Critters at the Bog

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bird diversity at Ronald Bog
Photo by Christine Southworth

By Diane Hettrick

There are critters at the Bog. Not really Creatures from the Black Lagoon variety - Ronald Bog is far too open. Two very busy streets border the Bog - N 175th and Meridian Avenue N. The freeway is right next door.

The Bog is so close to the street that a couple of years ago it flooded the intersection.

And it's not very big, as bodies of water go.

Guess who's been keeping their teeth filed down?
Beavers live at Ronald Bog
Photo by Christine Southwick

Yet Ronald Bog seems to have more diversity of wild life than any other body of water in the area - and all our lakes are teeming with life.

Beavers, otters, raccoons, possums, frogs, turtles, enough birds to create a birdwatchers' guide, and (oops) invasive crayfish.

More evidence of beaver teeth
Photo by Christine Southwich

Our Bird Lady Christine Southwick went there for a visit Tuesday and was delighted to encounter:

  • a pair of Hooded Merganser (male and female);
  • 30 American Wigeons feeding on the grass  (these ducks are frequently seen on Green Lake lawns);
  • 8 Canada Geese;
  • one White-fronted Goose with them;
  • 1 Northern Flicker (in tree and on the ground), 
  • a Steller's Jay, and 
  • heard, but didn't see, a Kingfisher.
  • and while searching for beavers, I saw an otter checking me out!

Here's one of the otters that was looking at Chris
Photo by Martin DeGrazia

Volunteer extraordinaire Dick Decker led many weeding and planting parties at the Bog in 2011-2012, removing blackberries and planting hundreds of trees and shrubs. At one point, they had to put fences around the young trees because the resident beavers kept chewing them down.

Martin DeGrazia spends many hours on the Bog taking photos and has set up a Facebook page Ronald Bog Photo Blog with his beautiful photos.

Updated 2-23-2017 names of birds
Updated 2-24-2017 Turns out we have real, dam-building beavers at Ronald Bog! I'd been told that all our locals were mountain beavers, which are more of a burrowing rodent-type creature. I have no photos of either in our towns - if you do - send them in!


Alex MacKenzie February 23, 2017 at 12:23 PM  

Please note the correct bird spellings: Merganser; Wigeons.

DKH February 23, 2017 at 1:17 PM  

Thank you Alex. Corrections made.

Anonymous,  March 22, 2017 at 11:26 AM  

Otters are great

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