Vertebrate Notes for Lincoln County, Oregon: September 1994-April 2003

Last Update: 25 August 2009. These notes are from the Sandpiper, a publication of Yaquina Birders & Naturalists.
Skywatching Notes Plant Notes Invertebrate Notes Vertebrate Notes

Fish: ----Marine Fish and Sharks----Freshwater Fish

Amphibians and Reptiles: ----Frogs----Salamanders and Newts----Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea)----Snakes----Turtles



The "Other Nature Notes" column for nonbird field observations began in May 1994; previously, there were occasional articles about animals other than birds. Based on observations shared by observers, Range Bayer compiled this column through 2000, and Kathy Merrifield began writing the column in 2001. If you have any observations to share, email them to her.

Unfortunately, Range has lost his computer files for the Sandpiper prior to September 1994, so earlier notes would have to be scanned and converted to text. Below, Range has re-organized and done some editing of "Other Nature Notes" columns from September 1994 and some columns only about dragonflies. Notes are organized by plant or animal group.

Note that these are incidental observations and were not meant to be comprehensive. Nevertheless, there is so little information available about many of these plants or animals in Lincoln County that these notes provide information that is not otherwise available. Some notes are from Neskowin in Tillamook County or coastal Lane County because the observers were Yaquina Birders & Naturalists members.

Common names may be capitalized or not, although it is preferred to have only one style.

To save bandwidth, this material has been subdivided into four files:

Skywatching Notes Plant Notes Invertebrate Notes Vertebrate Notes

Some Lincoln Co. site locations: Bayshore Beach=ocean beach along north Alsea Bay Spit, Bayview Pasture=field east of junction of Beaver Creek Road and North Alsea Bay Road, Beaver Creek=creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park, Coquille Point=SE Corner of Sally's Bend, Driftwood Beach State Park=park about halfway between Seal Rocks and Waldport, Eckman Lake=lake just east of Waldport along Hwy 34, HMSC=OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho Flats=large embayment just east of HMSC, Lost Creek State Park=park about 4.75 mi south of Yaquina Bay Bridge, Mike Miller Park=county park just easy of HWY 101 in South Beach, Ona Beach State Park=park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay Bridge, Sallys Bend=large embayment east of the LNG tank at Yaquina Bay, Sandpiper Village=residential area west of HWY 101 and north of Waldport, Seawoods=residential area just north of Patterson State Park, Thiel Creek=creek about 3.5 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge, Tidewater=about 8 mi east of Waldport, Wandemere=about 0.5 mi north of Ona Beach along Hwy 101.

Fish in Lincoln Co.

Marine Fish and Sharks

On 7/12/1995 off Yaquina Head, Roy Lowe and Dave Pitkin spotted a blue shark and a 23 ft long basking shark.

On 9/18/1996, Roy Lowe and Dave Pitkin did an aerial USFWS census along the Oregon Coast from Newport northward and found many sunfish (Mola mola).

Freshwater Fish

(The following record is included because of its novelty. Freshwater fish reports are rarely included in the Sandpiper.)

In the yard of her Neskowin home in Tillamook County, Shirley Schwartz found a 3 in long fish on 8/11/1995 that may have been dropped by a passing bird.

Amphibians and Reptiles in Lincoln Co.


In 1995, Terry Morse heard frogs calling at Newport Reservoir and Mike Miller Park on 2/25 and 26.

In 1996 at Newport Reservoir on 2/11, Terry heard Pacific Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris regilla) [formerly called Pacific Tree Frogs] calling, and Range Bayer also heard them calling in South Beach during several days in mid-February.

In 1997, a sign of spring were the frogs (probably Pacific Chorus Frogs) singing before midnight in South Beach on 1/19 (Range Bayer).

In 1999, Rebecca Cheek and Walt Nelson saw dozens of small, probable Pacific Chorus Frogs on the pavement of North Beaver Creek road along with at least four Red-legged Frogs (Rana aurora) during the evening of 11/13.

In 2001, Kathy Merrifield writes that the low bluffs just south of the Yachats River mouth welcome a diversity of organisms from several habitats, including fresh water. On 5/6/2001, she heard but could not see Pacific Chorus Frogs calling from high upper intertidal pools which receive freshwater inflow as well as seawater influence. Three frogs alternated calls from sheltered water below large, ocean-rounded rocks partially submerged in the slow-moving fresh water. According to Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest (Nussbaum, Brodie, and Storm, University of Idaho Press, 1983), Pacific treefrogs can breed in a wide variety of still or slow waters, including temporary ponds. In spring, depending upon temperature, they migrate from upland vegetation to breeding ponds, and males begin to sing when they reach the water. Their choruses are usually nocturnal but may continue, at least sporadically, during the day. Two or three males call in sequence during calling bouts, which attract females.

Kathy Merrifield continues about her May 2001 observations at Yachats: "over 20 years ago, while studying invertebrate zoology, I saw what looked like small, dark tadpoles in a high upper intertidal pool along the Oregon central coast. Because of the invertebrate zoology influence, and because frogs are not saltwater organisms, I thought they might be one of the primitive chordates, which are supposed to be shaped like tadpoles. Upon researching every available reference, I found no primitive chordate descriptions that fit these small, dark, tadpole-like organisms. The Yachats treefrogs provided the opportunity to revisit that upper intertidal sighting after two decades. What looked like small, dark tadpoles were probably small, dark tadpoles. Sometimes biology is pretty straightforward."

In 2001, on May 28, Pacific Chorus Frogs continued their chorus from between rocks around high intertidal pools at Yachats (Kathy Merrifield). Tidepool tadpoles first appeared on 7/8, when there were 280; the largest ones already had hind legs. 120 remained on 7/22, and just over 100 were there on 8/5 and 8/19. These tadpoles were small and black, distinguishing them from the tadpoles of any other frogs and toads in this area, according to Jenner Horton, wildlife biologist. At first glance, they look like easy prey for gulls and any other potential predators, but because they burrow in sediment immediately and quickly upon sensing motion over their pools, they are probably hard to catch. Due to taxonomic changes, Pacific Tree Frogs are called Pacific Chorus Frogs in more recent references. Both names refer to the cute little green-to-brown frogs with the black Lone Ranger mask over their eyes.

In the rain on 1/4/2003, Christmas Bird Count day, Bob Loeffel and Rebecca Cheek heard one Pacific chorus frog (formerly called Pacific tree frog) in the South Beach area. By 1/5, there was a real chorus of Pacific Chorus Frogs in the Wandemere woods; they were singing again on 1/6 (Rebecca Cheek).

Salamanders and Newts in Lincoln Co.

After the first rains during the fall of 1995, Betty Slauson noted that Rough-skinned Newts (Taricha graulosa) seemed to be everywhere in the Yachats area.

In 1999, Rebecca Cheek and Walt Nelson found a Pacific Giant Salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) during the afternoon of 11/13 at Drift Creek Wilderness.

In the rain on 1/4/2003, Christmas Bird Count day, Bob Loeffel and Rebecca Cheek saw at least 2 dozen rough-skinned newts walking about or swimming in puddles in the South Beach area.

Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea) in Lincoln Co.

On 8/18/1994, Terry Morse noted that northern alligator lizards are much sparser around the HMSC this summer than in past years.

Along the HMSC Nature Trail , Terry Morse saw two northern alligator lizards on 2/14/1996, and Dave Pitkin saw one scurrying around on 1/29/1998.

Snakes in Lincoln Co.

(Northwestern Garter Snakes [Thamnophis ordinoides] and Common Garter Snakes [T. sirtalis] may both occur; garter snakes are common.)

Along the HMSC Nature Trail, Terry Morse found a Northwestern Garter Snake along the HMSC Nature Trail on 2/3/1995, 2/14/1996, and 3/13/1996. On 3/13/1996 at Newport Reservoir, Terry Morse discovered a couple of small (about 5 inches) garter snakes (Thamnophis sp.) and one about 2 feet long.

The week of 10/20/1996, a woman from Depoe Bay found a snake and brought it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office at the HMSC to be identified. Dave Pitkin reports that it was a young Corn Snake, which is not native here but are often sold in pet stores. Because they like warm temperatures (e.g., 70F nights!), it would not have survived here long. It probably escaped from someone's collection.

Turtles in Lincoln Co.

(The maps on p. 32-33 of the 1997 "Atlas of Oregon Wildlife" suggest that only western pond turtles [Clemmys marmorata] occur in Lincoln County.)

In 1995, Terry Morse saw an unidentified turtle hauled out on a log at the middle pond of the Newport Reservoir on 2/25 and 3/26.

In 1996, Terry Morse found 1-2 chocolate-brown turtles hauled out on an emergent log at Newport Reservoir on 3/16 and 3/24. On April 6, Terry Morse saw "three unidentified chocolate-brown turtles hauled out on a Newport Reservoir log, the most I've seen at one time. They were large, medium, and small (at a rough guess, ca. 12 inches, 8-10 inches, ca. 5 inches long)."

Mammals in Lincoln Co.

Marine and Estuarine Mammals

Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robustus)

(Gray Whales are very regularly seen but not reported often in the Sandpiper because they are so common.)

On 9/18/1996, Roy Lowe and Dave Pitkin did an aerial census along the Oregon Coast from Newport northward and found 11 Gray Whales.

On 9/9/2000, Jennifer Weiss noted that a gray whale was so close to shore at Yaquina Head that it could be heard every time it spouted!

On 8/28/2001, Tanya Bray and two Midwestern friends were treated to excellent views of a gray whale extremely close to the rocks of Boiler Bay: they could even hear it spout! Sounds like the memory of a lifetime for Midwesterners.

As Michael Noack surfed at Driftwood Wayside on 4/30/2002, 3 gray whales, including one calf, swam less than 75 yards from where he sat in the water waiting for the next wave. Observers told him later that the whales appeared very close to him.

Off Depoe Bay on 8/4/2002, Dave Tracy saw a couple of gray whales.

Range Bayer's letter to Gov. Kulongoski about Improving the State of Oregon's Response to Beached Whales Based on the State's Response to the Gray Whale Beached on 27 May 2007 Near Seal Rocks

Orcas/Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Lincoln Co.

In 1997, a pod of orcas was south of the Yaquina Bay jetties on 5/17, and, on 5/21, Steve Gobat reports that a pod came into a cove at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and caught a harbor seal and that many people were able to watch the killer whales while they were there!

In 1998, on 8/22, Shirley Schwartz watched from shore and saw at least three killer whales at Hart's Cove (Cascade Head in Tillamook County).

In 1999, five killer whales were near Yachats on 5/29 (Trent Bray and others).

On 5/7/2000 at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, a visitor reported seeing and videotaping a male Orca (Killer Whale) partially beach on Seal Island as it unsuccessfully pursued a harbor seal (fide Terry Morse). Later the same day, other visitors also reported seeing 2- 3 Orcas there (fide Terry Morse).

In 2001, Dave Tracy spotted 3 orcas in the channel at the Yaquina Bay South Jetty on 4/15. Bill Hanshumaker of HMSC says that concurrent arrival of tax day and orcas is common in Yaquina Bay. He thinks orcas have been sighted during tax week 13 of the last 16 years.

Also in 2001, Jennifer Weiss of BLM and her companions saw several orcas fairly close to shore at Yaquina Head on 5/25. The first sighting was from the lighthouse area, and the whales were close to Seal Island. They then headed south, and people on the south side of the park at Quarry Cove got an excellent look at them. One was a male with an impressive dorsal fin. Also apparently present were a female and a calf, although some observers said they saw a male and two female/calf pairs, making a total of 5. She could make out only three (male, female, and calf); Julia Parrish, a professor and seabird expert from University of Washington said she saw the male and two female/calf pairs. The females and calves surfaced in an organized and synchronous array.

In 2002, 3 orcas were 40 mi off Newport, where Wayne Hoffman fished on 5/10.

Other Whales in Lincoln Co.

On 6/24/1997, Roy Lowe and Dave Pitkin were lucky to spot a breaching humpback whale only about 1.5 mi off Depoe Bay. Roy writes: "We had very good closeup looks at the whale, but we were unable to photograph the flukes in hopes of identifying this individual. This is only the third humpback I have seen in Oregon over the last decade." On 7/15, Roy and Dave encountered two humpbacks (a cow and a possible calf) about 14 nmi off Waldport and then 13 nautical miles off Seal Rock, they observed "two more humpbacks that repeatedly breached in spectacular fashion!"

