WHAT: Although brown overall, this eagle has golden feathers behind its neck. Light colored feathers on the legs give a booted appearance to the yellow feet. WHERE: Rangelands, tundra and open mountain areas in Alaska, Canada, the western U.S., Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. SIZE: Length 2.2-3.2 ft.; wingspan 5.9-7.7 ft.; weight 8-13 lbs. EATS: Rabbits, large rodents and other small mammals, reptiles and birds. BABIES: Breeding from February-June. Nests are constructed in tall pine trees or on cliffs, made of sticks and soft plants. Both sexes incubate the clutch of 1-4 eggs for 40-45 days. STATUS: Least concern. FUN FACTS: Golden eagles will soar for hours, rising to high altitudes before diving at tremendous speeds after prey. They also perch to scan for prey, and will fly close to the ground in pursuit of an animal.
Usually quiet birds, golden eagles will sometimes emit a “mewing” or “yelping” sound during courtship.
WHAT: Easily spotted by their white, heart-shaped face and long, pointed wings extending beyond the tail. WHERE: Woodlands, suburbs, farmlands and open areas. SIZE: Beak to tail: 9.8-20 in.; wingspan: 30-43 in.; weight 6.6-28 oz. EATS: Mostly rodents; occasionally small mammals and birds. BABIES: Breeding March-April, or anytime. Females incubate a clutch of 4-7 eggs over 32-34 days in spring. STATUS: Secure. FUN FACTS: Barn owls are among the most nocturnal of owls, since their prey (rodents) are active at night. Their exceptional hearing helps them hunt in the dark.
Most days are spent sleeping soundly, perched in dark caves, cavities or buildings.
Human development hasn’t harmed barn owls – actually, land clearing and crops help them by increasing rodent numbers.
WHAT: A water bird with white feathers and black bill. A light-colored “grin line” at the base of the bill distinguishes it from the similar Tundra Swan. WHERE: Marshes, ponds and lakes in western and central U.S., Canada and Alaska. SIZE: Length 54.3-62.2 in.; wingspan 79.9 in.; weight 16.9-28 lbs. EATS: Aquatic plants. BABIES: Breeding from May-July. The nest is made of plant matter in 1-3 feet of water. The female incubates a clutch of 1-9 eggs; cygnets hatch after 32-37 days. STATUS: Secure. FUN FACTS:
Trumpeter swans form life-long monogamous pairs, but will seek a new mate if either dies.
They establish territories of 70-150 acres in spring, vigorously defending them while mating, nesting and feeding cygnets. Families form tightly knit groups.
Trumpeters make vocalizations that sound like a horn blowing.
They also use posture to communicate: when the head is low and extended, it is a sign of aggression, while head-bobbing may signal anxiety, courtship, mate recognition or possible aggression.
WHAT: Males are white and may have dark specks on the feathers. Females are larger with dark barring on most feathers. Yellow eyes.
WHERE: Upland tundra in summer; marshes, beaches and fields in winter in Alaska and Canada.
SIZE: Length 20.5-28 in.; wingspan 49.6-57.1 in.; weight 56.4-104.1 oz.
EATS: Lemmings, other small mammals, birds and occasionally fish.
BABIES: Breeding May-June. Nests are made as a depression lined with moss and feathers. The female incubates a clutch of 3-11 eggs over 32-33 days.
FUN FACTS: Snowy owls are diurnal (daytime) hunters that feed on small tundra animals and will walk into shallow water to catch fish. If lemmings are scarce they will migrate south to the United States.
They are one of the most aggressive owls, and will attack humans during nesting season.
Being native to the Pacific Northwest, the animals at Northwest Trek don’t seem to mind the colder winter weather. But the snowy owls at the park don’t just put up with it, they thrive in it. Tundra, a male, and Taiga, a female, embrace these cooler temperatures and it shows. “They’re more active at this time of year and we notice a big increase in their food drive,” said keeper Miranda Mauck. “Their favorite food is mice!” In the wild, snowy owls live near beaches and fields in the winter in Alaska and Canada… brrr! Now you see me, now …
A poem about birds next to a snowy owl habitat? A tree poem planted in a forest? That’s Poetry in the Park at Northwest Trek! This December, guests can wander around the wildlife park to find poetry signs right next to native Northwest animals and plants in a partnership with Tahoma Audubon Society, who installs Poetry in the Park elsewhere in Tacoma during the year. The park is also filled with festive decorations like evergreen gnomes, white pumpkin “snowmen”, giant snowflakes on trees and a trail of animal cutouts showing just how animals (and us) need trees to live, year-round. …