Friday, August 17, 2012

Sharing a Snag

(Click to find the dragonfly)
Two songbirds and a dragonfly (you have to look closely) share the afternoon view from a Douglas fir snag, along with a sub-adult Bald Eagle.

Cloudless, blue-sky days are a summertime specialty here in western Montana. And dead trees left standing are a valuable commodity for many of our native animals, including: owls, marten, fishers, black bears, flying squirrels, Vaux's Swifts, porcupine. Snags are especially valuable to our raptors and woodpeckers for foraging, nesting sites and hunting perches. This four-month-old Bald Eagle learned to use this favorite, shoreline hunting perch by watching both parents catch fish from here.

Back in 1997, the US Forest Service put together a guide to snag identification in the Pacific Northwest. It helps you figure out what tree species the snag is, and it tells you a little bit about what kinds of wildlife use each tree species. You can read it here.

(Hint: the dragonfly is just to the right of the Eagle's head.)