West Seattle Blog... » Wildlife http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sun, 26 Apr 2015 18:44:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 The Whale Trail’s next ‘Orca Talk’ is something you otter know… http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/the-whale-trails-next-orca-talk-is-something-you-otter-know/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/the-whale-trails-next-orca-talk-is-something-you-otter-know/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 18:29:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307737

(WSB photo, July 2012)
The Whale Trail‘s next “Orca Talk” in West Seattle is NOT about orcas – it’s about the “Natural History of River Otters and Sea Otters,” a topic that has again stirred much curiosity because of the sightings of Puget Sound-frequenting river otters (like “Otto“!), especially along Alki. Find out about the differences between the two and a whole lot more – where do they live, what do they eat, what’s their population situation, what role do we play in their environment? – when TWT hosts Leo Shaw at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) on April 30th, one week from Thursday. Doors open 6:15 pm, presentation at 7 pm, space is limited so it’s a great idea to get your ticket(s) ASAP – kids are free, by the way – just go here.

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VIDEO: Orcas in the area again, caught on video by Vashon Island http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-orcas-in-the-area-again-caught-on-video-by-vashon-island/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-orcas-in-the-area-again-caught-on-video-by-vashon-island/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 23:30:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307507

Thanks to Lindsay for sharing the video – without much notice, two killer whales headed south along Vashon Island shores earlier today, around 1 pm. She says the sighting was a surprise, while she was giving a tour of the area to two friends visiting from Colorado. Also, a texter told us of a sighting near Brown’s Point in Tacoma, so if you’re by the water, keep watch – they’ll have to come back this way sooner or later.

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West Seattle wildlife: It’s ‘watch out for goslings’ season http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-wildlife-its-watch-out-for-goslings-season/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-wildlife-its-watch-out-for-goslings-season/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 18:42:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307466

Headed for the water? The baby Canada Goose photo and reminder are from David Hutchinson:

Three goslings were hatched recently on the pilings north of Salty’s. A couple years ago, their father was taken to PAWS by Seal Sitters. He had been attacked by a dog and suffered a severe bite while trying to protect his goslings near the Don Armeni boat ramp.

It would be thoughtful if you come across them while walking your dog (which is hopefully on a leash) to keep at a distance. If approached, they will panic and try to scramble over the rocks to escape to the water. Often, the small goslings will fall into the crevices and become trapped. People have been pretty considerate in the past while driving on Harbor Ave by stopping and allowing them to cross the road – the grass is always greener on the other side.

This is the eighth year David has shared at least one gosling photo via WSB. From the archives:

*2014
*First 2013 photo
*First 2012 photo
*First 2011 photo
*First 2010 photo
*First 2009 photo
*2008

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West Seattle Whale Watch: Return of the orcas! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-whale-watch-orcas-between-fauntleroy-and-vashon/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-whale-watch-orcas-between-fauntleroy-and-vashon/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:46:43 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307117 10:46 AM: According to a text tipster and the Orca Network Facebook page, you just might see orcas between Fauntleroy and Vashon right now – heading slowly southbound, according to observers, but at some point they might turn around, so this is your official heads-up that they’re in the area. Please comment if you see them! (And we ALWAYS appreciate texted tips about so many things – 206-293-6302, any time of the day/night.)

12:24 PM: We didn’t have any luck right around 11 from the Brace Point area – but two commenters have been watching more recently – thanks for the updates!

ADDED 7:44 AM: Some video from Wednesday, posted to YouTube and credited to Alisa Lemire Brooks/Orca Network, identifying these orcas as transients, not residents.

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West Seattle coyotes: Gatewood, Puget Ridge sightings http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-coyotes-gatewood-puget-ridge-sightings/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-coyotes-gatewood-puget-ridge-sightings/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 22:56:01 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307051

GATEWOOD REPORT #1: Mickey shared photos of coyote sightings this week in the Orchard Street Ravine (map) area, including the one above.

GATEWOOD REPORT #2: Not far from there, at 36th/Myrtle (map), Eugene reports: “3 pm today. Walking up Myrtle street in broad daylight. Maybe it’s not news anymore. But it looked like a chupacabra with fur so I thought I’d mention it.”

PUGET RIDGE: Forwarded from a neighborhood list, a sighting at midmorning today near 21st/Dawson (map).

REMINDER: The best thing you can do if/when you see a coyote is, scare it away – “hazing,” as wildlife advocates put it, explained here. (WSB coyote coverage is archived here.)

