[Tweeters] West Seattle Wildlife Habitat Enhancement...

WR5J black at nwfirst.com
Sun Mar 29 20:51:09 PDT 2015


I just came in from 60 minutes in my "backyard" listening to the relentless
territorial song of a single White Crowned Sparrow.

Territorial song from Zonotrichia Lucophrys pugetensis probably seems
remarkably unremarkable to most of you.

However, I've spent a dozen years working on my "urban habitat" to create
something suitable.

Seemingly unsuccessfully for many of my avian friends...

How hard can this be? I think some of us think of "Zonos" as being

The hummingbird feeders were accepted immediately. House Finch were among
early adopters of cracked sunflower seed.

After 5 years of hanging tube feeders with thistle seed, I finally developed
a snarling mass of American Goldfinch at the tube feeder. Thirty - even
forty at a time. That was awesome!

While the plants themselves have done the heavy lifting, I now have vine
tangles of native honeysuckle and Mock Orange.

I'm the "house" that sponsors the "Neighborhood Night Out" every year in my
neighborhood where we talk about community safety, neighborhood watch,
emergency preparedness, amateur radio for emergency communication and
habitat enhancement for wildlife, including bats. I've worked to create a
corridor with all our backyards between the greenbelt to the east and north
of us with some of the major parks of West Seattle to the East and South.
Neighbors usually enjoy a tour my backyard during the evening...

There is a great deal of water in my backyard. Those of you who have
visited during various habitat enhancement workshops have commented... Many
of my "consulting friends" said you cannot possibly put that much water in
one yard. Yeah, OK, I know. There is a bog, there is marginal habitat,
there is open water. There is no lawn. Yet, there is no harm - no
neighborhood children have ended themselves here. Most have been fascinated
with feeding the goldfish - my enthusiastic living insectivores. One of my
earliest memories of interacting with other life forms is feeding the
goldfish in a park in Tacoma. I'm OK with it. There are also several bat
houses if you look up high enough.

Anyway, for the last 3 years I've watched White Crowned Sparrows in the
brush and at my seed feeder and, really, everywhere in the backyard.

Every spring, they were completely silent. I really could not believe I did
not have suitable habitat.

What? Do you just eat here, but never sing?

Last year, I heard a few whispered calls. A few snippets of sotto voce
song, but nothing full throated and heartfelt.

Until this evening.

It is hard to imagine that it is a three year process to occupy a new
suitable habitat.

So, I am very happy to report acquisition of Zonos. I think I've been

Even in the depths of suburban West Seattle, you can attract extremely
common birds.

If you are patient.

I could not be happier

Warmest regards from suburban West Seattle

Curt Black
Tweeters Lurker and amateur radio and bat guy
Yep, with Bats Northwest
wr5j at arrl.net

PS - very cool little owls use the space and medium sized Sharpies now
clean their prey in my tiny stream - very fine by me...


From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jeff Gibson
Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2015 8:10 PM
To: tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] My Formative Years

I've long been a bit amused by that notion of "your formative years", which,
in typical usage, seems to imply that there is a certain window (seemingly
narrow) in which the rest of your life has now successfuly been implanted,
and you just do your remaining time - kind of like a prison term. Really?

Well, while carrying plenty of past-time personal baggage, I still find
myself being impressed, or formed if you will, by life, by nature. It just
happened again a few minutes ago, and I've been around almost 60 years.

It's been an unusual night here; my elderly children ( aka parents) both
went to bed early, leaving me alone in the dark. And that was a good thing,
because I got to see a moonrise a bit brighter than any I remember.

We live in such an atmospheric place here in wet side Washington. Depending
on the cloud conditions, the mountains appear to shrink, or grow. They move
closer, or further away, or so it seems - just tricks performed by Mother
Nature's lighting department - clouds change perspective of the scene.

Clouds can also focus the light of the Sun and Moon in various tricksy ways,
and tonights moonrise sure was visual proof of that. The moon came up sort
of orangish, through the low clouds, and something in the atmosphere
brightened the light effect of the moon's reflection on the waters of Port
Townsend - it seemed bright as a sunrise almost. It was really remarkable.

Hey, maybe I'm just getting contact dementia from my parents, and I can't
remember moonrises real good anymore, but even so, I don't feel my formative
years are quite over yet. Hey maybe I'll learn something new tomorrow - like
the ID of a funny little plant I found on the Point Wilson dunes today - a
new acquaintance.

Jeff Gibson
slow learner, in
Port Townsend Wa


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