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  • Critter watch: It’s better to leave wildlife babies alone

    A wildlife population explosion takes place around this time every year and anyone can stumble onto a baby critter virtually anywhere outside. “Wild bird and mammal species typically produce young …


  • Ghost-like moose proof that ticks suck

    The graying look of moose you might see in the field this spring isn’t the result of old age. It’s likely the work of blood-sucking ticks.


  • Birds soon to be looking for cavity nesting sites

    The past week of snow and frigid weather has been but a minor setback. Bird migrations will be getting into full swing through the Inland Northwest this month as sure …


  • Weather could cause nesting delays

    A resident of Silver Lake emailed a concern this month that he’d seen no nesting red-necked grebes around the lake. He wondered if motor boat traffic was foiling the waterfowl’s …


  • Late springs prove fatal for swans

    We’d like to think we live in a relatively pristine area without need for environmental regulations or Superfund help. But 150 or so tundra swans a year tell us something …


  • High-tech birders may be foes of feathered friends

    Growing use of smartphone applications, field access to the Internet and recordings to flush out bird species for better viewing and photography could be impacting the survival of some birds. …


  • Rescuer’s act of kindness expands to save barn owls

    On any given day in the spring, a shed surrounded by rolling vineyards on the fringe of Kennewick holds about 20 young barn owls. They’re confined until they grow big …


  • Tsunami one more disaster for albatross

    The albatross has had more ups and downs with Japan’s seismic events than the courtship flight of a snipe. While the world focuses on Japan’s March 11 earthquake disaster, a …


  • Owls have a hoot making winter babies

    Several of the 11 owl species that inhabit most parts of Idaho and the region are already well into their courtship and production of a new generation, according to Jim …


  • Some male critters feeling light-headed

    It’s the shedding season for the area’s deer, elk and moose. Even the biggest bucks and bulls have been getting rid of their head-gear and looking a lot like the …


  • Bird watchers ask, field guides deliver

    Kris Buchler, who was teaching a beginner bird-watching class for Coeur d’Alene Audubon this spring, was tentative when a novice asked her, “What’s the best field guide to birds?” “Everybody …


  • Pole spared for birds

    Heavy equipment operators could sometimes be accused of being on a power trip when they’re maintaining the huge transmission lines that traverse wildlife habitat in this region. But neighbors say …


  • Digging for key to burrowing owl decline

    Experts from across the U.S. attending the burrowing owl symposium last month in Umatilla, Ore., may have outnumbered the species’ dwindling population in the Mid-Columbia. Thirty-five wildlife specialists concerned about …


  • Biologists raise owls by the barrel

    Artificial burrows might help turn the tide on declining burrowing owl numbers in Washington Volunteers are helping state and federal biologists encourage more of the owls to nest by expanding …


  • Leggy killdeer somehow survive in high-traffic areas

    In a natural area, killdeer lay their eggs in a slight depression of gravel, perhaps near a stream. But these prairie-loving shorebirds are remarkably adaptable to rearing young among the …


  • Eagles fall in love, flirt with disaster

    The term “falling in love” is especially appropriate for breeding bald eagles. Although most pairs in this region are nesting by now, their passions were revved up during late winter …


  • Albino skunk stirs memories

    The 1953 archive photo of a white skunk published with a Critter Watch column on March 14 hit home with local reader Priscilla Brash Martin. “What a surprise to see …


  • Wildlife lovers use ears, eyes

    The first wildlife signs of spring aren’t just sights for winter-sore eyes. They’re comforting to the ears, too. Tina Wynecoop, who lives just north of Spokane, has been reveling in …


  • Swans, herons flock to region

    Migrating tundra swans are flocking by the thousands to the Colville and Pend Oreille River valleys.


  • Winter wildlife in a family way

    January and February might seem to put a chill on love in the great outdoors, but winter clearly arouses interest among some critters. Great horned owls have been having a …


  • Swan brings brood back to Turnbull, quelling fears he was killed

    As he has for possibly more than four decades, the trumpeter swan nicknamed Solo returned Monday to the year’s first big patch of ice-free water at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. …


  • Bald eagle congregation peaking at Lake CdA

    Wolf Lodge Bay is alive with bald eagles that have migrated to the northeast corner of Lake Coeur d’Alene to feed on spawned-out and dying kokanee. U.S. Bureau of Land …


  • Birds make swift entrance into chimney

    Terry Gray spends several late-summer evenings each week fixated on a chimney in downtown Moscow, Idaho. As dusk approaches, he keeps his eyes cast skyward for swirling masses of Vaux’s …


  • Trust the real experts in wolf debate

    Wolves are running a spectrum of emotions in the thoughts of people across the nation this week. Certainly it’s news to ask a hunter why he wants to kill a …


  • Cameras track rebounding species

    Washington’s wild areas are becoming more diverse and interesting as several furbearing species – wolverine, fisher and sea otter – slowly recover some of their former range. Here are three …


  • Learning to live with wildlife provides food for thought

    Learning to live with wildlife starts with two basic lessons: •Give them space.


  • Spring in the air, and in your hair

    Birds, bears, buttercups and ticks – our region’s perennial signs of spring are out and about, along with a lot of people recovering from cabin fever. While fly fishers are …


  • Moose on loose can be dangerous

    It was a cheerless moment we eventually must expect here in the Near Nature, Near Perfect Spokane River valley. A moose was accidentally killed Tuesday afternoon as state wildlife officials …


  • Bird counters unite online

    Your home’s picture window is a front-row seat for The Great Backyard Bird Count, which starts Friday and runs through Monday. The 12th annual event, organized by the Cornell Lab …


  • Bulls, bucks shed macho image

    Moose, elk and deer males are feeling a little light-headed these days. The bucks and bulls are shedding their antlers to make room for new and maybe larger racks by …

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