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During 2010 a wide variety of wildlife met their needs for food, shelter, water and nest/den sites on our little island of habitat here at PAWS in Lynnwood (not counting the animals that are brought to us for care). There were at least 9 bird species with nests and/or young here on campus. I get to spend a very limited amount of time taking photos on campus, and I rarely venture away from the area around the wildlife center and outdoor wildlife caging, so I am sure that the nests and young that I see represent only a small fraction of what is out there.

For several years now, I have been keeping a running list of the bird species that are seen at PAWS. I only include birds that touch down on the property, not those that are only seen flying over it. Three new species were added to the list this year bringing the total to 63 species. The three species that were new for this year were the Golden-crowned Sparrow, Western Wood-Pewee and the Osprey.

I went through all of the photos I took at PAWS in 2010 and pulled out my favorites.

The first shows a resident Steller’s Jay clinging to the outside of one of our aviary cages. Inside the cage you can see the silhouette of one of our patients...another Steller’s Jay. The two jays seemed to have formed a bond despite the caging keeping them physically separated. When our patient was ready for release, we released him  onsite so the two birds could be together.

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One of three new species added to the campus bird list this year, this Golden-crowned Sparrow was very photogenic.

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Another new species, the Western Wood-Pewee, was a bit shier and less colorful than the Golden-crowned Sparrow. He was still a beautiful sight.

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Among the birds raising young at PAWS in 2010 was this male Dark-eyed Junco. I had to divert the little fledgling that is begging him for food when she wandered too close to the parking lot by the wildlife interpretive trail.

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One of my favorite encounters on campus in 2010 was with the Red-breasted Sapsucker below. When I first spotted him, he was sunning himself as seen in the left-hand image. Next, he relaxed, and lowered his head as seen on the right. It was nice to see he was a fellow tree-hugger.

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The largest woodpecker species in the state (the Pileated Woodpecker, below left) once again shared PAWS campus in 2010 with the smallest woodpecker species in the state (the Downy Woodpecker, below right). If the two photos below showed the birds at actual size, the Downy Woodpecker would be about as long as the Pileated’s tail.

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The Northern Flicker below was the male from the successful breeding pair on PAWS campus. He frequently hung out around our woodpecker cages to let the flickers that were our patients know that they were in his territory. He’s a gorgeous bird, and you have seen him more recently in black-and-white on the cover of PAWS Magazine.

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A fall snowstorm created some challenges for humans and animals alike on PAWS Campus. This Ruby-crowned Kinglet was seen foraging in the new fallen snow.

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Western Tanagers like the young male pictured below provided a welcome flash of color here at PAWS.

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I don’t keep track of numbers of individuals of a species sighted, but it seemed to me like I encountered Hermit Thrushes more often on PAWS campus in 2010. This Hermit Thrush eating an Oregon Grape below was encountered in the fall.

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As always, the crows were my allies in locating birds of prey on PAWS Campus in 2010. Their boisterous caws led me to the location of this Barred Owl along the dog walking trail. I like the way the maple leaf is resting on the owl’s head in the photo.

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If you enjoy seeing the photos and reading about my encounters in this review of 2010, I encourage you to stop, look and listen whenever you are outside in 2011 so you can have some encounters of your own.

I don’t have any kind of magic that brings these animals close to me. They are always all around us. To see them all you have to do is look.

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Comments

Excellent article! Thanks for the photos, and for the encouragement to get outside and look around.

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