23 de diciembre de 2022

Goals for 2023 - Identifying American Beaver and Nutria

After a visit to Fernhill Wetlands (OR) and realizing that these were not Muskrats (the small ones) or Beavers - because I had associated Nutria with the south - that is, we where I grew up in Southern Louisiana. There the Nutria overwhelmed the ecosystem and pushed out the Muskrat, but then the American Alligator followed in as predator.

So goal for 2023 - work to learn to differentiate Nutria and American Beaver and to help with identification.
And further still - learn tracking signs as well.

Ingresado el 23 de diciembre de 2022 por hawksthree hawksthree | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

06 de julio de 2022

Rationale for Identification re: Ospreys - if Osprey is not visible or nest only (as example)

Rationale: Bald Eagles and Ospreys can share similar ecological landscapes and compete for food in the same geolocation area (see as example in iNaturalist - as example,

Wheeler (2018) provides a relevant description of nesting behaviors and preferred settings in the guidebook, “Birds of Prey of the West.”

However, some observations may show a nest unoccupied, or the image is blurred, or at a distance too far to clearly separate the two species, I will often support the ID suggested based on geolocation (e.g., near body of water {river, lake, bay, ocean}, previous observations in the same proximity, and take into account, the nesting behavior and dynamics of the Osprey vs. the Bald Eagle.

As it relates to a nest unoccupied, or where the actual species is not visible in the image, I consider nesting behavior and structure and typical patterns and outcomes. For example, Bald Eagle nesting structure (see as indicated here,
Vs. Osprey (see as indicated here 
And then see again here 

For example, Henny and Anthony (ed. B. G. Pendleton,1987, Bald Eagle and Osprey) noted that , “Nesting ospreys appear more tolerant than nesting bald eagles of man and his disturbance; thus, more restrictions are required at bald eagle nest sites.”

Or relevant here: Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) and Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) share similar breeding habitat in the Chesapeake Bay area and elsewhere. The nests of these species are similar in size and appearance. Ospreys typically build large stick nests in dead trees or on man-made structures (C.J. Henny et al. 1974, Chesapeake Sci. 15:125-133; A.F. Poole 1989, Ospreys: a natural and unnatural history, Cambridge Univ. Press, NY), while Bald Eagles usually build larger nests in live trees (P.B. Wood et al. 1989, J. Wildl. Manage. 53:441-449; Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources, unpubl. data). Osprey nests are usually placed in the open at the top of dead trees or structures, while Bald Eagle nests are usually beneath the tree canopy obscured from view. Both select nest sites close to large bodies of water or wetlands (J.M. Andrew and J.A. Mosher 1982, J. Wildl. Manage. 46:383-390; Poole 1989). See also: Henny, C. J. (1983). Distribution and abundance of nesting ospreys in the United States. Biology and management of bald eagles and ospreys, 175-186.

While it is possible to for a Bald Eagle to nest successfully on an Osprey platform, (see: Larry Rymon, Ed Henckel, and Judy Henckel "BALD EAGLES NEST SUCCESSFULLY ON OSPREY PLATFORM," Journal of Raptor Research 40(4), 306-307, (1 December 2006). https://doi.org/10.3356/0892-1016(2006)40[306:BENSOO]2.0.CO;2), and therefore taken that into account, I have also tried to weigh in other factors (as noted above) to help determine a reasoned ID determination, including previous observations that have been research graded (as example, a previous observation with research grade, 

and then matched to a more recent observation in similar location, such as 

Ingresado el 06 de julio de 2022 por hawksthree hawksthree | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

03 de mayo de 2022

New Residence - Olympia, WA.

in full retirement mode, and now living in Olympia, WA.
living near Budd Inlet and watching the tides - and new landscapes to explore with zoology and botany
as new opportunities to learn of species in the region.

About as far west as I will go....

Ingresado el 03 de mayo de 2022 por hawksthree hawksthree | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de mayo de 2020

May 19, 2020 - Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space

Spring has arrived and yet it feels like mid-summer in the Open Space. There has been a "green" explosion of trees, shrubs, and grasses - and there is still some flowering in the fields. I have noted several kinds of plants blooming and have seen various animals: including Mule Deer and several Mallards on Emigration Creek. California Quail are scattered throughout the open space.

The days are longer: sunrise 6:06 am – sunset 8:42 pm for a total of 14 hours, 36 minutes of daylight.

Emigration Creek was running very high after several storms but the water level has dropped recently.

Given the Covid-19 context, more people are walking on the trails (which is good), but I am still picking up trash along the paths. I do not see dogs on the trails which is good.

