365 Nature – Day 274

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


I returned to the arboretum hoping for another look at the Great Horned Owl I saw yesterday on Day 273. Although I walked the paths around that area for quite awhile, I failed to find any owls and no alarm calls led me to owls either. I continued my walk and focused on my ears to listen for alarm calls. Something did catch my attention, but at first I wasn’t sure what it was, I just knew there was a sound that needed more attention. I stopped and listened and before long I heard a tap tap tap, a woodpecker somewhere near. After scanning the trees I finally spotted it, what looked like a Red-breasted Sapsucker on one of the towering Western Red Cedar trees. It was dark in the grove of cedars and I had a hard time photographing it or even seeing it. But to my eyes it looked strange, perhaps it was an immature bird. It had a white streak over the bill, like a mustache, but also bright white matching eyebrows. The head and chest weren’t as red as I remember seeing in other birds.

Later I walked to the pond and spotted early morning dragonflies warming themselves in patches of sun. One looked more brown than red and hoping for a female Striped Meadowhawk I chased it around the area. Whether it just looked duller in the light or I lost it, the only ones I found were quite red.

Kelly Brenner
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist and writer based in Seattle. She founded and writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat and has contributed articles to a variety of other websites and publications.

Kelly has a certificate from the University of Washington in non-fiction writing. She continually takes classes and attends talks on various natural history topics. In 2009 she earned a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.

She's also an avid photographer focusing on the natural world.
Kelly Brenner
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