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Snowy Owl drives away wolves.
Just got back from our first time attending the Annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival (March 18-20).
Years ago we were in the Columbia Basin area to find Sandhill Cranes and were fortunate enough to see thousands of them. A few photos from that trip are included in our book, A Kid’s Guide to Birding. The natural landscape there is spectacular on its own, but with huge numbers of cranes, it was like something you would only imagine existing in the earlier days of exploration.
So when an invitation to speak at the festival came from the organizers in Othello, we were more than happy to head back out to the area.
So let me tell you about this festival. It is fantastic! The festival’s organizers put a lot of effort and careful planning into the event. There were regular scheduled buses and vans taking people out to the best wildlife viewing areas (which also included private agricultural areas) as well as areas of geological interest. Breakfast was served on Saturday and there was a Banquet in the evening along with one of the keynote speakers. All the speakers had impressive credentials and did great presentations. There were displays, book sales, and more. But what impressed me the most was the incredible community involvement, with both young and old involved in all sorts of ways. I was beginning to wonder if there was a town ordinance that required everyone to be involved, because it seemed like everyone and every organization had some role in helping the event come together.
So make plans to be there for the next one, the “20th annual” Sandhill Crane Festival in 2017. But book early because when we tried, ever hotel in the area was fully booked!
Here are a few photos from the trip.
Lorenzo was invited by Everett Parks & Recreation to lead the Aquanauts Science Camp on a birding trip to Spencer Island (July 21, 2015). Bird sightings included Great Blue Herons, Cedar Waxwings, Killdeer, Caspian Terns, Marsh Wrens, Red-wing blackbirds, and Belted Kingfishers. The highlight was Osprey doing repeated dives for fish as shown in the photo sequence taken by Lorenzo. Notice in image #3 how the Osprey goes down with feet first before reaching the water.
Spencer Island is a 400-acre island in the Snohomish River estuary.
Very strange stuff…
Here’s a good article about the Sage Grouse: What People Talk About When They Talk About Sage Grouse
Lorenzo giving a presentation about birding for 2nd-grade students at Wellington Elementary today. He will also be at the Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds this year.
This is a very interesting story about a kid that has made friends with crows that bring her gifts!
Click her to read about her: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31604026
Another raptor-type dinosaur found.
“’Based on the findings so far, we assume that the dinosaur is something close to a Microraptor or others in the raptor genera,” said Lim Jong-deock, chief curator of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. “However, it’s uncertain at this stage exactly which type of dinosaur it was, and there is a chance that it is a new type that hasn’t been reported to academia as of yet.’”
“Microraptors are bird-like dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period. They measure between 77 and 90 centimeters (30 and 35 inches), weigh just one or two kilograms (2.2 or 4.4 pounds) and have feathered wings. They were the smallest carnivorous dinosaurs and were believed to have eaten insects or other animals.”