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Pacific Northwest

Seabirds in Decline

Scoter populations in South Puget Sound have declined by 69% since 1995. Other seabirds -- like this Barrow's Goldeneye -- have not fared well, either. Suspects include heavy metal contamination, a drop in herring populations, derelict fishing gear, and the destruction of shoreline habitat.Find... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

The COASST Program - Interview with Julia Parrish

In the late 1990s, Julia Parrish started the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team or COASST. Julia says: "We train people to go out to their local beach and survey it. They are looking for birds that have literally washed in on the last tide. COASST offers people a chance to learn more... read more »

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Swans Benefit from Bob Heirman Wildlife Park

In the late 1970s in Washington State, bulldozers began mining gravel on the banks of the most productive steelhead fishing spot on the Snohomish River. This raised the ire of Bob Heirman and his local sportsmen's club. They took on Dave Beck, Jr., head of the mining company and son of the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Nisqually, National Jewel

Mt. Rainier's majestic, snow-capped crown is the pre-eminent landmark of Rainier National Park. Its glaciers and snowmelt nourish rich natural habitats, including the Nisqually Delta, far downstream. This meeting of waters is a lush expanse of marsh, tidelands, and tree-lined streams. The... read more »

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Lewis's Woodpecker - A Namesake

Among the marvels that Meriwether Lewis described was a bird that would later bear his name: Lewis's Woodpecker. Unlike most woodpeckers that spend most of their time with their bellies pressed against a tree trunk, Lewis's Woodpecker is an aerial artist. These woodpeckers get most of their food... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Corbin Klaft - A Friend to the Birds

Nine-year-old Corbin Klaft has hung a birdfeeder outside his bedroom window. "I just want to see the birds, how they hunt and perch, what they do with their feet. Most often the birds just come in and eat, and I try to identify them." Corbin has an idea for a birdhouse, too. "I'm going to make a... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  birdfeeding

Hermit Thrush: Ethereal Singer

High in the mountains of the West and North, where the long summer days stay cool, the song of the Hermit Thrush stands out. The song has been described as "ethereal," "serene," or "flutelike." Writer Ralph Hoffman writes about the song of the Hermit Thrush: "It is the opening note that gives the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Eurasian Collared-Doves - They Have Arrived

In 1974, Eurasian Collared-Doves escaped from captivity in the Bahamas and began to breed in the wild. Soon, they colonized southern Florida. They began expanding in a northwesterly direction, and by the year 2000, they had arrived in the Pacific Northwest. They thrive where backyard trees offer... read more »

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Winter on the Columbia

A stiff December breeze blowing down the Columbia River delivers an exhilarating chill. A stretch of river near Bridgeport, in north-central Washington, is held tightly by a series of dams, creating massive lakes - lakes which, in winter, harbor thousands of water-birds. High on an overlook, a... read more »

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Birders and their Special Places

Some birders specialize in a particular species. Others are drawn to a special place. Michael Hobbs took note when a Lazuli Bunting (like this one) turned up at Marymoor Park, an unusual sighting for Western Washington. Connie Sidles knows when to expect the American Pipit at the Union Bay... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

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