The recent big snows that have hit us, also have brought quite a few phone calls from people asking about wildlife in winter. For those mule deer "pets" hanging around Sisters and Bend, it is tough going when the snow gets deep.
Wildlife in your Big Bend Backyard
It had to happen. If the wolves hadn't chased the moose from Washington and Idaho into Oregon, some sportsman's group would have suggested it.
Kestrels' close links to dinosaurs
You've probably seen those little "hawks" that perch on power lines. Well, they're actually falcons, and, from my experience, they'll eat anything.
My friend, Owl, made me realize the importance of eyesight
Owl came into my life when I was living at what is now Hollinshead Park on Jones Road. Late one afternoon, the phone rang.
A weed or what?
What would our wintering robins do without Western juniper? All day long they're out feeding on juniper berries (cones actually), guzzling water to help digest the berries and leaving the remains on tops of cars, sidewalks and other flat surfaces.
OK, Jane Stevens—licensed wildlife reahabber—get ready to blush...I ask you, dear reader, have you ever given a thought to what it would be like to save a baby bat's life? I mean really tiny babies, eyes still closed and wet with placental fluids.
No matter how you look at it, finding wild and rare Oregon spotted frogs alongside native nesting Virginia rails in the Old Mill District is something extraordinary. Ask Tom Crabtree, Central Oregon's premier birder: "In all my 32 years of birding in Oregon, this is the only time I ever had the opportunity to watch rails feeding and foraging right before my eyes."
On Sept. 19, the Sisters Science Club will kick off the 2013 free science symposiums in Sisters, featuring current topics on science. The first of the series presented by OSU geology instructor, Daniele McKay, will be "Volcanoes in Central Oregon: When Will the Next Eruption Occur, and How Will It Affect You?" What a topic — when we live right in the middle of volcanoes on all sides of us!
The comedic birds of Central Oregon
If there's one bird in the Sisters Country that can bring smiles one moment and frowns the next, it is our big and bold Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus). The photo above shows a male enjoying a repast of suet cake they enjoy in winter—and if you continue to provide this favorite flicker food—in summer as well, and the whole family will be there free-loadin'.
Where are you when we need you, Bob Barker?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently issued a report that kitchen gardens and community gardens may be open to a cat-borne disease that can be devastating, especially to children. To wit: "Toxoplasmosis, caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, is one of the most common parasitic infections of man and other warm-blooded animals.
Out of the tree and in the ground
All our small owls—screech, saw-whet, pygmy, flammulated, and boreal—nest in tree cavities, created by woodpeckers, broken limbs or just plain old age. Then there's the little burrowing owl, also a "cavity nester," but the cavity is a hole in the ground.