Outdoors

Spring gets slow start for birders near Little Pend Oreille Wildlife Refuge

The tiny, northern pygmy owl is a fierce hunter capable of killing birds larger than itself. Like other owls in this region, they mate during winter so their offspring have time to grow and learn to hunt when prey is abundant. (File)
The tiny, northern pygmy owl is a fierce hunter capable of killing birds larger than itself. Like other owls in this region, they mate during winter so their offspring have time to grow and learn to hunt when prey is abundant. (File)

WILDLIFE WATCHING — As spring returns to northeastern Washington, Mike Munts, wildlife biologist at the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge has resumed his periodic updates on refuge wildlife watching.

“It has been a bit of slow start,” he reported Sunday. T”he lakes and ponds are just starting to break up but the river has mostly thawed and Hatch Lake on the drive out from Colville is opening up so it should not be too much longer here.

“Temperatures have in the 50s the last couple of days and birds are starting to trickle in.”

One notable species seen this weekend is a white-winged crossbill.

Click continued ready for Munts' list of birds seen on the refuge in the past two weeks:

Canada Goose

Mallard

Ring-necked Duck

Barrow’s Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Hooded Merganser

California Quail

Wild Turkey

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk

Mourning Dove

Northern Pygmy-owl

Belted Kingfisher

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

White-headed Woodpecker

Black-backed Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Say’s Phoebe

Northern Shrike

Gray Jay

Steller’s Jay

Clark’s Nutcracker

Black-billed Magpie

American Crow

Common Raven

Mountain Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Pygmy Nuthatch

Pacific Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Western Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

American Robin

Varied Thrush

European Starling

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Red-winged Blackbird

House Finch

Red Crossbill

White-winged Crossbill




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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