Powell Butte aka Lazuli Bunting City.

I went up to Powell Butte this morning with hopes of finally seeing a Lazuli Bunting.  I most certainly did, as well as some other good birds...

I liked this scrub-jay in the sun...

I could hear a bird singing in the next tree and I glanced up with my bins.  I only saw a few starlings but I took a quick photo because I liked how they looked.  When I looked up again I saw a little blue bird fly off from right next to the starlings.  Sure enough, when I looked at the starling photo there was a bright and shiny Lazuli Bunting perched next to them.  My first one ever and I didn't even notice it.  I felt pretty dumb.

Along the trail up to the top I watched a Wilson's Warbler hop around a tree and a juvenile Cooper's Hawk perch on a fence...

When I got to the top I was amazed to find several more Lazuli Buntings.  Most were males and they were chasing each other around, singing from treetops, and perching on every fence and bush... I was in heaven!

I only saw two females while I was there, and only one up close...

There was a pretty little dead butterfly on the Orchard Loop Trail...

I noticed a daisy (or one of those flowers that look like daisies) with some weird stuff on its stem that looked like spit.  I remembered a post from Mike at Slugyard about spittlebugs so I'm wondering if that's what this was from...

One of the best things about Powell Butte are the amazing views of the mountains... Today was a bit hazy so I could only make out Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, but on a clear day many more are visible. 

Mount Hood

 Mount St. Helens

When I returned to the top after wandering for a bit I found a flock of goldfinches had arrived....  

 (in front of Mt St Helens)

What a good morning!!


  1. The pic of the bunting on the fence is absoultely AWESOME. I had a sucky weekend birding. Really slow now that migration is over. Next weekend an all day whalewatch out of Plymouth for birds.

  2. I think I saw my first Hermit Warbler the same way you saw your first Lazuli. How embarrassing! Cool bunting shots, I don't think I have a single one.

  3. Wow, Congrats Jen! The Lazuli Bunting is gorgeous. I would love to see this bird too. Wonderful birds and photos. I can just imagine the beautiful views of the mountains. Fantastic post and photos.

  4. Wow, what beautiful birds and great photos!

  5. Jen, can you tell me what the walking conditions are like at Powell Butte now? There was so much construction last year and I didn't know if that was all over or what. I'm thinking I'd like to take my Birding By Ear class there for one of our field trips. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. I need my buntings, too!
    Thanks, Laura

  6. @Laura- Well, I vaguely remember seeing some construction-type vehicles around, but none were in use, and definitely nothing that got in the way of walking the trails or birding. Maybe it's a different story on the weekdays...

    @John- Yay I like whales.

    @Steve- You might not have a good bunting shot but you have a billion other good shots of birds I will never see. So shut it. Kidding...

  7. That was an excellent outing!! Those buntings are really somethiong!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  8. OHHH what a treasure..xcellent shots too--boy they were right out in the open perfect!! What a beautiful view!!!

  9. Laura and I went birding at Ridgefield yesterday and I suggested we visit PB soon. Love all the Buntings there...I'm never disappointed! And you got great weather for your visit!

    Like the kiddie pool/beer action in the other post too! ;)

  10. Beautiful photos! I will have to get up to Powell Butte again soon to see those buntings. That dead butterfly is a cinnabar moth. Their caterpillars eat tansy ragwort, so they are useful insects. I used to see them all alongl the sides of our street, but haven't seen any for years now. Sad.

  11. I am jealous--the Lazuli Bunting is my official nemesis bird; I always manage to arrive five minutes after all of them have left. I treasure the few sightings of them I've ever had. You are lucky indeed, and smart enough to know it! Lovely pictures, too.


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