West Seattle wildlife: 3 bird tales

crows1.jpgFirst an update on “Leucy,” the leucistic (light-colored) crow that died in the recordsetting Wednesday heat, after living for several years along the Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy border. Our neighbor Jane, who told us about the well-known crow’s death on Friday, posted an update today, saying that after freezing the crow’s remains, she turned them over to the local bird-expert author who had studied it before, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, who Jane said planned to take it for study at UW. (Added Monday morning: As Lyanda notes in the comment section, she has now written about “Leucy” at her website, The Tangled Nest.)

Speaking of crows:

Jodie shares that photo of a local bald eagle under siege by a crow while perched atop a tree nera 45th and Genesee, west side of The Junction – a scene we’ve probably all seen before, and yet always riveting. A different bird-in-tree scene is shared by Gary Jones – two ospreys squabbling over supremacy in an Alki Point tree:

Want to know more about our local birds and why they behave the way they do? Seattle Audubon‘s BirdWeb site is a great place to start.

15 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: 3 bird tales"

  • que August 3, 2009 (12:24 am)

    Oh my goodness, my daughter and I always got so excited when we got to see Leucy. She will be missed. It always seemed so special when we got to see her.

  • study August 3, 2009 (12:35 am)

    what kind of study? Any more specifics?

  • J Winter August 3, 2009 (6:41 am)

    I am not keen on the idea of OUR little crow being studied at the UW. She should have had a proper burial in her own neighborhood.Now every time I pass by the corner of Calif and Thistle I am going to think of our little crow lying on some slab at the U being picked apart !

  • Lyanda August 3, 2009 (9:20 am)

    Leucy/Brownie/Goldie/Malty–it seems everyone had their own name for this lovely bird, and her lively presence will truly be missed. I just posted about her on my blog, with a beautiful photo by my husband, Tom, taken just days before her death.
    She really was very unusual, and I think helped us all connect more deeply to the wildlife in our own neighborhood.

  • bikejuju August 3, 2009 (11:11 am)

    Based on a couple of requests, I have posted two photos of “Leucy” on Flickr.com under a Creative Commons license, meaning you are free to repost them, print them, etc – basically do anything you wish with them short of profiting from them.


  • aj August 3, 2009 (11:34 am)

    thanks so much bikejuju! great photos.

  • Deborah August 3, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Oh I loved this bird and would always say hi driving by, this makes me so sad she is gone.
    Such a beautiful color I had no idea how many other prople liked her too.

  • rnl August 3, 2009 (1:20 pm)

    I thought she had children? A Few weeks back My wife & I had seen her walking on thistle & she seemed smaller than we remembered? Could this be her offspring? It would be great to know, or if any new sightings are up, please share. I would hate to think this is the end of this lovely story we all are sharing.

  • WSB August 3, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    Yes – if you follow back to our original story, neighbor Jane left a comment elaborating on the babies.

  • Jeremy August 3, 2009 (5:11 pm)

    What a gift. Long live Leucy!

  • stillsad August 3, 2009 (9:52 pm)

    This has been a hard week missing her as I turn the corner on Thistle and California at least 3 times a day. I remember my walks with my daughter over the last year and half and seeing her often then too. I have her pic (w/the black crow) above on my computer screen saver now. I feel for the crows she left behind as I had heard crows mate for life and they must be missing her too. I hope I can identify her babies going forward. So sad…

  • grr August 3, 2009 (11:12 pm)

    Thanks, Neighbor. We’ve got some other photos of her as well and we’ll try to get them to you via your website (or just post them for everyone). We miss her (we called her ‘Cheryl’.). We loved watching her bring her new babies into our yard for bfst in the morning..They’d be on the wire yelling at us until one of us came out with a little plate of canned dog food (the GOOD stuff).

    Hopefully the rest of the family will be back soon. I miss hearing them.

  • grr August 3, 2009 (11:15 pm)

    and J…remember..it’s just a body…I’m glad she’s at the UW (just in case there’s some aviary disease going around). We all have our memories. Good enough :) Maybe we can make a little neighborhood sign or something :) Community birdbath? I’m up for suggestions.

  • J Winter August 5, 2009 (4:04 pm)

    I think that is a great idea. With as many people who loved her, there should be some kind of special plaque or birdbath so we can all think of her when we pass it.

  • grr August 9, 2009 (7:43 am)

    Babies are back!!!! Music to my ears. Having my morning coffee I heard a racket…only to look up and see Leucy’s youngsters back on the wire cawwing for bfst!!!! A quick little plate of canned dog food seemed to do the trick. I’ll try and snag a photo. One of them certainly has some of Leucy’s coloring on his/her back!!!

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