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  • Bald Eagles Nesting in Auke Bay shows the eagles tending their nest from start to finish when the juveniles fledged.
  • A Thundersnow Event in Juneau, Alaska is a video I filmed on February 9, 2021. Over the years I have occasionally seen our saltwater bays form ice and "steam" rising from the surface in winter. It was especially interesting on this day so I decided to try to understand why this was happening.
  • And I ran across this Steaming lakes and thundersnow by Scott Denning Fun to learn!
  • Poop is Important is mean't to illustrate a few of the important connections that occur with poop. Most of the filming was done in Alaska

    Why do bears poop? The value of bear’s poop in the distribution of various plants has been fairly well studied. For an interesting observation of the distribution of blueberry plants look at Seeds in bear scat by Richard Carstensen. and /sites/default/files/Shakeri_et_al-2018-Ecosphere.pdf Think about the connections with insects. The Dryomiza flies that eat bears poop may be one of the most important pollinators of the Northwestern Twayblade Orchid in Juneau.


    Eats its Poop To understand why they do this look at  Beavers by the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska and go to page 25. This habit of eating their fecal matter is called "caecotrophy."


    Crows Tending and Feeding Their Young Of interest is after being fed one of the youngsters raises its rear end and the parent takes or eats its poop. What are some of the advantages of this type of behavior? The young don't defecate in the nest or beside the nest. This may help avoid contamination. It might be less obvious for predators whereas the nest site with a bunch of whitish poop may be visible from some distance away. I have read that the parents may receive some nourishment by eating their youngsters poop.


    The Importance of Lyngby’s Sedge For more information about this sedge and other wetland plants look at Mendenhall Wetlands To learn about the value of sedges browse Wetland Sedges of Alaska by Gerald Tande & Robert Lipkin Think about how a goose’s poop helps fertilize and benefit these plants.


    Blow Fly Maggots Decomposing a Salmon Carcass Once the blow fly eggs had hatched it took their larvae (maggots) about 5-6 days to decompose this chum salmon carcass. The value of salmon carcasses to the health of our watersheds has been well studied. Think about how these maggots eating the salmon’s flesh and then pooping contributes to these important connections.


    A Tussock Moth Kid Poops and Eats Shows the caterpillar pooping and eating an alder leaf. The next photo shows a Bruce Spanworm moth caterpillar feeding on a blueberry leaf. For the connections with these moths look at Bruce Spanworm Moths . Of interest some studies show that the caterpillars eating the blueberry leaves and pooping (technically called their frass) benefits the blueberry plants over time. It appears their poop fertilizes the soil more than the natural decomposition of the plants.


    Bird Colony with Poop in Glacier National Park Is meant to show the amount of whitish poop that occurs in bird colonies. This recent article discusses the value of their poop in the overall marine ecosystem Banking on Bird Shit by Lina Zeldovich Of special interest could be the connections with the fish that the pelicans eat. This could be discussed along with how the pelicans dive to capture fish.

  • Truffles, Voles, Flying Squirrels and Forest Health is about the connections that exist for the health of our forests. Look at the information under this video to understand their relationships Truffles, Flying Squirrels, Voles, Forest Health

  • Helping to save and rescue an injured Trumpeter Swan in Juneau, Alaska shows Kerry Howard putting some food out for it. She had been doing this for quite awhile and what surprised me was the swan could recognize her from a long way off. 
  • Eventually the Juneau Raptor Center was able to capture the swan and take it into the center for rehabiitation.
  • Here is what Kerry posted on facebook: "SWAN SONG!  I am pleased to let you know that today the Juneau Raptor Center successfully rescued the juvenile Trumpeter swan who has been stranded in Juneau since November.  The swan, named "Seraph" (winged, angelic being), has an undiagnosed problem with his left wing, which left him unable to fly normally.  He had been living on Auke Lake until the lake nearly froze over about 3 weeks ago.  Seraph then managed to cross through the culverts under the highway, walk around the weir on Auke Creek, and ended up in Auke Bay where he has been living for the last 2.5 weeks.  During that time his wing has continued to deteriorate so the Raptor Center attempted another capture today and was successful.  I was able to lure the swan in with food, Matthew S. Brown was able to grab and subdue the swan, and Kathleen Houtz Benner blanketed the captured bird and got him into their clinic.  Seraph will be flown to Sitka for evaluation and care.  We hope he (and we don't actually know the sex yet...have just been calling the swan "he") will be able to be released back to the wild.  Thanks to Scott McPherson for naming this beautiful bird, and to Linda May Blefgen and Denice McPherson for helping to monitor and feed him over the last several wintery weeks.  I know there are many people who observed and who are interested in this beautiful swan.