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The "Other" things you see when Birding


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We were staying at Portal when someone told us about a bird we were after up a canyon past an old dam.  We hiked up there with the camera and didn't find the bird but ran into this small deer on the way back to the trailhead.934201012_PortalMuleDeer.thumb.jpg.5ccd7fc9aac7197d87ac226cb60408fc.jpg

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2 hours ago, Aaron said:

Sockeye salmon in surprisingly large numbers. Lots of Chinook and pink as well. 
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For people not from an area where salmon live, all the washed up bodies of salmon on the shore is regular and is part of their lifecycle. Any river in late fall which salmon live on is going to be covered in dead fish. Salmon die after spawning and wash up on the banks. 

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8 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

For people not from an area where salmon live, all the washed up bodies of salmon on the shore is regular and is part of their lifecycle. Any river in late fall which salmon live on is going to be covered in dead fish. Salmon die after spawning and wash up on the banks. 

Just wondering if you find them freshly dead are they edible and how many bears to they attract during this time? I'm guessing bears love it for the easy food.

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9 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

For people not from an area where salmon live, all the washed up bodies of salmon on the shore is regular and is part of their lifecycle. Any river in late fall which salmon live on is going to be covered in dead fish. Salmon die after spawning and wash up on the banks. 

Yep, the dead fish help fertilize the forest with nutrients from the sea. 

Edited by Seanbirds
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56 minutes ago, Clip said:

Just wondering if you find them freshly dead are they edible and how many bears to they attract during this time? I'm guessing bears love it for the easy food.

The salmon run is always a big event for bears. That's when they do most of their fattening up for the winter.

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We have a relative of Punxsutawney Phil near us.  Below Devil's Flow on Satan Creek in the Cascades there is a pile of rocks that holds a colony of Marmots.  Also know as Rock Chucks, or Whistle Pigs, they post one lookout that emits an ear piercing high whistle to alert the colony to danger.  It also has the effect of you jumping out of your shoes if you don't expect it.  The lava flow above the colony is a great place to see hawks sitting on a high perch to watch the meadow below.  The meadow was a meeting place for Native American tribes and there are pictographs and rock art more than a 1000 years old on the lava.  Also, early explorers and settlers carved their names on some of the rocks in the area.  John C. Fremont and Kit Carson came through here in the late 1800's.Marmot.thumb.jpg.7de00b54d037e20b0a4f3066ba410d94.jpg

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9 hours ago, smskelton said:

We have a relative of Punxsutawney Phil near us.  Below Devil's Flow on Satan Creek in the Cascades there is a pile of rocks that holds a colony of Marmots.  Also know as Rock Chucks, or Whistle Pigs, they post one lookout that emits an ear piercing high whistle to alert the colony to danger.  It also has the effect of you jumping out of your shoes if you don't expect it.  The lava flow above the colony is a great place to see hawks sitting on a high perch to watch the meadow below.  The meadow was a meeting place for Native American tribes and there are pictographs and rock art more than a 1000 years old on the lava.  Also, early explorers and settlers carved their names on some of the rocks in the area.  John C. Fremont and Kit Carson came through here in the late 1800's.Marmot.thumb.jpg.7de00b54d037e20b0a4f3066ba410d94.jpg

Nice! Love Yellow-bellied Marmots.

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12 hours ago, Clip said:

Just wondering if you find them freshly dead are they edible and how many bears to they attract during this time? I'm guessing bears love it for the easy food.

I wouldn’t think so… their bodies start deteriorating as soon as the leave the ocean as they don’t eat anything on their journey here. Lots of the alive ones will have patches of rotting flesh on them (plus who knows all the parasites they’ve picked up) so I definitely wouldn’t try it! 
They do attract a lot of bears, and you’ll often just find random salmon heads or exploded fish and eggs around. Lots of eagles and gulls too and trout that feed on their eggs.

This was at the Adams river in Tsútswecw provincial park, which I think the largest or one of the largest breeding grounds for sockeye salmon. They follow a boom cycle of about 4 years (2014,2018,2022), but there’s always some spawning in between those years just in lower numbers. Next year is the big year, and there will be ~millions~ of them in the river. It’s very cool to see as the river does literally turn red. And of course all those millions of salmon die and it’s one of the few reasons why I don’t drink the tap water! 

I’d definitely recommend coming to see it if anyone is planning to be in the interior of BC next year around early October. It does smell quite bad though, but you get used to it. 
Tstutswecw is a very nice park to walk around as well any time of year… I bird there quite often. 

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My dog actually alerted my to this Gila Monster's presence.  They are our largest lizard and the only native venomous lizard native the the United States.  Their bite injects a neurotoxin from a chewing action. They are slow moving and not generally dangerous to smart humans who leave them alone.  Each one has a unique pattern like human fingerprints.  They spend most of their life underground.597439478_OroValleyGilaMonster.thumb.jpg.d1e932b369edba6e6c1c1fa35100dcf4.jpg 

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This is from July.  I see foxes from time to time during my bird walks, but normally as soon as they see me they run off.  This one eye balled me for a few minutes and I was able to get a nice photo of it.  

CUd5KSt.jpg

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1 hour ago, MarkG said:

This is from July.  I see foxes from time to time during my bird walks, but normally as soon as they see me they run off.  This one eye balled me for a few minutes and I was able to get a nice photo of it.  

CUd5KSt.jpg

Love the color variation on this one. Nice Photo!

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in my view, the North American River Otter is endangered in the Oregon Cascades.  They are a prized pelt by trappers as their fir is very dense, one million hairs per square inch.  The problem is that there are very few left, and five  years ago a trapper came in and took most all of them.  After five years, we have a few back at our lake.  They actually have a den at a nearby lake and they commute overland about a 1/2 mile to feed on the crayfish in the rocks along our lake shoreline.  They seem to spend about 1/2 of their time playing, which makes them really fun to watch.NorthAmericamRoverOttera.thumb.jpg.335a23639ec049e971d65a0613808c84.jpg

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1 hour ago, MacMe said:

Would be interested to learn how these names were chosen for these areas

The short answer is I don't know.  The longer answer is that there references to Devils Pass, Devils Hill and more back in the the late 1800's.  There was no road through here until about 1925 because the lava fields blocked passage until modern construction equipment became capable of dealing with lava.  The first road went uphill and around the flows around Devil's Lake.   Satan Creek is a spring that comes out of the bottom of Devil's Flow and runs into Sparks Lake about 1/4 mile from the source.  Many names in the Cascades have an unrecorded history.  There was a naming commission that examined names and redid many of then in 1962.  Their job was to take inappropriate and often racially derogatory names out of maps.  In 1962, Mud Lake was renamed Hosmer Lake after my wife's grandfather.

1 hour ago, MacMe said:

Would be interested to learn how these names were chosen for these areas

 

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22 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

Sandhill Cranes, right?

 

20 hours ago, Kevin said:

Fake bird

It was kind of a trick question - and you are both right!  10pts.   **yay celebration**

They are a metal sculpture thing that seems to be made in the image of Sandhill Cranes

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