthatch 25% 26% 26%
Bewick’s Wren 22% 15% 17%
House Sparrow 22% 23% 21%
Rufous Hummingbird 21% 32% 14%
Yellow-rumped Warbler 20% 6% 1%
Mallard 18% 12% 12%
White-crowned Sparrow 16% 14% 13%
Red-tailed Hawk 15% 7% 5%
Canada Goose 15% 10% 5%
Pine Siskin 13% 14% 5%
Vaux Swift 12% 15% 13%
Red-breasted Sapsucker 10% 5% 7%
Hairy Woodpecker 8% 9% 8%
Band-tailed Pigeon 8% 6% 6%
Great Blue Heron 8% 4% 3%
Black-headed Grosbeak 7% 6% 24%
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7% 3% 2%
Northern Flicker 6% 20% 8%
Tree Swallow 6% 4% 6%
Cooper’s Hawk 5% 5% 2%
Brown Creeper 5% 4% 3%
Pileated Woodpecker 5% 4% 25%
Violet-green Swallow 4% 3% 5%
Wilson’s Warbler  4% 9% 4%
Orange-crowned Warbler 4% 6% 2%
Raven 4% 3% 5%
Western Tanager 3% 2% 10%
Barred Owl 3% 2% 2%
Barn Swallow 2% 2% 1%
Golden Crowned Sparrow 2% 1% 1%
Black-throated Gray Warbler 2% 2% 1%
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1% 2% 1%
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 1% 3% 2%
Western Screech Owl <1% 0% 0%
Green Heron <1% 0% 0%
Peacock <1% 0% 1%
Bald Eagle <1% <1% 1%
Belted Kingfisher <1% <1% 1%
Eurasian Collared Dove <1% <1% 1%
Turkey Vulture <1% 2% 1%
White-breasted Nuthatch <1% <1% 1%
Red-winged Blackbird <1% <1% 1%
Purple Finch <1% <1% 1%
Hermit Thrush <1% 0% 0%
Ring-necked Pheasant <1% 1%

Also seen week of May 4: Turkey Vulture, Rock Dove, Purple Finch, Warbling Vireo, Cowbird, American Kestrel, Wood Duck, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Winter Wren, Osprey, White Pelican

Also seen the week of May 12: Northern Oriole, Great Horned Owl, Wood Ducks, Chipping Sparrow, Rock Dove, Brown-headed Cowbird, Evening Grosbeak

Mammals April 28 May 4 May 12
Eastern Gray Squirrel 39% 50% 53%
Free-roaming Cat 23% 29% 21%
Fox Squirrel 23% 25% 29%
Douglas Squirrel 15% 20% 24%
Bat Species  5% 4% 2%
Raccoon 3% 5% 8%
Coyote 3% 1% 2%
Opossum <1% 2% 3%
Red Fox <1% 0% 0%
Beaver <0% 0% 1%

Also seen on May 4: Townsend’s chipmunk, striped skunk, brush rabbit, eastern cottontail rabbit, mole, deer

Insects April 28 May 4 May 12
Bumblebee 46% 59% 51%
Honey Bee 37% 47% 47%
Mason Bee 23% 29% 20%
Common Green Darner 1% 4% 2%
Tiger Swallowtail 0% <0% 2%

Other insects observed on May 4: White cabbage moths, earwig, phidippus jumping spider, stinkbug, wasp, lady bugs, box elder bugs, gnats, crane flies, painted lady butterfly, various ant species, various moth species, various butterfly species, various spider species,

Other insects observed  on May 12: White Cabbage Moths, Crane Fly, various wasp species, various spider species. Various fly species, various ant species

Reptiles and Amphibians Observed:

Week of May 4: Ensatina Salamander

Week of May 12: Garter Snake

Photo of the Week

This photo of a Raccoon was taken by Melissa Freels in on our Backyard BioBlitz Facebook Page.

 Checkout this great video of Anna’s Hummingbirds posted to our Backyard BioBlitz Facebook Group Page.

Tip of the Week:

Many mammals are raising their young on our urban and suburban landscapes at this time of year. This includes squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, opossum, raccoons, skunks foxes, coyotes, deer, bobcats and bats. Mammals use not only our parks and natural areas, but will also den right in our yards and neighborhoods. Sometimes they get a little too close for comfort utilizing attics and crawl spaces. The following are important tips for coexisting with mammals:

  • Never intentionally feed wild mammals. It causes them to lose their instinctual fear of humans and can lead to bigger problems. Although it may seem kind, feeding wild mammals often leads to the kind of conflicts that results in their removal from the environment.
  • Enjoy wild mammals from a distance but to not try to approach or tame them down.
  • If you find a young mammal, do not assume that it is orphaned. A parent is often close by but may not return until humans leave the immediate area. Before rescuing an animal you think may be orphaned please call our Wildlife Care Center (503-292-0304) for advice.
  • Keeps dogs on leash when you visit parks and natural areas (unless it is a designated off-leash areas. Many orphaned mammals are caused by dogs running free in natural areas and disrupting dens and separating young from their parents. 
  • Close up openings to attics, basements and crawlspaces. Prevent access to indoor spaces is one of the most effective ways to prevent problems.
  • Avoid trapping and relocating of wild animals, especially in the spring. Animals often do not survive relocation and at this time of year, it often results in orphans being left behind. If you are having a problem with a wild animal, contact the Portland Audubon Wildlife Care Center (503-292-0304) for advice on how to resolve the conflict or visit our Living with Wildlife page at https://audubonportland.org/our-work/rehabilitate-wildlife/having-a-wildlife-problem/

To Learn More:

Portland Audubon BioBlitz Facebook Group Page: You can post pictures, information or questions about what you are seeing at any time on our Backyard BioBlitz Facebook Group Page. We are also posting information and opportunities to learn more about the region’s wildlife here as well.

Ask a Birder: Every Wednesday from 7-8 pm, Portland Audubon experts will be online talking about the birds that are passing through our region and answering questions. Learn more.

Learn About Birds that Are Passing through Portland on Migration: Each week Portland Audubon naturalist Dan van den Broek provides information about the species you are likely to see passing through. 

Need Birdfeeding Supplies?  The Portland Audubon Nature Store is now online! Everything from feeders to birdseed and suet to guides and optics is available for online purchase and can be either shipped or picked-up curbside.