Apr 232013
 
Urban Species Profile:: River Otter

While many species may come to mind with the term ‘urban wildlife’, otters are not likely among the first to come to mind. Despite this, they can be seen in urban areas. In fact in three of the last cities I’ve called home, I’ve seen River Otters in two of them. River Otters can be found throughout most of North America in fresh and even salt water. While River Otters may be common throughout the region, they are less common in urban areas. When I saw a River Otter in Eugene, Oregon along the Millrace which runs through town, nobody believed me …continue reading

Jan 272013
 
Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens Post:: How to Find Nature in the City

This is an excerpt from my latest post at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. Click the link below to visit the full post. Perhaps you live in the city, or you’re visiting for a conference, family or vacation. We’re all nature fiends here and we need our nature fix. Even those who are not self declared nature fiends need their nature fix, they just aren’t aware of it. Worry not, it’s not as hard as you might think to find nature in the city. …continue reading at Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens

Jan 172012
 
Urban Species Profile:: American Wigeon

Common Name: American Wigeon Scientific Name: Anas americana Family: Anatidae The American Wigeon is a dabbling duck, which are ducks that tip their front ends into the water to forage while their back ends stick up in the air. They maintain a large geographic range, breeding as far north as the Bering Sea and wintering from Canada through Central America. They can be found in a wide range east to west as well and cover most of North and Central America at some point during the year. Their preferred breeding habitat are grasslands where they nest in proximity to water with cover …continue reading

Nov 112011
 
Urban Species Profile:: Eight-spotted Skimmer

Common Name: Eight-spotted Skimmer Scientific Name: Libellula forensis Family: Libellulidae The Eight-spotted Skimmer is a common urban dragonfly that can be found in many parks, wetlands and other landscapes with water. Their range includes the Pacific Northwest, northern California and east to the Rockies. The Skimmer family is the largest odonate family and also among the dragonflies most likely to be seen. They are further categorized among the Skimmer family as King Skimmers, a group which includes some of the most familiar species due to their large size and often conspicuous wing markings. They are considered perchers instead of fliers because they hawk prey …continue reading

Oct 282011
 
Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens Post:: What's in a Name?

This is an excerpt from my latest post at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. Click the link below to visit the full post. Just what exactly is in a name of our flora and fauna? Quite a bit as it happens. I’ve long been very interested in the names of things. My first trip outside of the country was to Finland where I bought my first foreign language bird guide. I had a great time looking through the book and learning the Finnish names of the various birds I spotted. Later as I traveled to other countries, I …continue reading

Oct 122011
 
Emerald City Crows

Crows are everywhere, throughout the world, but in Seattle they seem to have a special place of their own. The humble crow is abundant in Seattle, but unlike House Sparrows or Starlings, they warrant a lot of attention. You could eat at Crow Restaurant, buy a yacht from Crow’s Nest Yachts, schedule a treatment at Crow’s Wing Spa, reserve the Crows Nest Room at the Chambered Nautilus Bed and Breakfast, get your next home inspection from Seattle Nest Home Inspections, cheer for the Seattle Crows Baseball Club or dance to the rockabilly band the Holy Crows. The crow is also the symbol …continue reading