Wildlife – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 22 May 2018 16:14:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 VIDEO: Little lost otters make it up to Hiawatha before their rescue http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/video-little-lost-otters-make-it-up-to-hiawatha-before-their-rescue/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/video-little-lost-otters-make-it-up-to-hiawatha-before-their-rescue/#comments Sat, 19 May 2018 03:43:22 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=917066

Remember the river otters we mentioned last night – including a pair seen making their way up Fairmount Ravine? They apparently kept going, and by morning were spotted by startled neighbors on the east side of Hiawatha Community Center. First we heard from Jennifer – then, Andrea sent the photos, video, and report:

Found these pair of cuties hanging out on Forest Ave SW by Hiawatha Playfield this morning – must have strayed too far from Mom in their adventures up from the water. Animal Control came to get them and bring them to the wildlife center in Lynnwood to be properly relocated. Thanks to all the neighbors who helped divert traffic while these little guys decided to camp out in the road!

We confirmed with Seattle Animal Shelter executive director Ann Graves that SAS Officer Cantu picked up the otters and took them to PAWS – we have an inquiry out to them as to what happens next, but probably won’t hear back until Monday.

SAS doesn’t always step into wildlife situations; Graves explains that “we do not handle ‘nuisance’ wildlife but we do respond to calls which are considered ‘rescue/assist’ situations.”

SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Laura Follis from PAWS responded to our inquiry with some early info, and we’ll be pursuing more Monday. She says the otters are a female and a male, “approximately 10 to 12 weeks old. They have no obvious injuries but both are very thin so obviously orphaned. They are eating fish on their own. The male had nasal discharge that is suspicious of pneumonia and they are very susceptible to it so is going to be on a course of antibiotics. They love their pool.”

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WILDLIFE WATCH: River otters roaming uphill http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/wildlife-watch-river-otters-roaming-uphill/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/wildlife-watch-river-otters-roaming-uphill/#comments Fri, 18 May 2018 02:52:02 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916996

THURSDAY NIGHT: With three reader reports of river otters far uphill from the water’s edge in West Seattle, it’s time to share the alert! The photo above is from Jonathan, who spotted those two in Fairmount Ravine, near the bridge. His report came in about the same time as a note from Luke, who was bicycling in the ravine when he saw what we assume were the same two, “scurrying along the side of the road.” And last night, Emily reported seeing one “crossing the road on SW Jacobsen Road between 51st Ave SW and Beach Drive SW.” If you’re new – river otters are the ones you’ll see in Puget Sound, not “sea otters,” which are more common in the open ocean. Be especially careful on near-shore roads this time of year – some have been hit by drivers as they cross, often headed to/from an inland den. This state Fish and Wildlife Department info-sheet has more about river otters.

FRIDAY MORNING, 10:27 AM: According to a note from Jennifer, they’re even further inland now, up along Walnut.

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COYOTE REPORT: ‘Pack of pups’ southwest of The Junction http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/coyote-report-pack-of-pups-southwest-of-the-junction/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/coyote-report-pack-of-pups-southwest-of-the-junction/#comments Tue, 15 May 2018 01:25:16 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916719 For the first time in a long time, today we received a reader report about a coyote sighting:

Last night: a pack of coyote pups heard and spotted at 46th and Edmunds in West Seattle at 1:25 am. About eight of them, running wildly around houses looking for food.

Over the years, we’ve published coyote reports when we received them, to help people remain aware that we and these wild neighbors are co-existing. If you don’t know much about coyotes, or what to do if you see one or more, this state webpage can help.

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SUMMER CAMP: Seattle Audubon camps in West Seattle still have room http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/summer-camp-seattle-audubon-camps-in-west-seattle-still-have-room/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/summer-camp-seattle-audubon-camps-in-west-seattle-still-have-room/#respond Mon, 14 May 2018 01:07:11 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916644 Still looking for summer camp? Seattle Audubon says it still has room in camps it’s offering this summer in West Seattle:

Nature Camp is for children entering grades 1-9, and all children in this age range are welcome. Our camp will be based at Explorer West Middle School, with two off-site field trips each week. Though there is a fee to attend, we have a generous scholarship fund so that all children may have a summer camp experience.