During Phil Pickering's 4/1/2001 seawatch at Boiler Bay, he saw what was almost certainly a fin whale about a mile out--a huge, dark animal with about a 2 foot high backwards-curved dorsal fin. It surfaced twice and seemed to be headed north.

Northern Fur Seal (Callorhinus ursinus) in Lincoln Co.

On 12/1/2001 off Boiler Bay, Wayne Hoffman saw a small northern fur seal porpoising its way north, close to shore. It repeatedly emerged vertically from the water to a height of four feet or so (a bit higher than its body length), looped over, and plunged head first into the water, then swam underwater for a few hundred feet before emerging again. This is the only northern fur seal WH has ever seen from shore.

Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) in Lincoln Co.

(River otters can be in the ocean and be misidentified as sea otters.)

In early June 1999, Laimons Osis found a dead, young sea otter pup washed up near Beaver Creek. Conjecture is that it may have washed down from Washington.

Sea Lions in Lincoln Co.

(Sea lions are so common that they are seldom reported in the Sandpiper.)

At Newport in 1994, Terry Morse heard the first California sea lion of the season on 10/7.

On 12/2/2001 off Boiler Bay, Wayne Hoffman observed a northward movement of California sea lions.

Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Marine/Estuarine Waters

(Harbor seals are so common in marine/estuarine waters that they are seldom reported in the Sandpiper.)

(Also see Harbor Seals in Freshwater.)

BLM staff saw a harbor seal pup nursing at Yaquina Head on 5/1/1999.

Kathy Merrifield, who has always seen harbor seals hauled out on mud or sand, saw 24 harbor seals hauled out on the grassy islands opposite the Waldport E city limit in Alsea Bay on 5/30/2002.

Betty Bahn received several distinct reports of a totally white harbor seal near the Old Town Dock (Port Dock) in Waldport in mid-December 2002.

Other Marine Mammals in Lincoln Co.

10 harbor porpoises cavorted off Wandemere on 5/1/2002 (Rebecca Cheek and Walt Nelson).

Freshwater Mammals in Lincoln Co.

American Beaver (Castor canadensis)

On 20 February 1995, Jill Grover saw a large beaver in the surf at Bayshore Beach, just north of Waldport. When it landed on the beach, it was rubbing its eyes and seemed uncomfortable with the salt water.

On 4/26/1997, Mike Adam saw two beavers west of Eckman Lake in Alsea Bay, which seems far downstream for them.

In January 2003, Gloria Baum reports from her forested Little Whale Cove yard and environs that a beaver has become active along the creek that flows into Little Whale Cove. So far, dam-building has been limited to accumulation of organized debris piles along the stream.

General Remarks about Beavers by Kathy Merrifield in Jan. 2003 Sandpiper

Beavers fit into western Oregon natural systems as vegetarians with wide-ranging diets; their main food is bark. In our area, they eat the bark of red alder, cottonwood, and willow most of the time. Where aspen is available, its bark is beavers' favorite food. Its bark tastes bitter to humans, but it must taste good to beavers. In addition, salmonberry, salal, deer ferns, sword ferns, sedges, and skunk cabbage can be on beavers' menu. In unusual cases, they may eat small quantities of Douglas fir and western hemlock bark, but most of their association is with broadleaved trees. Our western forest Douglas firs, spruces, hemlocks, and cedars are safe.

Eating bark seems like a nutty idea to me (KM), but it is not all that uncommon. A major portion of black bears' and porcupines' diets consist of conifer cambium. Cambium is the cylinder of wood-growing layer under the bark but outside of the wood. As it grows, cambium sends water-conducting cells, called "wood," to the inside and food-conduction cells, called "phloem," to the outside. It may be that bears eat the food-conducting layer, too, because it might taste sweet due to its food (sugar) content. This is all just speculation on my part. Porcupines and bears eat mostly or all conifer bark. Also, according to ethnobotanical literature, the Northern Athapaskan people ate western hemlock bark, perhaps for these speculative reasons. I guess I ought to be open-minded and try it.

Anyway, after eating the bark off of branches and small trunks they harvest, beavers use the branches to construct dams and lodges. Dams can be up to six feet high and 600 yards long, but in small streams, they are usually inconspicuous. The dams sometimes induce the formation of ponds, and beaver activity also results in a stair-step profile (side view) in the stream channel. This profile decreases the water speed and increases the retention of sediments and organic matter, which are valuable soil components that are easily lost to erosion. Wetter soils near dams provide more habitat for small hardwoods, the beavers' main food. These flooded soils also store nutrients, especially nitrogen, potassium calcium, and iron, which are then ready for uptake by plants for use as nutrients.

One big overall effect of beaver activity is an increase in structural diversity in a forested area. In addition to felled trees and dams, trees killed by flooding become available as snags, which are almost always in short supply for cavity-nesting animals such as woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, bluebirds, and squirrels. The moisture gradient from pond to upland soils provides many different soil characteristics for a diversity of plants. This diversity attracts more wildlife, specifically birds that people like to watch, than would a more homogeneous upland forest. Yet another effect of beaver activity is the cooling of streams. Water cools as it moves through subsurface soil, so when it ultimately rejoins the main flow downstream, the water's overall temperature drops. This can be important for fishes such as salmon and trout.

Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Freshwater in Lincoln Co.

(Also see Harbor Seals in Marine/Estuarine Waters.)

Pat and Bunny Wright often see harbor seals hunting 11 miles inland in the Alsea River. The seals produce great swirls, much like a passing boat. This 11 mile trip is especially impressive considering that the seals have to negotiate rocks and rapids just below this locality. The seal was still there as of 3/8/2002.

A harbor seal churned the Alsea River the morning of 11/12/2002, 11 miles upriver at Pat and Bunny Wright's Tidewater home. It looked like a gray-spotted torpedo as it chased the returning salmon. The rain brought the salmon upriver that day. The ground had been so dry that even though the river is rising, it is still clear, with very little current.

On 3/2/2003, a harbor seal took a large fish at Tidewater (Pat Wright). Bunny Wright writes that as of 3/10, the same seal seems to have taken up residence just down from their yard before the river goes over the rapids. The seal was present constantly, swimming in slow circles and occasionally grabbing a large salmon, resulting in a great deal of splashing.

River Otter (Lutra canadensis) in Lincoln Co.

(River Otters sometimes go into the ocean, and an otter in the ocean here is most likely a River Otter.)

Because river otters are trapped for their fur, the locations of river otter sightings are not given in the Sandpiper, so as to not tip off trappers where some may be.

On 4/20/1996, a river otter ran through Jill Grover's yard at Sandpiper Village--maybe it knew about the storms of 4/22 and 23 and was escaping to dry land???

On 8/30/2000, Bunny and Pat Wright saw something truly amazing along the Alsea River. Bunny writes: "A bobcat surprised three river otters on the riverbank. This must have made them mad because they tormented the cat for 10-15 minutes, swimming close by and splashing and diving when he got close. At one point, the cat jumped or fell into the river and ended the 'game.' Like most cats, he undoubtedly hated to get wet and went off in a sulk."

On 10/15/2000, Steve Gobat spotted two river otters near Newport.

During the 2001 summer, Betty Bahn saw an adult river otter with 2 young in south Lincoln County waters.

In November 2001, Pat and Bunny Wright were still enjoying a family of cavorting river otters in south Lincoln County.

In 2002, over four inches of snow accumulated in the Tidewater area on 1/27, and the landscape was transformed, report Pat and Bunny Wright. During that time, they saw a family of eight river otters in south Lincoln County waters, climbing up on a slope above the water and playing like puppies, tumbling, pushing snow with their noses, and sliding down into the water, only to run up again, over and over. PW feels that most or all of them had never seen snow before. The otters kept it up for at least a half hour.

All 8 members of the river otter family were back along a S Lincoln County coastal stream as of 9/24/2002 (Pat and Bunny Wright). They cruise up and down but always come up on the bank in their special area to play. The otters' favorite summertime game is running up the bank and sliding down into the water. Although they always seem to be having fun, they are serious fishermen.

Along a S Lincoln County river on 3/1/2003, Pat and Bunny Wright saw 3 river otters land a large fish which looked like a salmon. The otters fought over it and then settled down to eat. They ate in a certain pecking order: one got most of the flesh, another, the skin, and the third, the leftovers.

Strong winds from the west on 4/2/2003 washed many items onto the Seal Rock beach, including 1 dead river otter (Dave Pitkin).

Terrestrial Mammals in Lincoln Co.

Bats (Family Vespertilionidae)

In 1995, at her Neskowin (Tillamook Co.) home, Shirley Schwartz watched two bats flying overhead on 8/2 that were chasing each other. When they nearly collided, they squeaked; this was the first time that she had heard bats chatter. She noted a small brown bat roosting in the corner of her porch on 12/2, and, on 12/3, it was flying around to catch insects at 4:55 PM.

In 1996, Shirley Schwartz noted a bat flying after insects at about 5:15 PM on 1/10 and 11 at her Neskowin (Tillamook Co.) home. It remained until at least 2/12; it is black with a gray back.

In 2002, a bat flew over Rebecca Cheek and Walt Nelson's Wandemere driveway on 1/2, leading them to wonder if the sunny, mild weather brought out some insects.

Also in 2002, all was quiet at 8:30 PM on 1/10 as Shirley Schwartz sat reading in her Neskowin (Tillamook County) living room when she heard a noise that seemed to come from the kitchen. Soon there were more scritch- scratching noises; it sounded like mice over the cupboards. Then the chattering began - they were bats, probably in the roof, perhaps having gained access through a ridge vent. They chattered for nearly 20 minutes and then were silent. This has happened twice before in previous years.

One evening during the week of 9/10/2002, many insects, possibly winged ants, flew about Jim and Janice Gerdemann's forested Yachats property. At about twilight, Janice Gerdemann noticed several bats flying first one direction, then back. For maybe a half-hour, more and more bats appeared until they totaled several dozen. They have a bat house on the east side of their house, but no bats appeared there.

On 11/15/2002, Pat Wright nearly fell off his ladder when a little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) came flying out of an overhead space in an outbuilding in Pat and Bunny's Tidewater yard. Bunny Wright gathered the bat up in a towel to protect it from cats, but it lay for a long time with wings outspread and quivering before flying off.

Standard mammal references for Oregon are not clear on whether little brown bats winter in Oregon. Little brown bats usually disappear from Oregon sometime in October, and there are records of caves and a few buildings being used as hibernacula. Maybe the Wright's find in Nov. 2002 is a piece to the puzzle: maybe little brown bats sleep lightly during the relatively warm Oregon coastal winters but are ready to wake up quickly when danger, such as men on ladders, strikes (Kathy Merrifield).

On the evening of 3/29/2003, Roy Lowe was outside barbecuing just after sunset and saw his first bat (little brown) of the year. He saw only one, just briefly, so large numbers may not have arrived yet.

Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

Darrel Faxon and Paul Sullivan birded from Grass Mountain to Newport on 6/3/2001, giving lots of attention to flycatcher calls. At Nute Slough (Yaquina Bay), they saw a large black bear come up from the bay side of the road, cross the pavement, and head into the woods. Fortunately, says Darrel, it was not calling. (But was it catching flies?)

On Halloween night 2001 while baking cookies, Betty Bahn looked out her kitchen window and saw a big black head and two beady eyes staring at her. It was a black bear! BB crouched, and when she peeked through her living room window, the bear was right there on her deck. A neighbor came and scared away the bear, which has been a nuisance in that area. ODFW set a bear trap, but it was not caught as of 11/24. As recommended by ODFW, BB has been taking down her bird feeders at night so they don't attract the bear. ODFW thinks it is probably a male and should be going into hibernation by 12/1. We're glad you're still with us, BB, to bake cookies and send in bird (and bear) reports!

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) in Lincoln Co.

On 8/30/2000, Bunny and Pat Wright saw something truly amazing along the Alsea River. Bunny writes: "A bobcat surprised three river otters on the riverbank. This must have made them mad because they tormented the cat for 10-15 minutes, swimming close by and splashing and diving when he got close. At one point, the cat jumped or fell into the river and ended the 'game.' Like most cats, he undoubtedly hated to get wet and went off in a sulk."

In March 2002, Eric Horvath saw a bobcat at about the 8 mile mark along North Beaver Creek Road. On April 27, Shirley Schwartz drove just a few blocks from her Neskowin (Tillamook County) home on 4/27/2002, she encountered a bobcat in the road; he looked at her and then trotted into the brush. Kathy Merrifield notes: ever since I read an article a couple of decades ago in Audubon Magazine entitled, "You'll Never See A Bobcat," I've been especially delighted whenever anyone sees a bobcat. I saw my first and only bobcat within one week of reading the article. However, Maser's "Mammals of the Pacific Northwest" does indeed indicate that bobcats are seldom seen.)

On 7/23/2002, Shirley Schwartz met another bobcat along the road to her Neskowin home.

Squirrels in Lincoln Co.

SQUIRRELOLOGY 101 by Kathy Merrifield in the Oct. 2002 Sandpiper

Most of the many native mammals in Lincoln County are rarely seen because of their secretive ways, cryptic pelages, obscure habitats, or nocturnal lifestyles. How often, for example, have you encountered a red- backed vole or tripped over a wandering shrew? Squirrels, however, join many birds among our most "watchable" wildlife: most are abroad in daylight, many are assertive, and most are vocal to some degree. And besides, they're cute. I've received many reports of various squirrels over the past several months, and often, there is some confusion about the identity of the animal. To remedy this problem, Other Nature Notes is providing you with this primer on squirrels.

Squirrels are members of the following progressively smaller groups: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata, Class Mammalia, and Order Rodentia. Rodents all have a single pair of continually-growing incisors in both upper and lower jaws and additional skull characteristics related to these incisors and the massive chewing function they suggest. Squirrels, Family Sciuridae, are separated from other rodents by the arrangement of their teeth and by their broad, domed skulls from which a little point sticks out above each eye hole. (Check your owl pellets.)

In W Oregon, there are five groups of squirrels - chipmunks, ground squirrels, marmots, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels. Lincoln County has representatives of four of these five groups: we have no marmots, which live along the crest of the high Cascades.

CHIPMUNKS, genus Tamias (Greek for "storer" or "distributor") have nine longitudinal stripes - four dark and five light - originating near the nose and extending to the tail. Some ground squirrels outside Lincoln County also have stripes on their backs, but only chipmunks have stripes on their FACES. Chipmunk incisors have a fine groove on the outside of each incisor. (Check your owl pellets again.)

The one chipmunk species in Lincoln County is Townsend's chipmunk. (John Kirk Townsend explored the Pacific Northwest in the 1830s.) It measures 9 to 11 inches, including tail, and weighs up to 4 ounces. Large and dark compared to other chipmunks, its stripes are more diffuse, and a gray patch punctuates the dark fur behind each ear. A small rockfall on a shaded roadcut along Canal Creek Road on 10/13 induced me to look upward for the originating chipmunk: its darkly striped face peered out from the shadows under rocks and roots in its demonstration of typical habitat. From their underground homes, Townsend's chipmunks run and hop along the forest floor and logs, through shrubs, and sometimes up trees, occasionally chipping their junco-like, slightly musical call. Berries and other tiny fruits are major foods in summer and fall. Maple, conifer, grass, and composite seeds; truffles (underground fungal sporulating structures); and insects are important from late fall through spring. Some food is cached in burrows for midwinter snacking.

The GROUND SQUIRRELS in western Oregon, members of genus Spermophilus (Greek for "seed lover"), are tunnel-dwelling diggers. They spend most of their time on the ground or close to it on rocks or logs, usually in open country; these are not tree-climbers. Different species in this diverse genus are colored in different ways. Those in our area have coarsely short-furred warm gray upperparts with small, diffuse white spots; underparts are a little lighter. Some other ground squirrels have stripes on their backs but never on their faces.

Lincoln County's one species of ground squirrel is the Beechey or California ground squirrel. (Beechey sailed along the California coast in 1828.) These squirrels are also called "graydiggers," usually in a tone of contempt and often preceded by unprintable adjectives, because their goals for open space often differ from those of humans (see Other Nature Notes, 5/2002.) They construct extensive burrow systems and eat green leaves, roots, corms, bulbs, fruits, and seeds--all unwelcome activities in yards. Even so, they are integral members of prairie ecosystems, providing underground shelter for many organisms, control of plant growth, food for predators, and seed, spore, and nutrient dissemination. They measure up to 20 inches long including tail and weigh up to a pound. YBSJ is an excellent place to see Beechey ground squirrels: they live among the higher jetty rocks near parking areas, where they beg for handouts.

TREE SQUIRRELS climb trees. Two genera, Sciurus (Latin for "shadow tail;" large tree squirrels) and Tamiasciurus (Greek for "storer, distributor" plus Latin for "shadow tail;" small tree squirrels) are represented in western Oregon. The WESTERN GRAY SQUIRREL, Sciurus griseus, prefers broadleaf trees, and so probably occurs most commonly in Lincoln County towards the eastern border (but I'm not sure if I've ever seen a western gray squirrel in Lincoln County, not that I've been paying attention). The western gray appears silvery due to white tips on its gray hairs, and its silvery salt-and-pepper tail is the longest and fluffiest of all the Oregon squirrels. Western grays measure up to 25 inches long (half tail) and weigh up to 2 pounds. Their diet consists mostly of large seeds such as acorns, western hazelnuts, and conifer seeds. They sometimes cut cones for later seed recovery on the ground, where they also forage for truffles, foliage, berries, and insects. Foods are scatter-hoarded and later located by smell. Other Sciurus species have been introduced to western Oregon cities (a dumb idea) but none in Lincoln County.

The DOUGLAS SQUIRREL, Tamiasciurus douglasi, is also called "chickaree," a spoken imitation of its call. (David Douglas botanized W North America in the 1820s.) Douglas squirrels are most common in coniferous forests, and they are indeed abundant in forested Lincoln County. Measuring from 10 to 14 inches long, including a 6 to 9 inch tail, they weigh up to 10 ounces. Black side stripes separate rich brown upperparts from orange underparts. An orange eye-ring sets off their deep brown eyes. Sometimes they are also called "red squirrels" or "pine squirrels," but these names are usually reserved for T. hudsonianus, a closely related resident of the Rockies including Oregon's Blue Mountains. These two species share the name "chickaree."

Douglas squirrels cut LOTS of cones in the fall (see Other Nature Notes, 9-2002), which they carry intact from the forest floor to their caches in hollow stumps or underground burrows. As a squirrel eats seeds from its cached cones throughout the winter, a kitchen midden accumulates from discarded cone scales. From spring through fall, Douglas squirrels' main food is fungal fruiting bodies (mushrooms) - especially truffles, which mature underground. Their many calls range from a quiet "brrr" to loud, excited barks. On 10/13 up by Keller Creek, I saw a bolete mushroom whose cap bore two days worth of teeth marks just the right size for a Douglas squirrel. Seconds later, that species' chattering crescendo rattled from a nearby hemlock. In addition, on 10/18, YBNFT watched a Douglas squirrel eat a brown-capped mushroom as it rested on a tree branch.

Like many nocturnal mammals, FLYING SQUIRRELS (genus Glaucomys, Greek for "silvery" and "mouse") have large, dark, protruding eyes. Their short, dense fur is indeed silver. The northern flying squirrel (G. sabrinus) occurs throughout the forested Pacific northwest, including Lincoln County. Flying squirrels glide rather than fly using the furred gliding membrane stretched along their bodies from each wrist to ankle, steering horizontally with their forelegs and vertically with their tails. They nest in abandoned tree cavities or in structures they build themselves. Truffles are their main food from spring through fall, and lichens are added in winter. Because of flying squirrels' dependence on these foods, they are usually associated with older forests. I have never seen a flying squirrel in Lincoln County, but then, I've seen only one in my life. I have no doubt that they're here; it's just that I'm diurnal.

Flying squirrels, along with the other fungus-eating squirrels described above, are key components of forest ecosystems: they distribute viable fungus spores along with nutrients in their droppings. Most of these fungi are necessary for good tree growth because of their symbiosis with roots - mycorrhizae - in which the fungi procure far more water and nutrients for the tree than the tree could by itself. Forest health would decrease in the absence of chipmunks, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels. Squirrels are more than just cute - they're valuable. All the mammals and birds we observe, along with thousands of other organisms, from microscopic to multitonned, perform countless functions that we don't know about or understand. All play specific parts in subtle, complex, foundational ecosystems. Our appreciation of their value, along with any appreciation we can pass along to others, can only increase the chances of natural systems surviving humanity.

And besides - squirrels are cute. Also see California Ground Squirrel and Chickaree/Douglas' Squirrel.

California Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi) in Lincoln Co.

(Also known as "gray digger.")

In 1996, one California ground squirrel was out along the HMSC Nature Trail on 2/14 (Terry Morse).

In 1999, late in the afternoon of 9/7, Rebecca Cheek walked out into her yard at Wandemere. She writes: "I heard a horrendous shrieking chatter coming from the direction of the vegetable garden. I was sure the cat (who hangs out there) was murdering a jay or a chickaree; the cat was in sight but without victim or feathers on face, and seemed only mildly interested in the source of the racket, which was coming from under one of the large planter boxes - planters are elevated on small blocks of wood so there is a 2" gap around the edge opening into a hollow space underneath of about 6" in height. So I got down on all fours, put my face against the ground and peered into the dark cave to see what manner of creature was under there-- it was a squirrel, still sounding the alarm but apparently uninjured. We studied each other. The squirrel decided it was best to be quiet. The cat got bored and wandered off. I realized the refugee might not be a chickaree--it looked too big and wrong color, and anyway why would a chickaree hide under a planter when there was a big wooden trellis to climb not 3' away? After a few moments the squirrel began to fidget and decided to make a break for freedom, and as soon as it came into the open I saw it was one of those big Beechey's (California) Ground Squirrels. It galloped across the vegetable garden, made a circuit along the fence around the parking area, then raced down the driveway for 200', making 2 surveillance stops before diving into the woods. It behaved as though it knew where it wanted to go but couldn't find an open route." It was the first one she had seen there; perhaps it was a young one dispersing from more favorable open habitat like at Yaquina Head, the Yaquina Bay South Jetty, or South Beach Peninsula.

In 2001, Pat and Bunny Wright, figured out the identity of their resident California ground squirrel as it ate sunflower seeds on the ground under their Tidewater feeder in early September.

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CALIFORNIA GROUND SQUIRRELS. In May 2002, Rebecca Cheek and Walt Nelson had a ground squirrel living under their front deck. It first arrived late last summer at the same time the juvenile chipmunks and chickarees (Douglas squirrels) dispersed. The ground squirrel spent the fall getting fat on sunflower seed from the bird feeders, went underground for the winter, and emerged in late February. What literature RC found said they eat more young vegetation in early spring. In addition to bird seed, the squirrel has also been eating hawkweed (false dandelion) leaves and crowns, dandelion flowers, miner's lettuce, and sea thrift leaves and flower heads. In March, after a month of daily sightings, the squirrel vanished, and RC was sure the neighbor's big cat was responsible. But after about ten days, the squirrel reappeared and returned to its regular activity. RC's speculation that it was out looking for a mate sounds accurate: according to Chris Maser, in his wonderfully accessible book, "Mammals of the Pacific Northwest" (1998, OSU Press), most breeding seems to occur in March. In early May, RC saw the squirrel making repeated forays out from under the deck and returning with big mouthfuls of dry grass. So far it does not look unusually plump. RC and WN HOPE this animal is a male and also that it does not find the vegetable garden. That's what they said on 5/2, anyway.

Following the discovery that the ground squirrel ate Pacific iris corms, Rebecca Cheek reported another of its dietary items - corms of orange crocosmia. On 5/14/2002, she noticed a small pile of severed crocosmia plants lying next to a big upright clump of the same. The roots and corms had been chewed off. KM wonders if this squirrel could be trained to prefer crocosmia and then transferred to roadside ditches around Yachats, where crocosmia is a beautiful yet exuberant exotic invader. (Hey - how about that beautiful large yellow Iris pseudacoris, an exotic in ditches from at least Seal Rock S, while we're at it?)

Consumption of all crocus corms as of 5/26/2002 changed RC's mindset: the Have-A-Heart Trap is set.

Chickaree/Douglas' Squirrel (Tamiascurus douglasii) in Lincoln Co.

In 1995, Roy Lowe noted on 2/5 at his Waldport home: "Spring is really springing fast this year. Raspberry and blackberry vines are sprouting, my grass began to grow about 10 days to two weeks ago, and today I saw my first squirrel of the year. Watch, it will probably snow now!" [It snowed 8 days later!]

In 2001, a pine squirrel, also known as Douglas squirrel, visited Dawson and Bobby Mohler's Waldport yard on 10/28. On 12/9, a Douglas squirrel or chickaree cavorted on logs in the high tide driftwood on Driftwood Beach (Kathy Merrifield). Driftwood and beaches are not particularly usual habitat for this forest-dweller, but these logs were directly under overhanging wind-pruned Sitka spruce woodland. This means that spruce seeds in intact cones, one of the squirrels' major food sources, were readily available for them to eat and cache. Douglas squirrels, at 10 to 14 inches long including tails, are much smaller than western gray squirrels, our other native tree squirrel. (We also have native ground squirrels that are gray.) Douglas squirrels can be identified by their dark brown upperparts and light to dark orange underparts separated by a black stripe on each side. They are often noisy and active: these are the ones that direct loud, aggressive, chattering calls towards other species, including humans, who invade their territories.

In 2002, Dawson and Bobby Mohler reported a pine squirrel at their Waldport feeder on four days between 1/27 and 2/8, so they can be active in winter.

Bunny Wright wrote on 9/24/2002, "I'm going to have to carry binoculars when I go up to get the mail. Today I saw an honest-to-goodness tree squirrel. It was in the shade up in a tree and had a bushy tail held over its back and an orangish underside. It was a Douglas squirrel or chickaree.

On 9/2/2002, Shirley Schwartz heard funny noises in an old growth Sitka Spruce near her Neskowin (Tillamook Co.) home. She looked up to see a little face looking down at her: it was a red or Douglas squirrel (or chickaree), breaking off cones and throwing them to the ground for his winter storage.

On 9/16/2002, 1 or 2 Douglas squirrels were busily harvesting spruce cones, which fell with loud noises on Jim and Janice Gerdemann's deck and balcony in Yachats. The total cone count was at least 100.

On 11/3/2002, a Douglas Squirrel cavorted in the Sitka spruce on the E shore of Eckman Lake under which the fly agaric mushrooms later appeared. Maybe the squirrel helped with fungal spore dispersal (Kathy Merrifield).

Coyote (Canis latrans) in Lincoln Co.

(Coyotes are becoming more conspicuous, if not more abundant, that they were in the 1970's.)

Coyotes were howling near Neskowin in late August 1996 (Shirley Schwartz).

In 1999, Sally Lockyear searched unsuccessfully for the snow bunting at the Yaquina Bay South Jetty on 11/16, but "did see a coyote saunter slowly off the entry to the South Beach Trail. It then went over and hunkered down in the grasses right across from the big gull gathering spot."

In 2000, Roy Lowe spotted an immature coyote hunting outside his USFWS office at the HMSC on 4/18. On 9/1, a coyote was way out on the mudflats at Idaho Flats, just east of the HMSC, during the morning of 9/1--it is getting very bold (Roy Lowe).

Elsewhere in 2000, Laimons Osis saw a coyote along the beach south of South Beach on 9/21, Jim Haldiman spotted one on the beach at Lost Creek on 10/4, and Rebecca Cheek saw one at the YBSJ on 10/6, so at least one appears be a regular near the beach.

From the Dec. 2002 Sandpiper, Kathy Merrifield wrote: "These adaptable, fascinating brothers to our friends the dogs make a home not only where the buffalo roam but also where the snipe and the waterfowl play. Before about 1940 (or 1907, depending on the reference), these lovers of open country were absent N of the Siskiyous and E of the Cascades but now range over the entire state. Their colonization of NW Oregon is attributed to the clearcutting of forests: open habitat has increased, and logging roads have provided passageways between wooded lands."

On 7/24, a coyote puppy appeared in Shirley Schwartz' Neskowin back yard, but her dog's belligerent attitude convinced the young coyote to return to the forest.

A coyote visited Shirley Schwartz' Neskowin [Tillamook Co.] yard on 5/30/2002.

Bob Llewellyn wrote on 6/23/2002 that a friend saw about 25 elk feeding in a farm field near Deadwood about 20 mi east of Florence in Lane County. There were also 2 coyotes that were about 200 feet away from the elk. His friend was at first concerned that the coyotes might attack or harass the young elk but was surprised to see that the coyotes waited until the elk left the area before moving in and then catching 7 moles. The moles were evidently trying to rebuild their tunnels after the passing elk had crushed them!

On 9/10/2002 at Shirley Schwartz' Neskowin home, the coyote pack staged a parley outside her bedroom window at 1221 AM. They moved on before she could tape it, but they continued yelling in the area (and her dog continued barking) for the next two hours, at which time Shirley gave up and arose for the day. Continuing logging just over the ridge to the west may explain the plethora of coyotes there this past month.

Jamie Simmons spotted a coyote in the South Beach area on 11/23/2002.

Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) in Lincoln Co.

(They are so common that they are seldom reported in the Sandpiper.)

In 1997, Shirley Schwartz writes about what she saw on 7/29 at her Neskowin home in Tillamook County: "A doe has been bringing out her twins once or twice a day. Yesterday, one fawn was bucking, kicking and racing. He hid behind a tree, then jumped out and startled his sister!" On September 20, Shirley had eight deer at her home, including one doe with one twin in a winter coat and the other in summer garb.

In 1998, as many as seven deer (including at least two spikes and a doe with twins) put on a "rodeo " of racing, bucking, and kicking in Shirley Schwartz's yard at her Neskowin home on 8/15. In the winter of 1998/1999, deer became fixtures at Shirley's home, and she writes: "Sometimes eight deer show up, but the ubiquitous five appear daily: a doe with her 1998 twins plus her 1997 twins--a spike and his sister. I have not before seen yearling fawns stick so close to their Ma. She mostly has given up getting rid of them, although once in a while she strikes the spike with her front hoof. Come spring, she will have four to alienate!"

In 2002, Shirley Schwartz observed that last year's fawn near her Neskowin (Tillamook County) home visits the fawn's mother and aunt and was losing her winter coat as of 4/27. Her new coat is several shades lighter than normal, and she looks blotchy.

In Sept. 2002, Pat and Bunny Wright saw blacktail deer again in the field across the Alsea River from their Tidewater home swimming the river and feasting on apples fallen from a neighbor's tree.

On 11/25/2002, as Shirley Schwartz enjoyed her Neskowin (Tillamook County) autumn yard, a deer doe and her 6-month-old female fawn were nearby. Shirley was startled by the rat-a-tat of little hoof beats as the fawn attacked her. The fawn did not touch Shirley but was so close that she could feel a puff of air. The doe seemed surprised, too. Shirley couldn't figure out whether the fawn was serious or just full of mischief; she scolded it and told her she was a bad fawn. From now on, Shirley will keep her in sight. In 20 years of experiences with animals, Shirley has never before been attacked by a deer. She takes precautions, though. If she encounters a buck, she backs away. If a doe threatens, she leaves.

Elk or Wapiti (Cervus elaphus) in Lincoln Co.

(Fairly common.)

The pastures near the junction of Elkhorn and Beaver Creeks have been hot spots for elk in March 2001 (Laimons Osis).

On 11/14/2001, at 7:10 AM, Shirley Schwartz was walking Dog towards their Neskowin (Tillamook County) house when Dog indicated something of interest ahead. Indeed, there were elk in the back yard. As SS watched, at least 10 of them emerged and began feeding on the lawn. As their heads were down, she moved bit by bit towards the house, trying to stay behind a post. By this time, Dog was becoming quite agitated ("Lemme at 'em!"). SS gave Dog what she thought was a carefully whispered "No," but that was enough for the elk to swing their heads towards the trees and their butts towards SS as they melted back into the forest.

In 2002, elk have often been in Beaver Creek Valley in January and were regularly present, even in daylight, through April 20 (Laimons Osis).

In the September 2002 Sandpiper, Pat Wright reports that elk have been ravaging the gardens on the hill above the Tidewater Post Office in Smallwood Estates. You probably saw in the paper (wrote Bunny Wright) that one jumped right through a window of a greenhouse there. Pat has seen their tracks at the end of their Tidewater driveway but so far they haven't come into the yard.

Bob Llewellyn wrote on 6/23/2002 that a friend saw about 25 elk feeding in a farm field near Deadwood about 20 mi east of Florence in Lane County. There were also 2 coyotes that were about 200 feet away from the elk. His friend was at first concerned that the coyotes might attack or harass the young elk but was surprised to see that the coyotes waited until the elk left the area before moving in and then catching 7 moles. The moles were evidently trying to rebuild their tunnels after the passing elk had crushed them!

On 3/5/2003, Bob Llewellyn saw a herd of elk at Big Rock Creek. On 3/6, Pat and Bunny Wright saw a forked-horned bull amongst a herd of 12 cow elk and their young across the river from Tidewater. The bulls usually hide out in the hills, says BW; they won't see the elk much longer as the Herefords should be brought in sometime this month, but they'll be back when the cattle leave in October.

Moles (Scapanus sp.)

Bob Llewellyn wrote on 6/23/2002 that a friend saw about 25 elk feeding in a farm field near Deadwood about 20 mi east of Florence in Lane County. There were also 2 coyotes that were about 200 feet away from the elk. His friend was at first concerned that the coyotes might attack or harass the young elk but was surprised to see that the coyotes waited until the elk left the area before moving in and then catching 7 moles. The moles were evidently trying to rebuild their tunnels after the passing elk had crushed them!

Mountain Lion (Felis concolor) in Lincoln Co.

(During 1995-2002, we only had one report.)

Eric Horvath was excited by seeing a mountain lion about 15 feet away from him along a Drift Creek Wilderness trail in early June 1997.

Nutria or Coypu (Myocastor copypus)

Nutria are adaptable but one that Dave Pitkin saw running around the ocean beach just south of Seal Rocks on 9/13/1995 is out-of-place!

On 6/8/2002, Bob Llewellyn saw 7 nutria while was kayaking along Beaver Creek. Nutria are aquatic rodents introduced decades ago by the fur industry. Some escaped, and their progeny effect changes in aquatic habitat. Nutria multiply like rabbits even more successfully than rabbits do.

Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) in Lincoln Co.

(All skunks are apparently rare here or at least seldom reported.)

On 3/3/1996, Chuck Philo found a roadkilled striped skunk about a mile up HWY 229 from the junction with HWY 20. It is the first one he has seen in the past 25 years of observing roadkills! Terry Morse writes that he has not seen any skunks in his wanderings around the Newport coastal area.

Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata)

Chuck Philo saw a rarely seen long-tailed weasel near the southwest corner of Idaho Flats on 8/10/2000.

A weasel ran across 101 near Drift Creek Road just south of Lincoln City in front of Jamie Simmons' vehicle on 5/26/2002 at about noon. Based on size, JS concluded that it was a long-tailed weasel. JS' alertness and driving skill resulted in a good identification and a living weasel.

Other Terrestrial Mammals in Lincoln Co.

In March 1995, Betty Slauson discovered a Steller's Jay harassing a woodland jumping mouse in the shrubs near Yachats. She rescued it, keyed it out, and released it where the jay couldn't hassle it. On 8/9, Terry Morse saw a pacific jumping mouse in the middle of a clearing near the Newport Reservoir; it was nibbling on blackberries.

Betty Slauson was surprised by finding a large porcupine on the Cape Perpetua Auto Tour roadway on 4/2/1996. They are not often reported.

Raccoons aren't usually out in the open in daylight, but three were brazenly foraging and digging at Idaho Flats on 6/24/1997 at 8 AM near the USFWS building at the HMSC (unknown observer).

Townsend's chipmunks sometimes "disappear" during winters, and the first to return to Rebecca Cheeks' bird feeder at Wandemere arrived on 3/18/1999.

On 3/18/2001, a mink ran across Highway 20 in the valley area just west of the west turnoff to Toledo (Kathy Merrifield).

On her way up the trail to the Tidewater Post Office on 8/20/2002, Bunny Wright rounded a bend and saw a gray fox. She stopped, it stopped, and it watched her for at least 30 seconds before ambling off into the blackberries. It was a beautiful mature fox with gray, red and white markings. She sees a lot of cottontails in that area, so she says it was obviously in good shape and well fed.

Go to Lincoln County (Oregon) Natural History Information

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