Wind River Ranch is a dream come true, found over the weekend that Katrina hit Louisiana, we finally arrived from Californias’ “build it” mentality to Pacific Northwestern hospitality with a healthy respect and conservation efforts for all its wildlife. I’m grateful to Washington state and local government, as well as its caring citizens for thinking of our future generations being able to see and appreciate its Natural Beauty, resources and most especially the Wildlife.
In a rural area of the Eastern slopes of the Cascadian mountain range, sits a 30 acre home habitat that supports insects, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, mammals, birds, raptors and reptiles. Certified as Wildlife Habitat #87330 with the National Wildlife Federation, as of Fall 2006, to date the stewardship has documented and photographed over 350 species. The habitat is off the beaten path, running along the south side of the Naches River, and the daily bustle of wildlife is a sight for sore eyes, as well as more inspiration.
The larger photograph shown above is of the Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma) is Washington’s smallest owl, at 7 inches tall, including its long tail. Because of its size, long tail, proportionally small head, and daytime hunting behavior, the Pygmy-owl is often misidentified or overlooked as just another brown bird in the brush. It is a fearless hunter that frequents the winter bird-feeders, attempting to take small birds and mammals. It has a sharply streaked underside, but its most telling marks are the black patches on the back of its head that mimic eyes to deceive predators.
The smaller photograph, shown above is of a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), besides being our National Bird and the symbol for the United States of America, it resides in North America. No longer on the Endangered or threatened species lists (June 2007), this raptor is not generally confused with any other.