New visitor

Monday, April 11th, 2011 | Condo

While squirrels will always hold a special place in my heart, I cannot deny my newest obsession: Raccoons! A few weeks ago, a raccoon climbed up a tree not ten feet from our balcony. While I know raccoons aren’t uncommon in the Northwest, I didn’t expect to see one in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Anyway, I am happy to report that he has returned! I have named him Jasper, after the raccoon in Little House on the Prairie.

24 Responses to “New visitor”

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    I don’t know, he looks kind of shifty to me. I think he’s up to something.

    April 12th, 2011 at 7:08 pm
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  3. Rene Says:

    OK. After seeing this taehrd remain dormant for so long, I felt compelled , as a bird watcher, to contribute something here. I am certain my good colleagues in the Biology department could add even more.Emus are part of a family (some would argue order) of birds referred to as ratites Ratites are large , very old, flightless birds. What seperates ratites from other bird species is their lack of a keel on their sternum . Don’t understand ? Just look closely at the next chicken breast you eat; you will see that the sternum (breast bone) has a keel where wing muscles attach to the chest. Even if ratites had developed wings (which they don’t) and properly developed flight muscles, they still would not be able to fly as there is no point of attachment for these muscles.Emus are the second tallest ratite in the world, after the osterich. Other ratites include the cassowary, the kiwi, and the South American rhea.Emus have only three toes; most birds have four and ostreriches have only two. Emus are extrememly fast runners , capable of speeds in excess of 30mph. The emu genus dromaiius means fast footed .Their claws are very strong and provide their main defense from predators.Emu reproductive habits are **very** interesting. Typically, several females will compete for the attention of a lone male. Female fights are not uncommon. The male builds the nest. After mating and egg laying, the female leaves the nest and the mail does all the rearing . The female will frequently find another male to mate with in the same season.In my bird watching travels I have not had the opportunity to observe these animals, but hope to sometime in the future. In the meantime, I would welcome any further discussion!

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