Posts tagged: bird migrations
ENVIRONMENT – I received the following email from a reader this morning:
Last Sunday my wife and I were riding our bikes on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's between Rose Lake and Harrison. Along the way, we saw what appeared to be a significant number of dead swans. I probably know the answer, but is it the heavy metals in the area that are the cause of their demise?
The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is a paved rail trail over a corridor used for a century to transport the produce of mining prosperity and its toxic aftermath. One of the benefits of the conversion to a recreational trail is that it exposes more eyes to the issue of heavy metals pollution still lingering in the Silver Valley.
The saddest indicators are the carcasess of 150 or so tundra swans that die slow, agonizing deaths in our backyard during their migration stopover on the Lower Coeur d’Alene River.
It’s not a pretty sight, but your head's in the sand if you don’t see the carnage and the reasons for it.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — While bald eagles have move into the Lake Coeur d'Alene area for a winter feast of kokanee, the ospreys that put on a fishing show all summer long in the area left the area by early November and are migrating to warmer climates.
Last winter during a visit to Mexico, I observed dozens of osprey perched near a village on the Pacific Ocean side of Baja. Indeed, they find as much bounty in saltwater as they do in Inland Northwest waters.
The video above shows detailed and instructive footage of ospreys fishing, including the underwater sequence of an osprey taking a flounder.
Ospreys normally begin returning to the Inland Northwest in late March.
(“WA data are probably biased toward the west side of the state,” says INW birder Charles Swift.)
WHERE DO OSPREYS GO?
COEUR D'ALENE OSPREY IN CUBAAn osprey hatched along the lower Coeur d'Alene River is basking in the tropical warmth of Cuba this winter.The osprey is one of 20 hatchlings that were captured last summer in North Idaho so they could be introduced to South Dakota. Wayne Melquist, a North Idaho wildlife biologist and osprey expert, attached GPS devices to four of the 20 birds before they were put taken out of state as part of a migration research project.The birds were put in man-made nests, called hack boxes, and fed until they fledged on their own.“These birds didn't have any parents to tell them where to go for the winter, but that's true no matter what, since the parents naturally leave for the winter before their young do,” Melquist said.Of the four chicks with transmitters, one is in the New Oreleans area and one got to the coast and then made a beeline for Cuba. Melquist is not sure at this point whether the other two are alive.