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Faces of the 18th Weir

They sit suspended at the 18th weir, these scaled faces in the sockeye crowd. It's the window to their water world, the portal from ocean to stream to lake, where their gills remember the taste of fresh after years in the salty sea -- and where they lead -- at least in part -- by magnetic memories of the gravel beds where they were born. They're surging forward across the solstice and into summer ... [...]

2013-07-01T18:24:02+00:00July 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Clever, Corrugated Starlings

With starlings, I am often an outlier, even among people who share my conservation ethics and love for wildlife. That's because I appreciate starlings in a way that defies conventional dislike for the species in the United States. I wrote about this in a 2009 post about European Starlings and their introduction to the U.S. in the late 19th century: "Starlings are related to Mynahs, both in the family Sturnidae. They’re exceptional mimics. In [...]

2018-09-30T19:31:32+00:00June 20th, 2013|Uncategorized|23 Comments

Sleeping With the Fishes

This isn't the first time I've seen an Osprey napping with a fish in his talons. Last year, while observing the platform way across Seattle's long-abused-but-recovering Duwamish River I watched a male Osprey land on a utility pole, clutching a half-eaten meal. A crow who'd been tailing the Osprey, landed alongside. The Osprey perched, adjusted -- then appeared to doze off. The crow who'd been haranguing him for some leftovers seemed to be in the [...]

2013-06-16T22:46:07+00:00June 16th, 2013|Uncategorized|5 Comments

Great Blue Resilience

A few weeks ago, I walked by the Great Blue Heron rookery a short distance from our place. I expected to see the six or eight heron couples, draped over their nests in anticipation of egg hatching ... or maybe even the first raspy calls of young chicks rustling in the alders. Instead, this is who came my way. Heron + Branch - ©ingridtaylar And then another Great Blue, bearing the sign [...]

2018-05-10T01:23:28+00:00June 6th, 2013|@Popular Posts, Blog, Uncategorized|12 Comments

I Wish I Was the Moon

Full moon rising orange over Seattle last night ... the real moon, not Photoshopped into the background. :) ~ click for larger image - ©ingridtaylar ~ I Wish I Was the Moon - Neko Case How will you know if you found me at last 'Cause I'll be the one, be the one, be the one With my heart in my lap I'm so tired, I'm so tired And I wish I was [...]

2013-04-26T05:26:36+00:00April 26th, 2013|Moon, Uncategorized, Urban, Weather|4 Comments

Welcome Back, Osprey!

Four of our six Seattle neighborhood Ospreys returned last week from the long haul of their migration. If you haven't seen the tracking maps showing Osprey travel routes, take a look at this website: Osprey migration maps. For these studies, Ospreys are fitted with light satellite transmitters that fall off after two to three years. In the time before the Ospreys lose the transmitter, researchers gather data about their final destinations and their various stops [...]

2013-04-13T19:07:11+00:00April 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|9 Comments

Herons + Friends With Totipalmate Feet

It begins with a twig in the bill and the throaty croak of the swamp. They're creatures of the marshes, the Great Blues, now on ascent to a season in the trees where nests incubate eggs, and where clumsy young legs will soon dawdle on branches until they get their wings. They call this place the satellite colony, since the rest of the rookery is tucked in a ravine so lush it might as well [...]

2013-04-05T21:07:15+00:00April 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|5 Comments

The Kingfisher Wasn’t Born to Think About It

"The kingfisher rises out of the black wave like a blue flower, in his beak he carries a silver leaf. I think this is the prettiest world -- so long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness? There are more fish than there are leaves on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher wasn't born to think about [...]

2013-03-27T23:52:56+00:00March 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|10 Comments

Surfin’ Seals

This great seal-pup video has been making the rounds. In case you haven't seen it yet ... Ethan Janson, a local windsurfer from Three Tree Point (south of Seattle) noticed that harbor seals were hauling out on a surfboard he'd tied to a buoy out in Puget Sound. He hooked up a GoPro camera, remotely, and captured this footage of a seal pup trying desperately to haul out on the slippery board. Before posting this, [...]

2013-03-18T12:01:14+00:00March 18th, 2013|Marine Mammals, Uncategorized, Wildlife Solutions|2 Comments

She, the Fusiform One

"She" could be a "he," this harbor seal, and only she knows -- stirring from the depths and shallows of Elliott Bay, gliding, reflected alongside us. She rounds the rock bend ... she, the fusiform one, tapered and sleek ... propelled through the tide by hind flippers. Harbor Seal - ©ingridtaylar In a pinniped world where there's no strong, visible distinction* between she and her male, I err on the side of feminist [...]

2013-03-15T02:04:37+00:00March 15th, 2013|Marine Mammals, Uncategorized|1 Comment