Pacific fisher in pen and ink. Mary and I had a chance meeting with a pair of fishers. That’s when I took the photo that this picture was based on. We watched this fisher as it climbed up and down a Douglas-fir tree while it was hunting.
The Pacific fisher is a large member of the weasel family that makes its home on our California timberland.
This was a different Pacific fisher that unknowingly visited us. Observing wildlife from a hidden hunting blind is a great way to watch animals in their natural state.
The fisher investigates our wildlife camera. Come on little fella just a bit farther. Darn, we didn’t get his picture on the wildlife camera.
The company I work for, Sierra Pacific Industries, has been involved in a fisher relocation project for a number of years. Our partners in the project include US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and researchers from North Carolina State University. The purpose is to re-establish fisher into parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that used to be their historic range. The project has been highly successful. You can read more about the project here at the Fish and Wildlife Service website.
It’s been a quiet week around the osprey nest. They’re hunkered down and sitting on the eggs. It’s a good week to share another one of our locals. I ran into this youngster out behind the log decks. I can never guess what animals I may bump into around the mill. Wildlife will exploit habitat wherever they find it.
If you like opossums and you want a great children’s book about an opossum I highly recommendOh No! Baby-O. Written and illustrated by Mary A Livingston.
A week after the male osprey arrived the female showed up. They’re together again for another breeding season. While waiting for her to arrive he kept busy doing guy stuff. Click on the galleries to enlarge the pictures.
The male and female osprey are together again.
While she was away he watched whatever he wanted like any guy would.
He ate out all the time
Finally, at the last-minute he decided he’d better clean house.
This could take a while…
He’s totally checking her out!
Apparently, an incident was witnessed by several coworkers between an eagle and the osprey. On Monday, one of the eagles showed up and began circling the nest. The male osprey took off and began to circle up to the eagle. When the osprey reached the eagle he began diving on it. After multiple diving runs the eagle began turn belly up to give the osprey its talons. The aerial combat went on until the eagle moved off.
Incidentally, I discovered this on the neighboring property. You have to click on the gallery to see the bald eagle on the nest.
Our eagles have a nest next door. I didn’t see the eagle in the nest until I looked at the picture on the computer.
The nest is in a huge valley oak beside a pond. I think this is where the eagles were going nest all along. The just liked partying at the osprey nest.
He came with no fireworks, no fanfare and no eagles.
The week prior the eagles were notably absent and the osprey hadn’t arrived. Last Monday when he did arrive the eagles had been gone for a week. They must have a nest elsewhere and were using the osprey nest as a private getaway. You can see the eagles here.
Now that he has arrived his vigil begins. The female is fashionably late every year. More osprey news to follow when she hits town.
Bliss and I were out marking trees a few weeks ago when we came upon several wood rats nests. They build these large stick pile akin to a beaver lodge on land. They are very industrious creatures. They are also an important prey species for forest predators.
Bliss was very impressed with this massive collection of sticks. So impressed that she claimed it for herself. Sadly for her it wasn’t going to fit in my vest and she could only carry one stick at a time.
This clever rat built its nest in the trees. No sticks for Bliss from this one.
Bliss found a deer skull under the nest. “No Bliss it’s not a rat skull and no you can’t eat it!”
This is week that the osprey customarily return to their nest in the electrical tower at the sawmill. I haven’t seen them yet. Usually the male shows up a week or two before the female. This year they will be in for a bit of a surprise. A little over a month ago a pair of eagles moved in. I’m not sure how this will go, but the eagle are a lot bigger than the osprey. I’d have to put my money on the eagles. Click on the gallery to enlarge to photos and get the dirt.
Nice looking birds.
He seems to have staked a claim here.
I keep waiting for them to gather sticks, but the haven’t. I not convinced their serious about nesting here.
These are all osprey pictures from previous years.
The osprey have inspired art from yours truly.
This has been an osprey nest literally for decades.
It’s a prime location for fishing birds with its grand overlook of the Sacramento river.
It hasn’t been without struggle. last season it rained so much the nest grew a garden before the birds arrived. They had to weed it.
When the summer heat get over about 106 the parents shade the chicks.
Two years ago the male osprey was struck be a helicopter blade and died. he was trying to defend the nest from the helicopter that was inspecting the tower.
The osprey have raised many generations.
The osprey probably won’t be too happy with the new residents.
Stay tuned to see how this turns out.
Below are a few of the osprey posts over the years.
I was in the Trinities this week and there was thick smoke everywhere. It’s burning season in Northern California. We had quite a lot of rain in late November. I assumed that some agency was doing a large burn project. However, I couldn’t see where the smoke was coming from. It appeared to be drift smoke.
During my drive down from the mountains I heard a news report. They reported that smoke from the Thomas Fire was drifting up the coast. I checked Google Earth that evening and the smoke had drifted nearly 500 miles from the Thomas Fire in Southern California to north of Redding. The residue of so many homes and so much wildland was adrift in this smoke.
The late afternoon sun filtering through the smoke in the Trinities.
Looking north toward Billys Peak across the old dredge tailings along the Trinity River.
Smoke tinted sunlight and trees reflect on an old dredge pond.
I started this post last June, but never finished it. Better late that never. Here are just a few pictures of our birds that make their home at the Mill. It defies conventional wisdom that so much wildlife makes it home at an industrial complex and thrives. It’s all about the habitat.
I stopped by Hayfork Creek on the way home to let Tasha air out and get a drink. Mary and I used to have a mining claim here, but it didn’t pan out. We’d camp out while we prospected for gold. On this visit, fall color gilded the landscape.