WHAS - Bird Lists and Wildlife Sightings

Please send information about wildlife sightings to our Wildlife Sightings Chair.

To see some recent Washington State bird sightings go to the Tweeters list. To subscribe to Washington State Tweeters or to get more info about Tweeters visit WA Tweeters.

Sandhill Crane (WDFW Image)


2014 Wahkiakum CBC Results

December 30, 2014, was the Wahkiakum Christmas Bird Count. The count circle straddles the lower Columbia River, including Puget Island, Cathlamet, Skamokawa, and the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge in Washington and Westport, Nicolai Mountain, Brownsmead, Knappa and the Lewis & Clark National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

The day dawned clear and 28 degrees F, with a light east wind. Twenty-five volunteers found 120 species plus two additional count week species, equaling our highest previous total. The most abundant species in the circle, for the third straight year, was Cackling Goose, with over 16,000 found. This was a new high count for this species.

We had high counts for ten other species, most notably Double-crested Cormorant, European Starling, and Horned Lark. Whites Island is our local breeding area for the endangered (and recently federally listed) “Streaked” Horned Lark, and the count of 45 more than doubled our previous high count. New to the count this year was a Barrow’s Goldeneye found by Mike Passmore on the Wahkiakum ferry trip to Westport. A Redhead was in Net Rack Slough. The Northern Mockingbird that was at 80 North Welcome Slough on Puget Island on last year’s count spent the entire year there and was seen on this one as well.

Other species that have been expanding their range northward, Black Phoebe and Red-shouldered Hawk, continue to remain established here. Seven Trumpeter Swans flew over the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge. We missed Virginia Rail for the first time in the Wahkiakum CBC’s seventeen years. The Snowy Egret reported on Sunday was not relocated. Thanks to all volunteers!

Wildlife Sightings

Lake Sacajawea has many of the over-wintering waterfowl now. A Eurasion Wigeon was spotted on 12/2/14 and other waterfowl seen have been Wood Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead and even Hooded Merganser. We also have seen many Double-crested Cormorants as well as Pied-billed Grebes. On 12/01/14 a Bald Eagle swooped down and made off with a Gull(did not catch the species) for breakfast.

All this can be seen in our back yard here in Longview just get out, walk the lake and observe. You may even catch a glimpse of one of our resident River Otters.

Osprey nest near Woodland

Pair of Osprey - Robert VanNatta

Pair of Osprey - Robert VanNatta

There is an active Osprey nest west of Woodland next to the Columbia River in a public access area. Robert VanNatta was able to park beside where he set up the camera outside the dike. He got quite a show that morning as an eagle came by just after these photos were taken, and the Osprey went after the eagle and chased it off.

2014 Cowlitz County Bird List (January Update)

Another year with a nice start, mostly due to a fine Christmas Bird Count on New Years Day. The headliner was the second ever record of Rusty Blackbird for Cowlitz County found on 52nd Ave in west Longview. A Sora found the same day on Washburn Road was very unusual for winter. Keep those reports coming.

You find our bird lists here.

Dead Eagle found in Longview

On December 27, during his daily walk around Lake Sacajawea in Longview, John Green found a dead Bald Eagle at the edge of the lake.  It is illegal to collect wild birds, per the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, so he did not touch the bird, determined to find the proper action to take.

Upon arriving home, he called Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, who were not interested (maybe not their jurisdiction) and recommended to call Portland Audubon.  Audubon gave him the number for the Federal Fish and Wildlife office.  These folks have committed to picking up the bird, which upon their direction was stored in a plastic bag in his freezer.  They advised that there is a demand for Native American ceremonial use and the feathers will be donated after a necropsy is performed to determine cause of death.

It has been determined that the eagle died in a collision with a motor vehicle probably in flight over the Washington Way bridge.