West Seattle wildlife watch: Lincoln Park owl; sick Admiral raccoon

That photo is courtesy Minette Layne – who saw the barred owl in Lincoln Park just after 4 o’clock this afternoon. They’re relatively common, according to online info from the Seattle Audubon Society. (If you’d like to look for owls with an expert, West Seattle naturalist Stewart Wechsler is leading an event at Me-Kwa-Mooks this Saturday, 5 pm, $1-$20 donation, RSVP at 206 932-7225 or ecostewart@quidnunc.net.)

A second wildlife note, from Mike in North Admiral:

Just wanted to let WSB readers know that Animal Control came to our house this morning to pick up an apparently sick raccoon. The raccoon spent the night in our dog’s kennel which we keep outside. This morning I discovered the raccoon and was able to close and latch the kennel. The raccoon was very lethargic and barely stirred when I approached.

The officer from Animal Control commented that every few years there is usually a widespread incident of the distemper virus that runs through and thins out the local raccoon population. The virus has two forms (canine distemper and feline distemper) both of which are deadly. This is a very contagious disease and unvaccinated dogs and cats are very susceptible to catching this. He suggested we discard the dog bed we keep in the kennel and spray down the kennel itself w/ a bleach/water compound to kill the virus.

So just a reminder to keep an eye on your pets and make sure their vaccinations are up to date.

That advice was also part of our coverage of the Living with Wildlife event at Camp Long last October (see the story here).

12 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife watch: Lincoln Park owl; sick Admiral raccoon"

  • DM January 27, 2009 (9:34 pm)

    Beautiful owl photo! Thanks Minette.

  • lenamegan January 27, 2009 (9:46 pm)

    This may seem nitpicky but Feline Distemper is not actually a distemper virus. It is a parvovirus called panleukopenia almost identical to parvo in dogs. For some reason the common name for panleukopenia has become feline distemper. Which is very misleading. They are two completely separate viruses in separate virus families with the same common name. Canine distemper is quite uncommon among dogs in this area. If your dog or cat has been vaccinated at least once they should be immune from each of these viruses (cats get FVRCP for panleuk, dogs get DHPP for canine distemper).

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man January 27, 2009 (10:14 pm)

    I had a similar raccoon encounter a few weeks ago when we had our last real night of snow. I also have an outside kennel, and when my lab would not enter his comfy doghouse as I left for work I suspected a rat might have taken up shop. Silly me.

    As I lifted the top of the doghouse a large raccoon snarled at me and I turned and ran out of the cyclone fence kennel (like a scared school girl if you must know), injuring myself as I ran into the gate latch at full speed. I ended up having to stay home icing a very painful bruise on my chest. Damn raccoon would not exit the dog house (complete with dog bed) until I all but tipped the house on its side. Later that day I tossed out the soiled bed (he’d urinated on it) and sprayed the whole doghouse down with diluted bleach. Dog is fine. Short term remedy is to keep the gate closed. Considering traps if i have any more problems.

  • AD January 27, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    Very cool owl! Thanks for the info about the owl event on Saturday.

  • Trick January 27, 2009 (10:24 pm)

    Yesterday I bagged a dead raccoon in my backyard. Same symptons, lethargic and eventually died. No apparent injuries.
    I called Animal Control and they told me to bag it twice if it was under 15 lbs. It was definitely 15 lbs and have it in my trash as I type.
    I have a family that climbs down my 100yr + Sequoia every night Hopefully I don’t have anymore, it wasn’t fun trying to determine if it was dead or lethargic.

  • krystal January 27, 2009 (11:17 pm)

    beautiful owl!

  • Sigh January 28, 2009 (12:41 am)

    Keep your cats indoors folks. They live 70% longer than outdoor cats.

  • pigeonmom January 28, 2009 (3:51 am)

    Helooooo owly wowly…………….
    think it’s time to go to bed, I’m gettin’ loopy

  • WW January 28, 2009 (8:12 am)

    How great to see the owl again! I always look, but haven’t seen it in a long time. I see that that they’ve done quite a bit of weeding and underbrush removal at Lincoln Park in the area near where I’ve seen the owl before. I’ve wondered if this might effect the owl as far as opening up the area and letting more light in his what’s normally his dark and hidden roosting spot?

  • Sarah January 28, 2009 (9:34 am)

    I saw one of the barred owls about two years ago at Camp Long while walking a trail; it was sitting completely still on the side of the trail as I rounded a bend, and initially I thought it was some kind of statue. Then it spread its wings and silently flew into a branch about 10′ off the ground and just watched me watch it :-) Haven’t seen one since.

  • WW January 28, 2009 (10:30 am)

    Too cool!

  • F3 January 28, 2009 (12:18 pm)

    Lena, Thank you for clarifying the difference between distemper, Panleuk, Parvo, ect.

    The vaccines that Lena mentions are very, very effective and once your cat/dog has had their vaccine two years in a row, they only need it every three years.

    Also…thank you for the Owl photo. Beautiful!

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