Nature Camp emphasizes experiential outdoor activities that instill an appreciation of nature for children and teens. Each week is a different theme, from Tide Pool Treasures (grades 1-3) to Habitat Restoration Rangers (grades 4-6) to Young Birders for middle schoolers. Sessions range from $210-$295 and includes two off-site field trips each week. Regular camp hours are 9 am-3:30 pm, with morning and afternoon extended care available.

The sessions are in July and August. You can register at seattleaudubon.org/sas/naturecamp.

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YOU CAN HELP! Seal Sitters training volunteers as pupping season begins http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/you-can-help-seal-sitters-training-volunteers-as-pupping-season-begins/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/you-can-help-seal-sitters-training-volunteers-as-pupping-season-begins/#respond Fri, 11 May 2018 04:10:36 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916322

Seal-pup season is starting, and Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network is recruiting – and training – volunteers. From Robin Lindsey:

There are still spaces left for Seal Sitters Volunteer Training, Saturday, June 9th, from 10 am-12:30 pm (see details here). Doors open at 9:30. Due to limited seating, RSVP is required at the website link to ensure a seat.

Seal Sitters is always in need of dedicated volunteers to keep marine mammals safe and educate the public. We do encourage children (must be accompanied by adult) to join Seal Sitters and become environmental stewards at a young age. It is empowering for those of all ages to be able to protect marine life and truly make a difference.

Harbor seal pupping season is getting underway in Washington. There are numerous pregnant seals in Central and Puget Sound. Harbor seals are generally born in our area from late June thru early September; however, there has already been a premature birth, so we can expect pups soon. We have had newborn pups in West Seattle as early as June 9th. If you are heading to the outer coast of Washington now and over the next couple of months, you might very well encounter a newborn pup. Always stay back to avoid abandonment and contact the area stranding network (for maps, go here).

To learn in-depth about harbor seal pups and to view a pupping season map, go here.

Here in West Seattle, we never know what kind of activity each season will bring. Wildlife is predictably unpredictable! That’s why Seal Sitters needs predictably reliable volunteers – since each day can bring new challenges, anything from keeping a resting seal pup safe from harm to responding to a stranded whale.

As always, if you see a seal – or other marine mammal – on a West Seattle beach or in trouble offshore, please call Seal Sitters hotline @ 206-905-SEAL (7325). Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network is a partner in NOAA’s West Coast MMSN and responds to reports of ALL marine mammals, dead or alive.

To learn more about Seal Sitters, marine mammals and the work of NOAA’s MMSN, please visit our website and blog for “what’s happening on the beach.”

Robin adds that her photo above is “of weaned seal ‘Uno,’ who spent many days onshore in January and February resting near the water taxi.”

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VIDEO: Duck family crosses busy West Seattle street with help from Samaritans, Seattle Police http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/video-duck-family-crosses-busy-west-seattle-street-with-help-from-samaritans-seattle-police/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/video-duck-family-crosses-busy-west-seattle-street-with-help-from-samaritans-seattle-police/#comments Sun, 06 May 2018 22:50:42 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915861

ORIGINAL REPORT: It’s still duck-crossing season! Thanks to Marcee Stone-Vekich for sharing her photo/video of this scene that stopped traffic for a bit on Saturday near the east end of Roxbury.

Here’s some interesting backstory on crossings like this one.

ADDED MONDAY: Commenter Alki Resident identified the ducks’ escort as Chris Greer, who has made news in another wildlife-related situation, as he and his wife fight to get back a raccoon they had rescued and long kept as a member of their family. Today another commenter, Katelyn, pointed out that the ruling in the Greers’ case had finally come down last week; it went against them but their lawyer says they’ll appeal.

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WEST SEATTLE WHALES: Orcas visible right now http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattle-whales-orcas-visible-right-now/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattle-whales-orcas-visible-right-now/#comments Fri, 04 May 2018 21:03:58 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915668 2:03 PM: Thanks for the tip! Orcas are in the area this afternoon – just got a report that at least three are visible southbound between Blake and Vashon Island. As always, if you’re going to go look, take binoculars. And let us know if/when you see them!

3:00 PM: Kersti Muul just texted to say they’re visible south of the Vashon ferry dock, on the Vashon side.

