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Grays Harbor Birds — Northern Shrike

The Latin name of the Northern Shrike means “butcher watchman,” but don’t cue the scary music yet; this bird only targets smaller birds and mammals. Still, with that sort of a name, this bird makes an interesting subject of study. Unfortunately I have yet to see one in my neighborhood, so have to depend on the tales of those who have seen at least one. This photo by Gregg Thompson shows how intently the bird concentrates.

Grays Harbor Birds - Hermit Thrush

The Hermit Thrush is one of three spot-breasted thrushes that makes its home in Grays Harbor, and if you see one of the three in winter, more than likely it is a Hermit Thrush. It is one of the most widely distributed forest-nesting migratory birds in North America and the only forest thrush whose population has remained stable over the past 20 years. Most who know this bird talk about its ethereal song; it can be heard at this web site http://birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/hermit_thrush

Grays Harbor Birds — Long-eared Owl

From time-to-time, I stray from the path of Grays Harbor Birds to show something out of the ordinary, remarkable, or just plain interesting. This qualifies, but the possibility is we may yet see this bird in our neck of the woods. There are changes taking place in the traditional habitats, and there are exciting discoveries being made, drawing large crowds to observe the unusual. Gregg Thompson found and photographed two of these visitors to the west side of the Cascades. Now if we can just convince them to try our woods, I bet they would stay.

Fish & Wildlife Weekender for January

For Washingtonians, the start of the new year is prime time to hunt for ducks and geese, fish for hatchery-reared steelhead and enjoy the annual spectacle of bald eagles, snow geese, elk, big-horn sheep and other wintering wildlife.

Fish & Wildlife Weekender for December

Despite the winter chill, Washingtonians have plenty of reasons to head outdoors during the holiday season. Steelhead are surging up coastal rivers, waterfowl hunting is in full swing, and birders are gearing up around the state for the annual Christmas Bird Count.

Grays Harbor Birds — Horned Grebe

The Horned Grebe is most often seen in our area in its winter plumage, shown here about to eat a shrimp, and photographed by Gregg Thompson. I wish I could show you the entire sequence of photos from when the shrimp is caught to becoming merely a bulge in the grebes’ neck. I have always been amazed at the things some of the water birds can swallow and this photo clearly demonstrates that ability.

Fish & Wildlife Weekender for November

There’s more than one way to put a turkey on your table for Thanksgiving. Rather than head to the grocery store, thousands of hunters plan to get their birds during the hunting season for wild turkey that gets under way Nov. 20 in eastern Washington.