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"Freeway Birds"
Freeway Birds:    In the late spring 2011 Gene and I decided to keep a list of all of the birds we could identified while driving the freeways ... we even set up some general "rules" for ourselves, the main ones being that our driving speed had to be 50 mph or more and the bird had to be seen on freeways or other "main" roads ... enjoy, Lyn

  1. accepted roads are freeways, highways, and other roads considered to be "main" roads ... no backroads, city streets, or Refuge roads ...
  2. driving speeds must be 50 mph or more ... the only exceptions are in the case of Washington State Route 4 or other similar highways, where speeds of 45 are permitted on the winding turns ...
  3. no turning around and backtracking to see the bird again to get a better ID ...
  4. bird ID of "species" is acceptible ...
  5. photographing the birds is optional however if you're the driver it is NOT recommended ...

"Life list" species seen ... (alphabetical):

  1. American Coot ...
  2. American Crow ...
  3. American Goldfinch ... (2012)
  4. American Kestrel ...
  5. American Robin ...
  6. American Wigeon ... (2012)
  7. Bald Eagle ...
  8.   Bank Swallow ... (2012, known roost near The Dalles)
  9. Barn Swallow ... (2015)
  10. Belted Kingfisher ...
  11. Black-billed Magpie ...
  12. Black-crowned Night Heron ... (2015, Hood River, known roost, birds seen from Interstate 84)
  13. Brewer's Blackbird ...
  14.   Brown Pelican ... (2012)
  15. Brown-headed Cowbird ... (2013)
  16. Bufflehead ...
  17.   Cackling Goose ...
  18. California Quail ... (2012)
  19. Canada Goose ...
  20. Caspian Tern ...
  21. Cedar Waxwing ...
  22. Common Merganser ... (2012)
  23.   Common Raven ...
  24. Cooper's or Sharp-shinned Hawk (2011, 2012) and Cooper's Hawk (2013) ...
  25. Double-crested Cormorant ...
  26. Eurasian Collared-Dove ...
  27. European Starling ...
  28. Finch (species) ... (2012)
  29. Gadwall ... (2013)
  30. Glaucous-winged Gull ...
  31. Goldeneye (species) ... (2012)
  32. Great Blue Heron ...
  33.   Great Egret ...
  34. Great-tailed Grackle ... (2012, Arizona)
  35. Green-winged Teal ...
  36. Hooded Merganser ... (2012)
  37. Horned Grebe ...
  38. House Finch ... (2012)
  39. Killdeer (heard) ... (2015)
  40. Loon (species) ... (2012)
  41. Mallard ...
  42. Mourning Dove ...
  43. Mute Swan ... (2012, Ohio, otherwise known bird seen at Steigerwald Lake NWR, 2011)
  44. Northern Flicker ...
  45. Northern Harrier ...
  46. Northern Pintail ... (2013)
  47.   Osprey ...
  48. Pied-billed Grebe ...
  49.   Red-tailed Hawk ...
  50. Red-winged Blackbird ...
  51. Ring-necked Duck ... (2012)
  52. Ring-necked Pheasant ...
  53.   Rock Pigeon ...
  54. Rough-legged Hawk ... (2013)
  55. Ruddy Duck ... (2013)
  56. Sandhill Crane ...
  57.   Scaup (species) ...
  58. Song Sparrow ... (2012)
  59. Steller's Jay ...
  60. Surf Scoter ...
  61. Swallow (species) ...
  62.   Tundra Swan ...
  63.   Turkey Vulture ...
  64. Western Grebe ... (2012)
  65. Western Gull ... (2013)
  66. Western Meadowlark ...
  67. Western Scrub-Jay ...
  68. White-tailed Dove ... (2012, Arizona)
  69. Woodpecker (species) ... (2012)
  70. Yellow-headed Blackbird ... (2012)

Years ...
  • 2013 ... 50 species ID'd and 68 total species ...
  • 2012 ... 53 species and 62 total species ...
  • 2011 (9 months only) ... 44 species ...

Note ... beginning in 2014 we gave up counting yearly totals and are just now adding to the "lifelist".


Freeway Birds

Image, 2011, Freeway Bird, Bank Swallow, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bank Swallow nest area.   Bank Swallow colony nesting bank (holes visible right side of bank), in Mount St. Helens' ash pile near the Toutle River, Washington. Image taken while passenger in car heading south on Interstate 5, June 27, 2012, Canon S960is.
Image, 2013, The Dalles, Wasco County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bank Swallow colony, The Dalles, Wasco County, Oregon. On Highway 197 just a few miles south of The Dalles. View from moving car. Image taken June 5, 2013, Sony HX300.

Image, 2012, Freeway Bird, Brown Pelican, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Brown Pelicans, Astoria-Megler Bridge.   Image taken while passenger in car on the Astoria-Megler Bridge, heading south, October 5, 2015, Canon S100.

Image, 2012, Freeway Bird, Cackling Geese, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cackling Geese near Clatskanie.   Image taken while passenger in car on Oregon Highway 30, November 15, 2012, Canon Powershot S95.

Image, 2012, Freeway Bird, Common Raven, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Common Raven, Washington State Highway 14.   Image taken while passenger in car on Washington State Highway 14 heading to Skamania Landing, Canon Powershot S100.

Image, 2011, Freeway Birds, Great Egrets, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Great Egrets.   Great Egrets on lake south of Vancouver Lake, as seen from Washington State Highway 501 (Lower River Road), Vancouver Lake Lowlands. Image taken while passenger in car, November 4, 2011, Canon S95.

Image, 2011, Freeway Bird, Osprey, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Osprey.   Osprey nest located east of Multnomah Falls and seen from Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken while passenger in car, August 12, 2011. Sony "superzoom" HX100v.

Image, 2011, Freeway Bird, Red-tailed Hawk, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Red-tailed Hawk.   Red-tailed Hawk on light pole on Washington State Highwy 500. Image taken while passenger in car, August 12, 2011. Sony "superzoom" HX100v.

Image, 2011, Freeway Bird, Rock Pigeons, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rock Pigeons.   On Interstate 5 at Hayden Island exit. Photographed while passenger in car, November 2, 2011, Canon Powershot 95.

Image, 2011, Freeway Bird, Scaup species, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Scaup (species).   Lesser and/or Greater Scaup. During winter months there are thousands of Scaup along the Columbia River. This particular group photographed while passenger in car, February 5, 2012, Sony "superzoom" HX100v, along Marine Drive between I-5 and I-205, Portland, Oregon.

Image, 2015, Freeway Bird, Tundra Swans, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tundra Swans.   Tundra Swans as seen from Interstate 5 south of Kalama, Washington, March 6, 2015.

Image, 2011, Freeway Bird, Turkey Vulture, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Turkey Vulture.   Turkey Vulture seen from Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken while passenger in car, October 6, 2011, Canon S95.



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© 2013, Lyn Topinka, "NorthwestBirding.com", All rights reserved.
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January 2016