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West Seattle scene: Sunbathing with a friend http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattle-scene-sunbathing-with-a-friend/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattle-scene-sunbathing-with-a-friend/#comments Fri, 04 May 2018 01:01:07 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915620

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photos, which were too sweet to put on hold until, say, tomorrow morning’s highlights. Notice in the top photo that Harbor Seal #1 is just hanging out at low tide off Constellation Park, with somebody peeking from the water to the left … and then deciding to get out and join the basking.

Flagging us to the same scene via Twitter, @1fox2fox noted, “As always, please be respectful to these sentinels of the Sound qnd give them space.” And if they come ashore, give Seal Sitters a call … 206-905-SEAL. P.S. Low-low tides are coming up later this month – lower than -2 feet for four afternoons starting Wednesday, May 16th.

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SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Whale off Alki http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/seen-off-west-seattle-whale-off-alki/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/seen-off-west-seattle-whale-off-alki/#comments Tue, 01 May 2018 23:42:20 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915455 4:42 PM: Thanks to the texter who reports seeing a lone whale – bigger than an orca, they believe – headed west along Alki, off Anchor/Luna Park a little while ago. We’re not seeing any other reports of what’s in the area, but earlier this week heard about at least one lone dolphin/porpoise sighting. So let us know if you see it too! (And if you’re an orca fan… remember The Whale Trail‘s Orca Talk in just a few hours – details in our preview.)

5:48 PM: More sightings reported in comments – but no confirmed ID yet.

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Salmon-release season begins! 2018’s first student visit at Fauntleroy Creek http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/salmon-release-season-begins-2018s-first-student-visit-at-fauntleroy-creek/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/salmon-release-season-begins-2018s-first-student-visit-at-fauntleroy-creek/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2018 18:44:13 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915027

The weather could not have been more perfect for the start of salmon-release season at Fauntleroy Creek this morning. Fifth-graders from Alki Elementary became the first students this year to visit the creek to release fry they’ve been raising.

Once the fry were in the creek, it was time to watch and wait. That involved polarized sunglasses to help with potential sightings.

Fauntleroy Watershed volunteers will be helping students with their releases for the next month-plus. This all traces back to January, when more than a dozen schools received salmon-egg deliveries as part of the Salmon in the Schools program. Then in fall, volunteers watch the creek for returning coho; they counted four last fall.

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Saving the Southern Resident Killer Whales: Research update at The Whale Trail’s first Orca Talk of the year http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/saving-the-southern-resident-killer-whales-research-update-at-the-whale-trails-first-orca-talk-of-the-year/ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:30:32 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915012 (Photo courtesy NOAA Fisheries)

You’re invited to The Whale Trail‘s first Orca Talk of the year, 7 pm next Tuesday (May 1st) at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). The announcement:

“Current Research to Support Recovery Actions for Southern Resident Killer Whales”
Presentation by Brad Hanson, Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Tuesday, May 1, 7:00 – 8:30 (doors open at 6:30)

Cost: $5 suggested donation; kids free
Advance tickets: brownpapertickets.com

With just 76 orcas in J, K and L pods, the Southern Resident Killer Whale population is nearing its all time low of 71 individuals. Is the population still viable – can they be saved? What have we learned over the past year that will help these orcas recover, and what are the most pressing questions still to be addressed?

Join us to hear the latest findings and future research directions, presented by Dr. Brad Hanson, NWFSC lead killer whale researcher. Buy tickets now to reserve your seat. And hurry – this will likely sell out. This is the first in the 2018 Orca Talk series hosted by The Whale Trail in West Seattle. Thanks to Nucor Steel for sponsoring this Orca Talk!

About the Speaker

Brad Hanson joined the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in April of 2003. Previously, Brad worked as a Wildlife Biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, WA. Brad received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington where he worked on the development of improved tag attachment systems for small cetaceans. He also holds an M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Zoology also from the University of Washington. Brad is an ecologist and is currently studying foraging and habitat use of Southern Resident killer whales and health assessment of harbor and Dall’s porpoises.

About The Whale Trail

The Whale Trail is a series of sites where the public may view orcas and other marine mammals from shore. Our mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment. Through our current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, we reach more than 50 million people each year. The Whale Trail is currently adding new sites along the North American west coast, from California to British Columbia.

The Whale Trail is led by a core team of partners including NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Seattle Aquarium, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, the Whale Museum. Donna Sandstrom is the Founder and Executive Director. The Whale Trail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, registered in Washington State. Join us!

