Category Archives: Environmental Awareness

The Long-tailed Weasel American Mink

[Well, I’ve been corrected by several readers as to the identification of this mammal. Having read regular reports of Short-tailed Weasels at this location, and not having heard of a Mink being sighted there, I made a wrong assumption. My thanks to the folks who set me straight. -Marc Hoffman] I had a fun surprise […]

Also posted in Unusual Sightings | 6 Responses

Harbor Seal Pup

Driving around Alki Beach in West Seattle, yesterday, I noticed a portion of the waterfront was cordoned off with orange safety tape, and a few folks were standing nearby with a long-lens camera and a spotting scope. I parked and walked down to meet Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters, a volunteer-run affiliate of the Marine […]

Also posted in Rescue & Rehabilitation, Unusual Sightings | Leave a comment


Seattle is a city of crows. And they have a nasty reputation. Folks here know them as picnic terrorists, garden plunderers, and (on garbage-collection days) maniacal strewers of trash. We know them also as destroyers of nests (they eat eggs and baby birds) and as ruthless mobbers of hawks, owls, and eagles. Crows are also […]

Also posted in Bird Talk, Philosophy | 3 Responses

Cavity-Nesting Birds

Birds choose to lay their eggs in a phenomenal variety of places—from bare rocks and ground to twig platforms to hanging baskets sewn together with spider silk. In forested areas, another option is the cavity nest. Around 85 North American bird species raise their young in tree cavities. In some cases, the bird itself makes […]

Also posted in Bird Talk, Nesting | 1 Response

Springtime Intensity

Spring has finally arrived. In the Pacific Northwest, this means at least one warm sunny day, plus who knows how many chilly overcast days. Today the weather was warm enough to venture out for photos of a female Red-shafted Flicker we saw from our car yesterday. She had been excavating a nesting cavity in a […]

Also posted in Bird Talk, Unusual Sightings | 2 Responses

A Banded Cooper’s Hawk

Yesterday I visited Magnuson Park in North Seattle. I’ve developed a pretty good eye for noticing raptors in trees, and as I drove around a corner my attention was immediately drawn to a hawk perched ten feet up a tree. Around here, hawks are either accipiters, which have a thin body, or buteos, which are […]

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A Trip to See Snowy Owls

Last week I took 2 days and drove to Boundary Bay in British Columbia, Canada, to see an unusual sight: over 20 Snowy Owls that had journeyed from their Arctic home for a winter respite. Harry Potter fans will recognize them as the same species as Hedwig, Harry’s pet owl and mail courier. Although Snowies […]

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When a Bird Hits Your Window

It has happened to me and possibly to you, too: You hear a startling “thud” against a window, then you see a tiny smudge of feathers on the glass. And on the ground below the window, you find a dazed or unconscious bird… All may not be lost, even if the bird is unconscious. Share

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Winter in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. is known for its long, bleak winters.  The cloudy days seem never-ending. And even though temperatures rarely drop below freezing, the rainy dampness is chilling. It’s hard to drag myself outdoors to photograph birds. But I do. And it’s well worth it. There are plenty of birds to […]

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