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Avian Bird Signs Featured on History Walk

Margaret Green explaining....On May 15, