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Invasion of the Giant Bee Snatchers

Invasion of the Giant Bee Snatchers

Invading "murder wasp" spells trouble
The Xerces Society, one of the leading worldwide insect conservation organizations, put on a four-hour Bumble Bee Atlas webinar a couple of weeks back. Right in the middle of it, the presenter, Professor Rich Hatfield, paused in his recitation on bumblebees and placed the illustration at right of the Asian giant wasp on the screen, saying:

They're Baaaack!

The Pandora moth makes its annual appearance
When I rolled into Bend on my Harley in 1951, I didn't know a Pandora moth from a monarch butterfly. It wasn't until 1986 that they both entered my life, but the first to arrive was the moth; the monarchs came later when my wife, Sue, started monitoring the butterflies at Lava Beds National Monument south of Klamath Falls.

Boxing Up Owls

Give owls a place to live. Then band them for study
One of the things I enjoy about growing older is that I still have the get-up-and-go to join old friends who not only share what I love to do, but never miss the opportunity to do so. Like when Dick Tipton sent me an email about a saw-whet owl using one of his kestrel nesting boxes to raise a family.

Building a Nesting Box with Jim Anderson ▶ (with video)

Make one for pygmy owls. Make one for another bird. But in any case, spend some time with our resident naturalist Jim Anderson.
Around these parts, he's known to spin a yarn that wraps around the block. Now, Naturalist Jim Anderson and longtime Source Weekly contributor sits down with us to talk about one of his favorite subjects: Birds—and how to help care for them.

An Eagle Obituary

At Blue Mountain Wildlife, saving raptors is the name of the game
I have a friend, Lynn Tompkins, who, with her husband, Bob, operate a wildlife facility that does wildlife rehab work near Pendleton. At the moment she and her irreplaceable Volunteers (Capitalized because they are so faithful and hard-working), headed by Michele Canon, are currently handling over 30 orphaned barn owls that have come to her attention as hay-haulers removed the bales from the barns, where the birds were nesting.

Bats and COVID-19

The hypothesis that novel coronavirus stemmed from bats is not reason to mess with local species
The COVID-19 virus has come home to roost with concern for our native bats. As an Oregon wildlife researcher with duties that include banding birds and bats, I'm required to purchase an expensive permit from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to do my work.

Insect Apocalypse

The persistent problem in persistent pesticides
"Apocalypse" is a Greek word meaning revelation—an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known, and which could not be known, apart from the unveiling. "As a genre, apocalyptic literature details the authors' visions of the end times as revealed by an angel or other heavenly messenger," Wikipedia posits.

The Barred Owl is Here—to Stay!

The nemesis of the threatened spotted owl
First it was rumors: "The barred owls are coming, the barred owls are coming..." Next, it was the dire warnings that the barred owls were going to either chase all the Northern Spotted Owls out of the Northwest, or breed with them and bring forth a whole new sub-species called, "Sparred Owls."

Putting Porcupines on a Pedestal

A surprise pup, found at the High Desert Museum
In our part of the country, where trees were once thought of as a cash crop, porcupines were not thought of as heroes, or worthy of a pedestal. I can recall back in the '50s, when signs nailed to trees and poles all over the forest around Bend read, "Please Kill Porcupines!"

Homes for Birds and Bats

Don't let Central Oregon's housing shortage affect wildlife, too
OK, good people, now's the time! Head out to the nearest housing construction project, and if they're using plywood (not particle board), ask the builders to put leftovers aside.

Healing and Loving the Land

On efforts to preserve parts of Central Oregon for wildlife... and future generations
Several years ago, while conducting some fence lizard business at the Deschutes Land Trust's Metolius Preserve, I ran into Amanda Egertson, the land trust's stewardship director. She was conducting a restoration project on the preserve with a vigor I found remarkable—planting grass over and over and over, day after day.

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