Bird Migration Routes

Rufous Hummingbird by Lois Manowitz via Birdshare

Rufous Hummingbird by Lois Manowitz via Birdshare

An article from the All About Birds Blog of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology explains how birds migrate seasonally, following the “green wave” of plant resources.  The bird migration patterns show the importance of conservation efforts such as building the tree canopy.

Surprisingly, for many North American species the best route between summer and winter homes is not a straight line, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In spring, the study shows, birds follow areas of new plant growth—a so-called “green wave” of new leaves and numerous insects. In fall, particularly in the western U.S., they stick to higher elevations and head directly southward, making fewer detours along the way for food.

“We’re discovering that many more birds than anyone ever suspected fly these looped migrations, where their spring and fall routes are not the same,” said Frank La Sorte, a research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “And now we’re finding out why—they have different seasonal priorities and they’re trying to make the best of different ecological conditions.”

The research—the first to reveal this as a general pattern common to many species—may help land managers improve conservation efforts by improving their understanding of how birds use habitat seasonally.

Read the rest of the article at:

Take the Long Way Home: “Green Wave” Explains Bird Migration Routes.

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The New Boardwalk at Yesler Swamp

Yesler Swamp TrailThe Yesler Swamp is a wetland on part of what was the property of Henry Yesler, a Seattle pioneer who moved his sawmill business from downtown to this site on Union Bay in 1888.  The Town of Yesler later became part of Laurelhurst.

On Sunday, September 21, 2014 from 2 to 4 PM there was a celebration and ribbon-cutting for the first section of a new boardwalk completed on the Yesler Swamp Trail.  The celebration was held at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st Street, where the Trail is easily accessed from the east corner of the parking lot.

Yesler Swamp overlook on the boardwalkThe Washington Conservation Corps recently completed this first phase of the Yesler Swamp boardwalk.  Made of cedar planks, the boardwalk extends out toward the lagoon and includes two overlooks so visitors can pause to enjoy the view.  Yesler Swamp is located on the north shore of Union Bay and is home to over 100 species of birds, plus other wildlife such as beaver and otter.

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Twentieth Anniversary Celebration: Thornton Creek Alliance

Thornton Creek Alliance (TCA) is an all-volunteer organization whose goal is to benefit the watershed by encouraging individuals, groups, schools, businesses, and government to work together in addressing the environmental restoration of the creek system.  It has been twenty years since a few concerned activists began organizing to improve water quality, flood prevention, and habitat throughout the northeast Seattle watershed which includes the North and South Branches of Thornton Creek.

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Fresh Produce for Sale along the Trail

The Burke-Gilman Trail will now have a fresh produce stand on Fridays, 3 to 5:30 PM, beginning on August 29, 2014, brought to you by students of the UW Farm.  Students will sell produce just across the Trail from the Husky Grind, 1315 NE Campus Parkway, at the Mercer Courts Apartments of the University of Washington.

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August 2014 Update: Construction on the Creek

Looking northward on 35th Ave NE we see the track and fields of Nathan Hale High School on the left.  The Confluence construction work is to put in much larger culverts crossing under 35th Ave NE for the South Branch of Thornton Creek.  The water flows eastward into Meadowbrook Pond.

Looking northward on 35th Ave NE we see the track and fields of Nathan Hale High School on the left. The Confluence construction work is to put in much larger culverts crossing under 35th Ave NE for the South Branch of Thornton Creek. The water flows eastward into Meadowbrook Pond.

In the Summer of 2014 work is continuing on improvements at The Confluence, the joining-place of the north and south branches of Thornton Creek on 35th Ave NE at NE 107th Street.  The two branches flow into Meadowbrook Pond, a water-filtration and flood control area created by the Seattle Engineering Dept. in 1997-98.  In 2012-2013 the Pond was dredged and enlarged.  In 2014 in this final stage of construction, the creekbeds near to the Pond are being enlarged and an adjacent flood plain is being created.

On the east side of 35th Ave NE we see the footings of the bridge which crosses 35th Ave NE, and the empty lot which will become a flood plain to hold the water of heavy rains.

On the east side of 35th Ave NE we see the footings of the bridge which crosses 35th Ave NE, and the empty lot which will become a flood plain to hold the water of heavy rains.

On the west side of 35th Ave NE, large poplar trees were cut down along the south branch of Thornton Creek because the trees were choking the channel and restricting the flow of water, leading to overflows in the parking lot and sports fields of Nathan Hale High School.

On the east side of 35th Ave NE, an empty lot is being turned into a flood plain to hold the water of heavy rains, instead of overflowing onto 35th Ave NE.  Log structures (using cut-down trees) will be used in the both the north and south branches of Thornton Creek as part of the meandering, slow-the-flow reconstruction of the creekbeds.

Construction is anticipated to continue until as late as November 2014, which unfortunately means the continued closure of 35th Ave NE at NE 107th Street.  Traveling northward, one can go only as far as the Meadowbrook Community Center at 10517 35th Ave NE.

Some of the other phases of creek restoration will be:

–Completion of in-water “fish window” work.
–Connection of south branch to the main stem of Thornton Creek and to Meadowbrook Pond.
–Complete the bridge across 35th Ave NE with its walls, sidewalks and barriers; install utilities across the bridge.
–Resurfacing, paving and striping of 35th Ave NE.
–Site restoration, to include landscaping and planting, fence installation, artwork installation.

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A Tree in Montlake

Reblogged from Montlake.net/flyer/:  Seattle’s renowned tree expert Arthur Lee Jacobson has written about a fallen cherry tree near the Montlake Community Center at 1618 E. Calhoun Street, on the south side of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Mr. Jacobson alerts everyone who would like to try growing this rare variety, to take cuttings from the fallen Horinji tree.

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Slow-Down on the Trail: Construction Impacts the Burke-Gilman

An alert from the Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept:  Construction may affect use of the Burke-Gilman Trail between NE 125th and NE 135th Streets.

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