Barred owls prefer wooded areas, and Great-horned owls prefer anywhere it can hide. Great-horned owls are classic neighborhood owls, and can be heard at night around the smallest parks.
I made this Identification guide for our most common pond and lake denizens. It starts with our most common duck, the Mallard then goes on to other nice dabbling ducks that can look similar to the female mallard. All ducks have some sort of distinguishing field mark, and I tried to point out each one here. Some ducks, like the glorious Wood Duck, are much easier to identify in the field than the subtly beautiful Gadwall.
After we look at dabblers (ducks that tip their butts in the air to find a tasty morsel while floating) we go on to diving ducks, geese, and then a few common pond co-habitants.
I know there are more ducks, more plumages, I’m missing, but if you master these, you’ll know to be on the lookout for more uncommon ducks!
Our four most common neighborhood thrushes. Robins are found in every county of Oregon, every month of the year. Varied thrushes breed at higher altitudes, but will come down to the valley in the winter. Western bluebirds are found (if you are lucky) wherever trees and fields meet, and Hermit thrushes are secretive lil guys that can be found most reliably in winter when the leaves aren’t obscuring our view.