Ingresado el 19 de mayo de 2020 por hawksthree hawksthree | 15 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de abril de 2020

April 18-19 - Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space

April 18-19 2020

Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space – Journal

Spring has arrived in the Hollow – even temperatures have been colder than normal in the past few days. A few mornings this week have had the low temperatures either below or at freezing levels (32 F).

The days are longer with daylight going from 6:43 am to 8: 10 pm with about 13 hours and 28 minutes of sunlight. The sun is about 60 degrees altitude and crosses the sky at a higher arc and the weather forecast calls for the rest of April to be unsettled, but warmer for the next 10 days.

The Annual Honesty plants are blooming as well as the multitude of Plum trees in the Wasatch Hollow Open space. Again, I assume the land was used as a large fruit orchard that ran parallel with Emigration Creek – given the amount of older Plum trees in the area. I have been observing Mallards (drakes and hens) swimming in the creek for the past two weeks – and I assume they are nesting in the area.

Near the Open Space area, there are a pair of Cooper’s Hawks nesting and I see them almost every day – perched in the same trees – or with one in the nest.

The creek is running high due to recent rains and snow melt.

Ingresado el 18 de abril de 2020 por hawksthree hawksthree | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de marzo de 2020

March 24, 2020 - Wasatch Hollow and Open Space Journal

We have passed through the spring equinox and today - the day length goes from 7:23 am to 7:44 pm
or 12 hours, 21 minutes of sunlight. The sun at 44.4 degrees altitude and climbing higher each day. Plenty of signs of new growth from the soil that is warming up, but this week the temps will be a bit colder with rain and possibility of light snow.

The creek is running high and somewhat silty with runoff from soil and debris.

I was able to observe Cooper's Hawk(s) in the area and Mule Deer (3 of them) along the creek-side.

I have noticed more people walking the trails in the "Hollow" and perhaps this is due to the experience
of "getting out of the house" more - given thew Covid-19 virus - and the need for social distancing and the need to be active and outdoors. It is good people can enjoy nature and the nature preserve - in these times.

Ingresado el 24 de marzo de 2020 por hawksthree hawksthree | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de marzo de 2020

March 16, 2020 - Wasatch Hollow Journal

Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space Journal

March 16, 2020

At this point, there is a new world all around us in terms of the impact of Covid-19 and public health challenges. I have noticed more people going “outside” and walking in the local parks; perhaps a rediscovery and a therapeutic approach to dealing with stress and uncertainty.

We have moved into daylight savings time and we are on the verge of almost 12 hours of daylight (closer to the equinox). Sunrise is at 7:36 am and sunset at 7:36 pm. The sun is climbing higher up into the sky with an altitude of 48 degrees at noon. The temperature today is about 60 degrees, but March temps can fluctuate.

I have observed Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, Fox Squirrel, and multiple sightings of Accipiters in the area; and I hope to see Cooper’s Hawks nesting in the trees in the open space. I was able to observe many bulbs and green shoots appearing in the area – surely a sign of spring. Emigration Creek is running high but can go much higher – I think – due to snow melt in the mountains.

I have hauled out about 5 bags of garbage and trash on my walks. Some people just throw their litter on the ground and keep walking. There are still signs of vandalism of fences and destruction trees (with an axe) – and I cannot determine why this has to happen; to me it shows disrespect at minimum, but I worry about some individuals who show this behavior; what are the anxious about? what is driving their anger so that they vandalize public open spaces?

I try to absorb the therapy of the green space, while still serving as steward. It is dissonance to have a “place” show the potential of healing and stress reduction – and – as a place with signs of human behavior that is crude and reckless.

At the end of the day – if I can see one Cooper’s Hawk, pick up trash, and walk the loop – then it outweighs all else.

Ingresado el 16 de marzo de 2020 por hawksthree hawksthree | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de febrero de 2020

February 17-18th, 2020 - Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space

February 17-18
Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space

Sunrise 7:18 am
Sun at 36 degrees altitude (180 degrees south)
Sunset 6:05 pm
approx. = 10 hours 47minutes of daylight

High today = 37 degrees

Days are getting longer with sun moving across the southern sky higher and higher.
The spring equinox is Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 9:49 pm MDT – about 30 days away.

In Wasatch Hollow, I was able to observe in the last two days: Northern Flickers, Black-capped Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Black-billed Magpies.

The Black-billed Magpies (BBMs) were in full force yesterday with about 10 ganging up on a Sharp-shinned Hawk (SSHA). The BBMs basically followed and harassed the SSHA relentlessly in Wasatch Hollow – near the back loop area – from tree to tree – they would go after the SSHA – and this went on for about 20 minutes.

