River Facts Cause Us To Rethink

Wolves Change Rivers   ?????

There are wolves in Oregon but we don’t have wolves here along the Wild and Scenic Clackamas River yet my ears perked up when I saw this title. Watching this youtube about how wolves changed the river in Yellowstone helps people understand the related connections throughout Nature. Every one thing affects every other thing and it is easy to see that same cause and effect in our own lives. Every decision we make opens and closes doors in our lives too, just as reintroducing wolves can bring back songbirds and change shapes of entire rivers. Pretty powerful stuff!


Waterways Paved with Plastic ???

No matter where on earth you live, I encourage you to make a family resolution for 2015 and resolve to find ways you can help keep plastic out of our waterways. There’s many reason why this is so important but this stat alone should be enough.

Living in Oregon many of us are huge recyclers so it sears my brain to learn 77% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, and that plastic makes up 80% of the trash that ends up in the ocean. And more than 9.5 million plastic bottles have been collected in coastal cleanups worldwide over the past 25 years. Without a doubt plastic water bottles are having a devastating effect on our ecosystems along our shores and beyond, and the worst part is, it could all be prevented!


Local Teen Takes On River Trash


Local teen, Amber Harvey, cares about river health.

She established a summer program that has been well received by rafters, fishermen and landowners on the Clackamas River. With the help of her peers Amber put up stands that held empty trash bags for river users to STASH TRASH in. Amber and her friends frequently returned to refill the stands and cart out any full bags that were left behind. They also spent long hours at put-in points educating rafters. The teens handed out bags and educated river users where they could find additional Stash The Trash bags along the way. Carver Park established a dedicated dumpster where users could deposit the trash they collected. Way to go Amber!



Cornell Labs Sponsors Free Bird ID Download

Attention Birders!!!

Do you follow Cornell Lab eNews? It rocks! Seriously. They just keep chirping out great info and are leaders in the world of Citizen Science.

Look what just arrived in our inbox this morning from Cornell labs. Now we really must upgrade our Apple operating system! Kipling Rock Farm often has new birds sited. Being located along a major river means many species pass through.
Download free Merlin Bird ID app for iOS7 and Android OS4 & higher:


Answer Five Quick Questions and Find Out Which Bird You Just Saw
Merlin Bird ID—available for iOS devices and just released for Android—is a revolutionary new app for identifying common birds of North America. What’s so revolutionary?

It asks you five simple questions about the bird you saw and then gives you a short list of the most likely possibilities
That short list is a smart list—Merlin uses data from our eBird project to tell you which birds are most likely to be seen near you, right now
It’s loaded with 2,000 top-quality photos and 1,000 songs and calls to help you confirm your ID
It’s completely free

The app now covers 400 species and is available for iOS 7 devices and Android OS4 and higher (it’s not available for Kindle, Nook, or Windows phone). It is a large download (630 MB), so please use a wifi connection when you download it. Thanks to Pennington for sponsoring the creation of the Android version.

Merlin is a great tool for beginning birders or anyone who wants to help share their love of birds. Download the free app now.

Do you know the name of this yellow bird with the pointy bill?
Do you know the name of these handsome hoverers? Click through to find out on our Citizen Science blog. Photo by Walter Nussbaumer.
Which Species Is This?
Some birds are so small and fast that we usually just see them as blurs—and in such cases we can be grateful for fantastic photos that freeze the action. This is the smallest bird in North America and a resident of the West, where the males perform staggering aerial feats when displaying to females. Do you know what species this is? Check your guess and learn more.

Does this quiz have you humming for more? On our new Citizen Science blog you can explore a map of where they occur, try to match speeds with their wingbeats, and get a feel for how much nectar they drink in a day.

An Old School Water Color Map!

Admit it! GPS coordinates just are not as beautiful as a real map!!! I think your kids will agree with me if you take time to share this.

I just came across this wonderful map of Kipling Rock Farm and our neighborhood. This water color map was painted years ago by talented West Linn artist Susan Effenberger. You can find more of Susan’s “Happy Art” on etsy at LemonBirdStudio.etsy.com

krf watercolor map

Of course several high water incidents have shifted the lower land somewhat but this is still pretty accurate!

Language of Birds

Cornell Lab of Ornithology produces a wealth of great information. I find the following video to be very informative. If you have ever visited Cannon Beach and observed the bird behavior on Haystack Rock you will watch with renewed interest during your next visit. The multiple bird colonies on Haystack Rock communicate with each other via ritualized vocalizations and postures. Even though this video was not produced at Haystack it still will help you identify much of what you see going on between seagulls, puffins, etc..

WARNING: And should you be on the beach when the rock’s bird population seems to verbally explode, don’t look too closely at the bald eagle flying back towards land. It invariably will be winging away clutching a shrieking member of one of the big rock’s residents.

Arrival of an American Racing Pigeon

Some days do not end up with the planned agenda! Yesterday was one of those days.

The phones rang early and a volunteer was asking for some help. His mom had taken an early morning walk with the family dog. The dog stopped and followed her nose – right to an injured American Racing Pigeon, which the mom immediately scooped up and took home.

Our volunteer can work miracles with animals so his mom approached her sleepy son and tucked the wounded bird into the crook of his arm. Suddenly alert he went into action and instinctively knew the bird needed water before anything else. He made a quick phone call to me and the pair ended up here at Kipling Rock Farm.

Pigg crop

We found a band on the injured birds leg. An internet search helped me determine this was a young bird that had been banded during August of this year. Next the letters PNW told me this bird was local and it did turn out his owner was a member of a local club. Several phone calls later the birds owner was reached and he came by before dark to collect this beautiful creature. We had given it water every half hour and got attached very quickly to its sweet manners and attentiveness, and we all got to learn something new about a local feathered neighbor and its people. The grateful owner advised that too often some birds tangle with high wires (Pigg 2339 was found near radio towers) but we learned this bird was from very good breeding stock and its young age and general strong health meant it will likely heal well even though both legs appeared to be broken.

The birds owner offered to notify our volunteer when it’s time for the next race day. Everyone seemed very satisfied with how the day ended.

It is easy to learn more about how special these animals are. Just do an internet search and you will learn to read the leg band and what to do if an American Racing Pigeon lands in your care!