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Sunday, March 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Critters provide Valentine’s Day inspiration

WILD LIFE – Blush if you must, but mating season is an exciting time to get out the binoculars.

Many eagles, owls, hawks and other large birds such as ravens and magpies are making whoopee in the skies and treetops of the Inland Northwest.

Golden eagles have been seen performing their swooping mating flights over the hills and cliffs above the cliffy shores of Lake Roosevelt.

Coyotes also have reason to howl as they pair up.

But while there are some similarities between human and critter behavior around Valentine’s Day, here’s a point at which men may want to stray:

When looking for mates, male meadow voles – grassland rodents that look like mice with short tails – listen for the pitter-patter of little feet.

Female voles are most receptive when males catch them hours after giving birth. New mammas will mate after about 5 minutes of courtship, compared with up to 90 minutes for other females.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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