Wrong Bird Identified – Black Turnstone not Surfbird . I misidentified the shorebird in the last Illahee Update. I was so happy to see what I thought was a Surfbird I didn’t closely examine its close cousin the Black Turnstone. If that wasn’t bad enough I had a photo in a book that shows the two look alikes side by side, including an easy giveaway, the color of their feet. The Black Turnstone is the bird on the right and has purple tinted colored feet. A Surfbird has yellow feet. Thanks to Chris for quickly catching my error.
New Power Pole. Traffic was slowed somewhat along Illahee Road on Tuesday (1/7/14) when a new power pole was installed to replace an old one, see the photos below.
Regarding the “Owl Problems” item from the newsletter: There are several species of owls living in this area. An owl that “dive bombs” a human is doing so in defense of its nest or territory. The solution to the “problem” is for the human to avoid the area at night for a few weeks until uber-protective owl parents lighten up. Unlike most other birds, some owl species will nest at any time of the year that sufficient prey is available.
Here is a passage from the “Owl” section of the Seattle Audubon Society’s website:
Most aggressive behavior from owls (barred owls and great horned owls are the most often reported) is motivated by defense of their territory or young, or their search for handouts.
In winter owls establish territories, build nests, and rear young. During this period, adult birds may engage in belligerent behavior, such as attacking creatures many times their size. In this case, the owls are simply trying to protect their homes, their mates, or their young.
When possible, stay away from nesting areas with aggressive birds until the young are flying (three to four weeks after eggs hatch) and the parents are no longer so protective. If you must walk past a nest, wave your arms slowly overhead to keep the birds at a distance. Other protective actions include wearing a hat or helmet, or carrying an umbrella.
by your story and wants it to inspire their community to do the same…
So your efforts are being appreciated all the way to Virginia…
Work Party Cancelled. The Illahee Preserve work party scheduled for Sunday (12/8/13) has been cancelled for a variety of reasons, with one being the cold weather. There are two big loads of wood chips that were delivered this week close to the new trail that should still be there in January 2014 when the work party is rescheduled. The storage container in the Almira parking lot was delivered before the cancellation, and is scheduled for pickup on Monday. It houses the wheelbarrows and some of the work party tools.