“What’s the big deal about an Olive Sided Flycatcher?”
That’s a reasonable question.
It was answered in the course of this morning’s third and final annual bird count in our Mt. Richmond Forest. Here are a few of the reasons why we are excited to hear and see them:
- Inspiring Globe Crossers – Their long annual migrations – from as far south as Bolivia and on up to the arctic – are yet another reminder of how remarkable birds, and all of nature, are.
- They’re in Trouble – Of the birds that depend on Oregon’s Coast Range forests, they’re one of the four species that are in steepest decline. Much of this decline is driven by habitat loss.
- They’re Here – We’re pleased that the Hyla Woods forests provide reliable safe haven for these remarkable and stressed birds.
- They’re Increasing – In Our Forests – Reviewing data from our more than 15 years of careful, annual counts, we can see that that we’re successfully bucking the trend; while they decline in our region, they are on the increase in our forests. Who knows why? Our habitat is improving? Habitat in surrounding forest in other forests in the regions deteriorating? Perhaps both? We all benefit when steps to arrest their decline are successful. Their presence and increase validate that we may be working in the right direction.
- We Need and Value Then – Flycatchers, as their name reflects, depend on eating insects – lots of them! Insects help keep forests healthy, but, when out of balance, they can become a threat to forest health. These winged insect eaters help maintain necessary balance. We work for them – they work for us.
As we hang up the binos, clipboards, and stop watch at the end of yet another yearly round of bird counts, we enthusiastically raise a glass to thank and toast these remarkable birds.
Thanks also go to our remarkable, reliable, and long suffering expert birders – Char Corkran and Lori Hennings.