Sample Bird Summaries © Bob Claypole

Belted Kingfisher: Fairly common resident with little fluctuation in numbers. May defend individual feeding territories in winter. Paired around or before mid-March when border disputes occur with neighbors, causing increased chasing and rattling. Nest holes, if not reused, are constructed in first half of April. Young being fed 5/16/97 and 5/17/00 in Area #2. Forages at all ponds containing fish and any larger creek. During mid-July into mid-Sept. there is much chasing and rattling, perhaps with fledglings, and is most easily observed but remain shy and unapproachable. Thinnest numbers occur in winter, especially if river exhibits longer duration high turbid flows.

Lewisí Woodpecker: Fairly common to common in Areas #1 and #2 during nesting and through summer, with variable winter population. The majority form loose colonies of 20-50 during winter which usually remain in the same areas. About once every five or ten years most leave the canyon in winter. This is probably associated with lean acorn crops. Either way some remain scattered in winter in certain locales, not joining larger groups. Iíve always found some mid-winter along Hwy. 96 on the short stretch between Collier Rest Area and Hwy. 263 (Area #1). Another area reliable for colonies most winters is around the USFS Oak Knoll Work Center (Area #2) where up to 50 may be seen hawking insects on clear winter afternoons. (They sometimes move about two miles west to Doggett Creek.) Others seem to always be present along Tour 1 above Klamathon Bridge to Irongate Dam on the north side of the river. After mid-April they've returned to scattered nest sites from Horse Creek (at the lower end of Area #2) all the way to the dam. They nest mostly in conifers, especially older pines with dead tops, or oaks in drier, brushy habitats or oak woodland and are most common where fields or openings are adjacent. They often are in conflict with Acorn Woodpeckers wherever the latter exists at lower elevations upriver of Horse Creek. Much courtship occurs into or through May. Young are being fed in nests during mid-June to early July and fledging around early to mid-July (whereupon they become quite noisy with shrill calls). A small number may be found in drier pine/oak up to about 4000í in summer. Besides acorns and insects they spend much of the summer at fruit trees, river grapes, etc. When not foraging they usually perch alone atop dead snags, on telephone poles and dead oak limbs. By fall (Oct.) they begin congregating into winter colonies. A pair has occurred in Seiad Valley (Area #3) and Iíve heard of uncommon fall sightings in Orleans (usually Orleans bar, around Camp Creek, Area #4).

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