News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

The park Christmas duck has found a mate

January 15th, 2016 by Mike

The Mallard drake spotted in north Maple Leaf Reservoir Park on Christmas Day has apparently found a mate.

They were together Thursday and this afternoon.

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The Easter Mallard

April 5th, 2015 by Mike

This Easter morning two Mallards were visiting our park – adding a 38th species to the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park bird list.

These male and female Mallards are the first waterfowl we’ve seen swimming in the park. (The bird list includes Trumpeter Swan and Great Blue Heron, but they were seen flying overhead.)

Happy Easter!

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And for Mother's Day – yet another bird!

May 12th, 2014 by Mike

The 33rd bird on our Maple Leaf Reservoir Park bird list showed up on Mother’s Day.

It’s a Barn Swallow, and there were three of them catching bugs at the upper park Sunday afternoon.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Glistening cobalt blue above and tawny below, Barn Swallows dart gracefully over fields, barnyards, and open water in search of flying insect prey. Look for the long, deeply forked tail that streams out behind this agile flyer and sets it apart from all other North American swallows.

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And for Mother’s Day – yet another bird!

May 12th, 2014 by Mike

The 33rd bird on our Maple Leaf Reservoir Park bird list showed up on Mother’s Day.

It’s a Barn Swallow, and there were three of them catching bugs at the upper park Sunday afternoon.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Glistening cobalt blue above and tawny below, Barn Swallows dart gracefully over fields, barnyards, and open water in search of flying insect prey. Look for the long, deeply forked tail that streams out behind this agile flyer and sets it apart from all other North American swallows.

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Osprey! Over Maple Leaf Reservoir Park

May 9th, 2014 by Mike

Just Thursday we were (again) wishing for an Osprey – and shortly after 4 p.m. today it arrived.

Ospreys (fish hawks) are not uncommon visitors to Maple Leaf in the spring and summer.

They have many times been seen perched on the Comcast tower on Roosevelt Way Northeast, eating fish taken from Lake Union. See Dale’s comment on Thursday’s sharpie post.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them, Ospreys are common sights soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming. These large, rangy hawks do well around humans and have rebounded in numbers following the ban on the pesticide DDT. Hunting Ospreys are a picture of concentration, diving with feet outstretched and yellow eyes sighting straight along their talons.

Nearby, there’ s a large concentration of nesting Ospreys every year at Everett’s American Legion Memorial Park, where they nest largely on pilings in Port Gardner Bay.

To get an idea of what that looks like, here’s an Osprey cam from  Montana, also from Cornell (as is the photo, above).

And that makes 32 species in our park bird list. Today’s park Osprey was over the northeast corner. About 15 minutes later two Ospreys were heard overhead a bit further north.

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Maple Leaf Reservoir Park gets 31st bird species

May 8th, 2014 by Mike

This weekend we spotted a different bird from Maple Leaf Reservoir Park – a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

A tiny hawk that appears in a blur of motion—and often disappears in a flurry of feathers. That’s the Sharp-shinned Hawk, the smallest hawk in North America and a daring, acrobatic flier.

Not only that – THIS sharpie was chasing crows just north of the park – crows that were considerably bigger than the hawk.

From “Hawks in Flight” (Dunne, Sibley and Sutton):

“They are feisty and frequently harass other raptors as large or larger than themselves … during migration.”

This makes the 31st species on our park bird list. (We’re still waiting for an Osprey.)

(Photo by Steve Berardi)

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A new sparrow for Maple Leaf park's bird list

April 18th, 2014 by Mike

Spring migration is here, and we’re hoping our bird list for Maple Leaf Reservoir Park grows considerably in the next few months.

This morning we spotted several Savannah Sparrows at the park’s north end, near the water tower.

It’s the 28th 29th 30th species we’ve added to the list. Red-breasted Nuthatch on April 19th! Spotted Towee on Easter 2014.

What makes it a Savannah Sparrow? From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Not all streaky brown birds are impossible to identify: Take a closer look at this one and you’ll see an understated but distinctive sparrow with a short tail, small head, and telltale yellow spot before the eye. Savannah Sparrows are one of the most numerous songbirds in North America, and while sometimes overlooked, are likely visitors across the continent.

Let us know what you spot. The rules are simple – you must see the bird in, or from, the park. And you must be able to identify it or tell us where and how you saw it. (If we can’t ID it, there are several Maple Leaf neighbors who can.)

We’re expecting Osprey and swallows soon. (And tomorrow, bunnies!)

Actually, another new species was spotted recently at the park, but we decided not to list it. Under birds.

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A new sparrow for Maple Leaf park’s bird list

April 18th, 2014 by Mike

Spring migration is here, and we’re hoping our bird list for Maple Leaf Reservoir Park grows considerably in the next few months.

This morning we spotted several Savannah Sparrows at the park’s north end, near the water tower.

It’s the 28th 29th 30th species we’ve added to the list. Red-breasted Nuthatch on April 19th! Spotted Towee on Easter 2014.

What makes it a Savannah Sparrow? From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Not all streaky brown birds are impossible to identify: Take a closer look at this one and you’ll see an understated but distinctive sparrow with a short tail, small head, and telltale yellow spot before the eye. Savannah Sparrows are one of the most numerous songbirds in North America, and while sometimes overlooked, are likely visitors across the continent.

Let us know what you spot. The rules are simple – you must see the bird in, or from, the park. And you must be able to identify it or tell us where and how you saw it. (If we can’t ID it, there are several Maple Leaf neighbors who can.)

We’re expecting Osprey and swallows soon. (And tomorrow, bunnies!)

Actually, another new species was spotted recently at the park, but we decided not to list it. Under birds.

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