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Congratulations! Emmy nominations for sea-star photography by ‘Diver Laura’ James http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/congratulations-emmy-nominations-for-sea-star-photography-by-diver-laura-james/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/congratulations-emmy-nominations-for-sea-star-photography-by-diver-laura-james/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 04:57:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306920

Congratulations to frequent WSB contributor “Diver Laura” James and her colleagues on that 2014 KCTS report about the sea-star die-off – they’ve been nominated for the Pacific Northwest Emmy Awards. That’s one of two nominations for Laura – her underwater photography of the sea-star situation also is part of another Emmy-nominated KCTS report, “Is Alaska Safe for Starfish?” Last year, she won one for another public-TV project, about sea otters and climate change. The full list of this year’s regional Emmy Award nominations is here; the winners will be announced in June.

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West Seattle wildlife: Bobcat sighting reported http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-wildlife-bobcat-sighting-reported/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-wildlife-bobcat-sighting-reported/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 00:47:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305868 Just received this from Tarah. It’s the second time in the past month or so we’ve heard about a possible bobcat – anyone else?

Hey, just wanted people to have a heads-up…I saw a bobcat in the parking lot of
Youngstown (Cultural Arts) center on Delridge. It ran off into the woods neighboring the lot. Just want people in that area to be forewarned so they can keep their animals safe.

The other possible sighting mentioned to us was three weeks ago, early morning, 59th/Alki. Here’s what the state Fish and Wildlife Department says about bobcats.

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West Seattle wildlife: Sisters rescue injured owl http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/west-seattle-wildlife-sisters-rescue-injured-owl/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/west-seattle-wildlife-sisters-rescue-injured-owl/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:32:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305711

2:32 PM: The photo and story are from Pete:

My daughters, Sadie and Madeline, found an injured owl under a bush. (They thought it was fake because it didn’t move.) We called animal control and they sent an officer to pick it up and take it to the hospital.

You can see from the picture that it is very small – about the size of a hand. But the agent told us the owl is a full-grown adult “Burrow Owl.”

The owl went to PAWS wildlife rehabilitation in Lynnwood, and the agent stated it looked like it will fully recover.

We don’t know exactly where in West Seattle the owl was found, and Pete hasn’t replied to our followup yet, but we did look up some information you might find useful – the PAWS infosheet on what to do if you find an injured bird – see it here. We’re also checking on the type of owl, as online info says “burrowing owls” are only found east of the mountains in our state.

6:43 PM: Pete has replied and tells us his daughters found the owl near College Street Ravine (in Admiral). Meantime, commenters have identified it as a northern saw-whet owl.

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Puget Sound’s orcas welcome fourth calf in three months http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/puget-sounds-orcas-welcome-fourth-calf-in-three-months/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/puget-sounds-orcas-welcome-fourth-calf-in-three-months/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 18:39:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305686

(Photo by naturalist/researcher Jeanne Hyde, Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching)
Word started getting around last night that Puget Sound’s orcas, the Southern Resident Killer Whales, have another new baby – and researchers have confirmed that this is the fourth calf spotted in three months. Three of them, including this one, were born to J Pod. The first report came from the Pacific Whale Watch Association; one of its members, Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching, spotted the baby off Galiano Island, British Columbia, on Monday. This means the SRKWs – J Pod, K Pod, L Pod – are up to 81 orcas in the wild (and the 82nd, Tokitae/Lolita, in captivity in Florida). The newest baby is J52; it’s been exactly three months since J50 was spotted, followed by J51 in mid-February, and then the L Pod baby two weeks later.

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VIDEO: The Whale Trail’s first Orca Talk of 2015, with researcher Brad Hanson http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/video-the-whale-trails-first-orca-talk-of-2015-with-researcher-brad-hanson/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/video-the-whale-trails-first-orca-talk-of-2015-with-researcher-brad-hanson/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:34:57 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305359

The Whale Trail‘s first Orca Talk of 2015 drew a good-sized crowd to C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) on Thursday night – but in case you couldn’t be there to hear Brad Hanson from the NOAA Fisheries Science Center talk about the Southern Resident Killer Whales and his recent research trip – which included the discovery of the newest SRKW orca calf – we recorded it on video. Two parts – above (with TWT’s Donna Sandstrom introducing Hanson) and below.

Watch TWT’s website for word of the next event!

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West Seattle whale-watching: Orcas in the area http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-in-the-area/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-in-the-area/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:13:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305069 Thanks to Norman for the tip via Twitter, and we see the Orca Network Facebook commenters are discussing it too: Orcas turned up along the Bainbridge ferry route earlier this morning and have now been seen heading south along West Seattle (Me-Kwa-Mooks, says Norman) – let us know if you see them!