The SSHA went after one Magpie – and I have several images of that encounter; but note that they SSHA was not trying to “take down” the Magpie (the BBM was 2x larger than the SSHA), but was trying to defend itself…and soon other BBMs would join in – and it was all too much for the SSHA to handle.

I wondered how much energy the SSHA had expended in this ordeal…and I observed how much attention a Hawk – will quickly draw in the Magpies.

here is one field note to consider: if you are walking in that area and you HEAR and SEE many Magpies dive bombing in and out a tree – and squawking – there is good possibility of an Accipiter nearby…Look up and see what the Magpies are doing…in this case – they sat within 5 feet away from the SSHA – basically alarming all other animals (birds that may be prey) in the area.

Ingresado el 18 de febrero de 2020 por hawksthree hawksthree | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de febrero de 2020

Wasatch Hollow and Nature Preserve and Open Space - Journal February 8 – 9th, 2020

Wasatch Hollow and Nature Preserve Journal
February 8 – 9th, 2020

Sunrise 7:30 am and sunset at 5:53 pm; at the noon hour the sun will be at 34 degrees (angle) in the southern sky – which means the sun is slowly climbing higher into the sky – for a longer period of time since winter solstice in Dec. 2019. The nature preserve is now experiencing about 10 and half hours of daylight – about an hour and 15 minutes more since solstice.

But, of course it is still “winter.” And last week, “true” winter hit the nature preserve with 12 inches of snow and lows in the single digits (+ wind chill factor). I walked the open space trail right after the storm – and it was a quiet walk – nothing was out. Birds and mammals shut down and hidden from sight. I was the first time – on a walk – that I did not see at least one bird in the area. The creek (Emigration Creek) was frozen over, but I could hear water running under the ice surface.

I proposed in earlier journals that when the SUN was out (during the winter months) this would be the catalyst for more active observations of birds – mammals. But on a walk yesterday the temperatures were in the mid 40’s (felt like a warm spell – like March weather), and yet the sky was overcast – and a light rain was in the area. Nevertheless, the “warmer” temperatures seemed to ignite the activity of birds and mammals: I observed Northern Flickers, Downy Woodpeckers, Black-caped Chickadees, Magpies, and Lesser Goldfinches. I observed one American Red Squirrel and two (2) Fox Squirrels on the walk.

The creek was running high due to the snow melt and the trail was still full of wet snow.

I am waiting for the time when the equinox will be around the corner – and the first signs of new plants – vegetation will emerge, but that will be at least another 30 days or so.

But with the days getting longer and the sun climbing higher in the sky – the incremental steps toward spring weather – is happening.

I look forward to more observations – and sometimes envy – the photos and observations of iNatters in states where winter is barely a notion…but here along the Wasatch Front – and at about 5,000 feet – one has to be patient and realize the a lot of life is going through the seasonal cycle….hibernation, dormancy, and “sleep.”

Ingresado el 08 de febrero de 2020 por hawksthree hawksthree | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de enero de 2020

Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space – Journal - January 25, 2020

Wasatch Hollow Nature Preserve and Open Space – Journal
January 25, 2020

The sunrise is at 7:43 am and the sun at noon will be at 31 degrees altitude (climbing higher in the sky – in the south 180 degree) and the sun will set at 5:37 pm. The nature area is looking at about 09:53:13 in total daylight – I can sense the shift already in terms of an earlier sunrise and later sunset.

The temperature in the Open Space was an incredibly “warm” 48 degrees and the sun came out in the afternoon – after a long morning of dense fog.

With the sun out, I could sense that the birds would be out as well. I was able to observe American Robins and Cedar Waxwings in the Hawthorne trees eating the “leftover” berries – on the walk to the nature preserve.

In the Nature Preserve and Open Space the Chickadees and Juncos were out in full force. I observed one Fox Squirrel. And the highlight of the day was to observe three Red-Tailed Hawks circling high above the open space taking advantage of the warmer winds from the south – and I imagined they were riding thermals up and up – and then eventually heading over to the Red Butte garden area along the bench area there 0f the Wasatch Mountains.

The trail was muddy and the snow melt created a messy walk in the open space.

Again, many dog tracks in the protected area indicating that people are still walking their dogs in the protected space.

I look forward to longer days and the spring weather to help increase plant and animal observations for the iNaturalist and the Open Space inventory of species.

Ingresado el 26 de enero de 2020 por hawksthree hawksthree | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario