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All About Bears

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)Officers Nick Jorg (seen on the left) and Chris Moszeter (below), who you may have seen on  Animal Planet, are going to conduct a very lively and entertaining presentation about Bears in Washington State.  Their assistants, who may steal the show, are:  Colter and Savute  – two Karelian bear dogs (they are brothers) who help resolve bear/people conflicts.   To learn more about these great dogs go to wdfw.wa.gov and type “bear dogs” in the search bar.

In Washington State, black bears live in a diverse array of forested habitats, from coastal rainforests to the dry woodlands of the Cascades’ eastern slopes. In general, black bears are strongly associated with forest cover, but they do occasionally use open country, such as forest clearings and the fringes of other open habitat. Black bears are found throughout Washington State.  Also, much to the surprise of most Washingtonians, there are  grizzly bears in the State who reside in the North Cascades! 

The  black bear population in Washington is much larger than the grizzly population.   According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are between 25,000 and 30,000 black bears in the State.  As  human populations encroach on black bear habitat, people and bears have greater chances of encountering each other. Bears usually avoid people, but when bears and people come into close proximity, the bear’s strength and surprising speed can make for a dangerous situation.

Occasional confrontations with bears are the result of a surprise encounter at close range. However, most conflicts result from people living in bear country carelessly attracting bears with improperly contained garbage or pet food outside their homes.  And to most people’s surprise, they are also attracted to bird feeders!  Bears have a great sense of smell.  The average dog’s sense of smell is 100 times better than humans.  A bloodhound is 300 times better.  A bear’s sense of smell is 7 times better than a bloodhound or 2,100 times better than a human.  If you are in bear country, chances are that the local bears will smell you coming their way!  And too many bird feeders in bear country is an invitation for bears to come to dinner.

All bears should be given plenty of respect and room to retreat without feeling threatened.  Officers Moszeter and Jorg spend most of their time addressing these conflicts.  “In the old days, we used to capture problem bears and relocate them to a different area.” says Jorg.  “We learned that the bears did not fare to well and, now, we capture bears near where there is a conflict with people and then enlist the aid of our bear dogs to help us scare the bears and make them understand that contact with people is not a good idea.”

Jorg says that, “During the show, we are going to teach everyone about bear habits and habitat requirements.  Then we will go over all the Do’s and Don’ts in Bear Country. At the end of the show,  we are going to a simulate a bear capture, and invite the audience to help Chris and I, and Savute and Colter ‘scare the bear’ (a WDFW staffer in a bear skin) away from the NW Stream Center.”  See WDFW photo of the real thing on the right with Colter ready to chase a very large bear!!!

This Streamkeeper Academy event will be fun for the whole family - but be prepared - you could get your face licked by one of the bear dogs! 

Advance reservations are required by calling 425-316-8592; $5 Adopt A Stream Foundation members, $7 non-members. 

Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Tickets: $5 Members / $7 Non-members.  This a very popular show - to guarantee a space, register in advance by calling 425-316-8592.
Minimum Class Size: 20
Age Recommendation: Grade 4 to Adult.

Swamp Creek Tree Planting

Join the Adopt A Stream Foundation Stream Team and learn how to plant native plants and shrubs the correct way - so that they will survive! 
The site is on the South Side of Swamp Creek just upstream from where it flows into the Sammamish River and Lake Washington.
This is going to be an adventure...getting there will be fun! 
To get to the site where you will help plant 400 trees and shrubs next to Swamp Creek, you will be transported by boat from the Kenmore Waterfront Activities Center, located at 7353 NE 175th Street, Kenmore, WA 98028 (use your smartphone for directions as this location is tucked away behind some condos).
Of course, dress for the weather and waterproof foot wear is advised.

In addition to planting a new forest that will help keep Swamp Creek cool in the summer months the way salmon and trout like it, you might wind up on TV like our November, 2016 crew ... check out what happened then on KING or KOMO TV.

The Swamp Creek tree planting adventure is a FREE!  Registration is not required, but a call  to 425-316-8592 or email message letting us know you are going to attend to aasf@streamkeeper.org would be appreciated.

Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 10 am to 1pm
Tickets: FREE
Age Recommendation: 6 years to old folks who are young at heart

First Flight: A Mother Hummingbird’s Story

Winner! Best Independent Award

The hummingbird nesting movie, "First Flight" won BEST of Category - INDEPENDENT, Merit Award for Storytelling, Merit Award for Educational Value, Merit Award for Animal Behavior and Merit Award for Backyard Nature at the 33rd International Wildlife Film Festival, Missoula, Montana!

"Sometimes, the smallest thing can change your life..." one of the smallest birds in the world indeed changed the life of New York advertising photographers into the award winning film makers!

Documenting the lucky finding of the tiny hummingbird's nest on the clothesline in their new home in Las Vegas, the Carroll’s turned the story of Honey, the mother hummingbird and her little chicks into a book and a movie...

This charming 45 minute nature documentary invites you to witness personal life of hummingbirds. Witness breathtaking moment of Honey laying her eggs and the tiny hatchlings Ray and Zen pecking themselves into a new life. 

After the movie, there will be a special 10 minute film segment focusing on hummingbird tongues! Then there will be short Q&A session about local hummingbirds conducted by hummingbird fan Tom Murdoch.  Copies of the First Flight book and video are available at the Northwest Stream Center Nature Store.

Date: Thursday, February 23
Time: 7 PM
Tickets: Admission is $3.  Space is limited and past shows have filled up - advance registration is required by calling 425-316-8592.
Age Recommendation: This fascinating and beautiful film is great for the whole family!  Attention parents: kids love this film.