>Responses – 3/25/10

>Wildlife Update Responses.  According to your comments our Updates are appreciated, but even more so when they contain wildlife information and pictures.  We had some good responses regarding what has happened to the quail and pheasants.  See the following responses that have come in so far (in the order they were received):

Response #1.  The demise of quail and pheasant have been substantially hastened by irresponsible people who think it is their right to let domestic cats wander freely outside.  The (young) quail and pheasants are quickly killed as amusement and sport by outdoor cats.  Even the Humane Society adamantly states that domestic cats should be in-door critters.  If you want quail and pheasant to thrive, then people need to find enlightenment and deal responsibly with their cats as in-doors pets.  But cat owners don’t want to hear this because their precious little Muffin should have their freedom to wander to their heart’s delight (regardless of cost to wildlife) because it just wouldn’t be fair to little Muffin.  It’s an old and tired attitude.  The National Audubon reports domestic cats are the number one predator of native song birds, and number two is not even close. 
Of course coyote, fox, raccoon, etc will also kill birds, particularly the most vulnerable ground feeders such as quail and pheasant, but the losses are minimal compared to the carnage done by domestic cats. 

Response #2.  Where have all the quail gone ???  ..Eagle food and racoon dinners. 
We lost 3 quineas last week one with an eagle,  two with racoons.

Response #3.  I don’t have a picture but have spotted the quail a number of times on
Illahee road southbound just past the creek. We seem to have an over
abundance of deer this year, one with a totally white leg, so our albino
deer must still be somewhere in the area.

Response #4.  Great pheasant photos!

Response #5.  Beautiful photos!!!!

Response #6.  What beautiful pictures, wow. It’s such a treat to see some of our local wildlife. I had a hen and a rooster here several years ago that I enjoyed watching, but with all the dogs and cats around they moved. Thankyou for adding these along with the updates on our area and the Timbers Edge news. I appreciate all that you do.

Response #7.  perhaps in your next update you could include this link:

This is the owl that has been serenading all of us who live close to the Illahee Creek ravine for the past week or so.  He/she has been hooting continuously from dusk to dawn.  Yesterday I pushed my snooze button twice around 5:00 am until I realized it wasn’t my alarm – it was the bird!!  I recorded the sound and sent it to Vic Ulsh who identified it and sent me the link.  He also said this about it:  Your serenading little friend is a northern saw-whet owl.   I am glad to have them in Illahee Forest.  They are cute little rascals.  The big bully “barred owls” who roam Illahee Forest can be predatory on the little saw-whet owls so I worry about them.  Sorry for the annoying and monotonous serenade. 

Response #8.  I think the pheasant and quail populations have decreased due to a combination of more pets (dogs and cats) roaming around in the daylight hours, and more wild animals (possums and raccoons) scouring their roosting areas at night.  Throw in a few fox and coyotes along with a few hawks and falcons and the poor birds don’t have a chance.  Its a wonder we have as many as we do.

Thank You for Responding.  Thank you to all who let us know you like to receive these Updates, and thank you for those who responded to this last one.  We appreciate you comments and input!  Also, let us know your owl stories, like the one in Response #7.

Jim Aho