Chinook Bend – Restoration’s golden child. A birder’s rave.

According to our website:
“The Chinook Bend Natural Area is located two miles north of the City of Carnation, on NE Carnation Farm Road. This 59-acre property lies within the Snoqualmie River’s 100-year floodplain and is surrounded by river on three sides. The site contains rich habitat for many fish and wildlife species in its former pastureland, wetlands, and mature deciduous forest. Approximately 20 percent of the Chinook salmon that return to the Snoqualmie River Watershed spawn in the Chinook Bend reach. King County currently has multiple restoration projects at Chinook Bend that are enhancing fish and wildlife habitat.”

That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t capture the site’s intricacies. Like the flooding, maintenance, native habitat, restoration, effort. So, we thought we’d share a day(s) in King County’s 28,000 acres of open space.

Enter…PYGMY OWLS! Apparently there have been some sightings of late, and it has brought out the birders [Birders – Similar to the Illuminati, only their focus is on birds, not taking over the world through garish raves and secret doors]. Anywaayyyy, if we’re anthropomorphizing here, these cute little birds of prey have found themselves a haven in Chinook Bend. We say haven, it’s more like an owl buffet. Get it? Because they have a super healthy environment from which to pluck tasty prey. Are these new to the area you ask? No, and they are not rare birds, just rarely seen. Like a griffin or hobbit.

Seems as though all the restoration work by volunteers and your King County staff is paying off. A healthy percentage of the trees onsite, and more than likely the one this owl is perched on, were planted in the last 10+ years. The park sees yearly maintenance to keep those plantings healthy, and free of invasives, so that native species like this may thrive. Bet this owl doesn’t even know how good he has it.

Oh yeah, so “day in the life” right? Have a look at last night’s King 5 report on the owl and the park. That’s right, the birders even have access to King 5. Think about it….(slowly backing out of the room)

P.S. For those of you curious enough to head out there, please do not disturb the owl. It’s going through a really tough breakup and wants to be left alone. Actually it just doesn’t want you meddling with it, so respect its bubble.

* Props to KC staff and Hank Heiberg for the owl shots.

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