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UPDATE: Morgan Junction duck-family sighting (and it’s Seattle Wildlife Week!) http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/morgan-junction-duck-family-sighting-what-to-do/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/morgan-junction-duck-family-sighting-what-to-do/#comments Mon, 16 Apr 2018 18:58:46 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914088

11:58 AM: These ducks seem to be taking Urban Wildlife Week very seriously. The photo is from Cindi Barker, who is worried about their safety but hasn’t gotten any help/ideas so far – she has tried Seattle Animal Shelter and SPD’s non-emergency line. They are currently in the area behind O’Neill Plumbing (WSB sponsor) on California north of Fauntleroy.

12:13 PM: Update from Cindi: “They got away from me under fences . Last seen northbound 6000 block 42nd and possibly along alley. Godspeed!” So – beware of ducks.

P.S. It really is Urban Wildlife Week (here, Seattle Wildlife Week).

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West Seattle whale-watching: Orcas in Elliott Bay http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-in-elliott-bay/ Mon, 09 Apr 2018 21:43:04 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=913537 Thanks to Kersti Muul for the tip – the transient killer whales that have been in the area today took a turn into Elliott Bay! And, she says, a TV helicopter is over them right now. Let us know if you see them!

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FOLLOWUP: Early response to Fauntleroy Creek Stewardship Fund ‘encouraging’ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/followup-early-response-to-fauntleroy-creek-stewardship-fund-encouraging/ Mon, 19 Mar 2018 23:48:23 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=911797

Our area’s precious green spaces can’t be taken for granted. In realization of that, the Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund was announced earlier this month, and we have an update from creek steward Judy Pickens:

The fund to enable ongoing stewardship of Fauntleroy Creek and Fauntleroy Park now has $3,600 toward its initial goal of $30,000.

The Fauntleroy Watershed Council announced the fund on March 1 in the wake of ever-decreasing grant funding for restoring and maintaining Seattle’s natural areas. EarthCorps, an international conservation training program, is accepting tax-deductible donations on behalf of the council and its trainees will do the lion’s share of the work that’s funded.

“This early response is greatly encouraging,” said Peggy Cummings, a member of the council’s executive committee. “Our main concern is being able to maintain restoration already done at public expense so those investments aren’t lost.”

Ensuring that the creek is safe for students is a particular focus for donations. Volunteers will be hosting 19 salmon releases starting April 27, which will bring an estimated 750 students to the watershed.

Find out more about the fund at the council’s table at Tuesday night’s Fauntleroy Food Fest, 6 pm in the Hall at Fauntleroy, or at www.fauntleroywatershed.org.

The FFF is the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual membership meeting – community members are invited to enjoy tastings from local restaurants, to find out more about what’s going on in the community – with a multitude of groups (like the Watershed Council) and agencies participating – and to renew FCA membership. (The Hall is at 9131 California SW.)

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YOU CAN HELP! Give some time to West Seattle kids exploring urban nature http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/you-can-help-give-some-time-to-west-seattle-kids-exploring-urban-nature/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/you-can-help-give-some-time-to-west-seattle-kids-exploring-urban-nature/#comments Tue, 13 Mar 2018 03:20:44 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=911186 (Photo courtesy Seattle Audubon)

Lots of nature fans in WSB-land. If you’re among them, this volunteer opportunity from Seattle Audubon just might be something you would enjoy:

Help Sanislo and Lafayette students have FUN!

Finding Urban Nature (FUN) is Seattle Audubon’s free environmental education program in Seattle Public Elementary Schools. The program needs volunteers at Sanislo and Lafayette Elementary Schools for lessons in April and May.

FUN introduces 3rd and 4th grade students to the nature in their own schoolyard habitat, and examines how each organism depends on others to survive. Volunteers lead small groups of four to six students through a series of outdoor investigations, which teach kids to use their senses and scientific practices to discover the importance of urban biodiversity firsthand.

Volunteers devote about two hours a week for four weeks to lead 4-6 students through each lesson, with the support of the school’s FUN Team Leader and classroom teachers. No previous teaching or science background is necessary. Training is provided and a background check is required.

FUN trainings are held at the end of March and in early April. Contact Wendy at FUNvolunteer@seattleaudubon.org or call 206-523-8243 ext. 110 if interested.

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