Nature Notes

Vol. IX January, 1931 No. 1


Birds seem to be relatively scarce at this season -- most abundant being the Ruby Crowned and Golden Crowned Kinglets. Recently while enjoying a short walk along the Nisqually River trail the writer was suddenly surrounded by a flock of these tiny birds. So great seemed their numbers and so erratic were their movements that the effect was much like that when one suddenly walks into a swarm of bees. They seemed to be everywhere and yet they moved about so nervuously that it was impossible to tell whether there were a dozen or a hundred of them. Their high shrill notes filled the air as they fluttered about among the evergreen foliage, resting for a moment now and then upon my hat or shoulder apparently oblivious of my presence. Then quite as suddenly as they had come they were gone. These birds seem to be the most common at this season and the surprise manner of approach of small flocks, as outlined above, is a striking character. They are small, of general greenish color and, as their individual names imply, the Ruby-crowned has a bright patch of red on top of his head while the Golden-crowned Kinglet is characterized by a bright yellow or golden spot in the same place.

Ravens are also much in evidence about Longmire. From the Ramparts - that perpendicular precipice to the west of the village where they nest -- they sweep out over the valley floor and with wide spiral circles finally come to rest near or on the road. There the fact that they are scavengers by nature accounts for their appetite whenever some bit of food from some careless visitor's lunch is found.

At the Nisqually Entrance there is an animal fair and no doubt most of the birds and beasts (as the old song goes) are there. For upon the back porch of Ranger Frank Greer's home regularly each evening is placed a delicious bowl of well-cooked rolled oats. It was originally intended to be a sort of filling station for the numerous Raccoons in that locality. However, one could hardly expect the Raccoons to keep such a regular feast to themselves. So one evening shortly after Mrs. Greer - who is the immediate cause of these offerings - had placed the rolled oats in the accustomed, six well fed Raccoons waddled up with anticipation shining in their eyes. But the bowl was empty. The oats had vanished. And a short distance away stood several Deer licking their chops in a most vigorous manner. Well, first come, first served!

Cougar seem to be quite active in the Park though no actual kills have been found. Reports of their presence by Ranger Harold Hall of the Carbon River District, Ranger Rickard of the Ohanapecosh and Ranger Carl Tice of the West Side give evidence that these predators are afield.

Another bear's den was photographed recently. The discoverer of the den was Robert Hewitt, son of the Park Mechanic, who ran across the bear's tracks in the snow.

<<< Previous
> Cover <
Next >>>