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Excited to hear about newest orca baby? The Whale Trail presents researcher who ‘found’ it, with tales from recent trip http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/excited-to-hear-about-newest-orca-baby-the-whale-trail-presents-researcher-who-found-it-with-tales-from-recent-trip/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/excited-to-hear-about-newest-orca-baby-the-whale-trail-presents-researcher-who-found-it-with-tales-from-recent-trip/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:12:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=303674

(Photo by Candice Emmons, NWFSC, NOAA Research Permit #16163)
That’s the newest calf found (as reported here two weeks ago) with Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales – L121 and mother L94, with NOAA research ship Bell M. Shimada in the background. The researcher who leads the NOAA program, Brad Hanson of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, is coming to West Seattle later this month to talk about what they saw while observing the whales and what it means for their recovery. It’s the first Orca Talk of 2015, presented by The Whale Trail at 7 pm March 26th at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). Here’s the official announcement, just received:

Researchers recently spent 21 days aboard the NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada, tracking endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKWs) off the coasts of Washington and Oregon. Good weather and ocean conditions allowed researchers exceptional access to the whales, including the first sighting of new calf L121, during their winter foraging period.

The winter survey addressed a high research priority to fill a major gap in our understanding of SRKWs life history—where these whales go during the winter, what they do, and what they eat.

Join us for this special presentation by Dr. Brad Hanson, NWFSC lead killer whale researcher. Be the first to hear what researchers observed, and how data collected on this cruise will help recover J, K and L pods.

This is the first in the 2015 series Orca Talks hosted by The Whale Trail in West Seattle. The event also features updates from Robin Lindsay (Seal Sitters), and “Diver Laura” James (tox-ick.org).

Buy tickets early to reserve your seat. And hurry! This will likely sell out.

More about the speaker and TWT ahead:

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 around the region 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. Our overarching goal is to ensure the southern resident orcas don’t go extinct.

Through our current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, we reach more than 30 million people each year. The Whale Trail is currently adding new sites along the west coast, from BC to California, throughout the southern resident orcas’ range.

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, and 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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Followup: One fewer Alki otter – but ‘Otto’ is doing okay http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/followup-one-fewer-alki-otter-but-otto-is-doing-okay/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/followup-one-fewer-alki-otter-but-otto-is-doing-okay/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:01:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=302259

Last weekend, we featured David Hutchinson‘s video of a river otter, now nicknamed “Otto,” who’s been in view lately on the Duwamish Head beaches. David – who is a Seal Sitters volunteer as well as an awesome photographer – says, “Quite a few passersby have stopped by for a look, and Otto is probably the most photographed wild river otter in Seattle.”

But there’s some sad news from the otter world, too. David and wife Eilene Hutchinson learned from a neighbor that an otter was “in the street near Salty’s. Eilene & I went down to take a look and found an otter dead in the southbound lane. On examination, this proved not to be Otto, who has a small growth on his left rear foot. We moved the otter off the roadway and contacted the city for removal.” He says it’s the second one they’ve seen in about two months, and so we’re reminding you again to watch for wildlife crossing along Harbor/Alki Avenues – river otters, for example, have inland dens, but go out into the bay to look for food, so they cross the road more often than you’d think. P.S. Thanks to David for also reminding us that you can learn more about river otters on the state Fish and Wildlife Department website.

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Another baby born to Puget Sound orcas: New L Pod arrival! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/another-baby-born-to-puget-sound-orcas-new-l-pod-arrival/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/another-baby-born-to-puget-sound-orcas-new-l-pod-arrival/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:00:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=302168

Announced this morning – the third calf born to Puget Sound’s resident orcas in the past two months! First came the two babies born to J Pod – we learned about J50 in late December, and then two weeks ago J51 was spotted; and today, NOAA Fisheries announces a baby seen with L Pod as its scientists tracked the whales off the seacoast. “The calf looked very energetic,” NOAA’s Brad Hanson reported.

While whale experts warn that mortality rates are high even in the best of times, this is nonetheless yet another sign of hope for the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. As noted when we covered one of The Whale Trail‘s orca talks here in West Seattle last fall, the resident pods previously hadn’t seen a birth in two years, and that calf did not survive.

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VIDEO: Why Seal Sitters filled in as Otter Sitters for a while http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/video-why-seal-sitters-filled-in-as-otter-sitters-for-a-while/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/video-why-seal-sitters-filled-in-as-otter-sitters-for-a-while/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 01:58:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=301709

Thanks to David Hutchinson for sharing the video of a river otter (yes, the otters you see here are RIVER otters, not sea otters, which stick to the open ocean). He explains:

The otter was responded to by Seal Sitters earlier this month at Duwamish Head. While not classified as a marine mammal, our theme is “Share the Shore,” so volunteers kept an eye on him while he was using the beach. Thought you might also want to take a look at him going through his normal grooming routine.

Drive carefully on Harbor and Alki Avenues, because river otters do cross the road, as we’ve noted here before – their “dens” are generally inland, but they go out into Puget Sound looking for food.

P.S. Speaking of Seal Sitters, if you’d like to volunteer with the group, sign up ASAP for the next training session – four weeks from tomorrow, March 22nd, but spots are limited and usually fill up in advance. All the info you need is here.

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