Birdwatching at 70 mph on the interstate is not ideal but a raven hovers then swoops, vanishing into a bunch of greasewood in a freeway-cut. For a second or two, as we pass, I see the raven perched inside the bush by a nest ten feet from cars and trucks speeding past on a downhill stretch where no one lags or tarries. Consider the advantages of that. I am certain ravens are good at math, calculating precisely when they must soar up and out of the way.

I saw an osprey on two different days, perched in a willow snag across a country road from a platform atop a tall pole. The pole had been installed in a field by the electric company to give the osprey an alternative to nesting on the electric poles.

And from Interstate-82 in a channel of the Yakima River muddily overflowing the banks because of snowmelt, a half dozen impossibly white birds stand in a row and stock-still on a half-submerged log. Willow brush just leafing out blocks my view but I watch and get one more quick look, of birds with long yellow bills and orange legs, as if posing for a painting which I hold in my mind.*

Freeway speeds are not ideal for identifying birds . . . Kestrel, red-tailed hawk, red-winged blackbirds, robins, killdeer, ravens, magpies, bald eagles, cormorants, scoters, mallards . . .  but you can cover a lot more territory than at a walking pace like we did in a few days crossing part of Washington (as far as the coast) and central Oregon.

* American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos).