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A visiting bird’s story and more tales of nature

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By Sharon Wootton
Jolene Gladsjo of Lynnwood was touched by an event that involved a cat, a bird and a very unusual surprise.
“Our cat came to the patio door with one of those small brown-grayish birds. We tried to shoo it out and make it drop the bird, which it did. The bird flew to the fireplace base and hid in the wood,” Gladsjo said.
They left the patio door open. The next time they looked for the bird, it was gone but only from the fireplace. It had hid in a space under the china cabinet.
“I was worried the poor little bird would die under the china cabinet,” Gladsjo said.
The next morning, walking past the computer room, a motion caught her eye.
“The bird was pacing back and forth on the window sill. I told my husband that it was alive and well.”
She captured the bird using the hurricane lamp glass and a tea towel, and released the bird outside. Then she discovered a tiny egg back in the computer room.
“It was the size of a small green grape,” she said. “I picked it up very gently, but the skin was so thing, it started to crack.”
Over the years, a dozen or so birds have flown in through the patio door and have been shown the way outside.
“None of them ever left us an egg!”
Cats and birds: I'll save the discussion for another column. Meanwhile, anyone who has an opinion on the interactions between cats that go outdoors and the birds that live there, please share. (
Pounds of litter: A 1,200-pound accumulation of litter has been removed from the roadsides of Highway 101 going past scenic Lake Crescent.
It took three dozen Olympic National Park staff members plus volunteers a morning to scour the trash off both sides of a 12-mile stretch.
The poundage included 600 pounds of general trash, 200 pounds of tires, and 400 pounds of recyclable cans and bottles, which were recycled.
For the future: If you're the type who adds events to your calendar way ahead of time, put this one down: The 10th annual Puget Sound Bird Fest, featuring naturalist/artist/writer Tony Angell, will be held Sept. 5 to 7 in Edmonds. For more information, go to
An enchanted chalet: The National Park Service may move the Enchanted Valley Chalet a short distance from where the East Fork of the Quinault River is endangering it. About 18 inches separates the chalet from the river.
The move protects the chalet and the river at least temporarily, which allows time for considering additional options.
The structure, built in the early 1930s, is in the Olympic Wilderness, 13 miles from the nearest road. It's been a backcountry lodge, wilderness station and emergency shelter. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2007.
Give a wide berth: Powerboats, tour boats, commercial fishing boats, kayaks, canoes and other personal watercraft are required by state and federal law to stay 200 yards or more away from orcas.
There are 80 endangered southern resident orcas, down from 98 in 1995.
Human disturbances, such as approaching boats, may interfere with the orcas' ability to feed, communicate or care for their young. Other threats are declining numbers of Chinook salmon and pollutants.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife issued 13 citations to recreational boaters last year. Violating the state law can result in a fine up to $1,025; or $10,000 under federal law.
If you inadvertently find yourself violating the law, turn off the motor and wait for the whales to pass.
To report violators, call 360-902-2936 on weekdays; after hours and weekends, call the State Patrol in your area.
Columnist Sharon Wootton can be reached at 360-468-3964 or
Story tags » Wildlife HabitatOutdoorsWildlife Watching

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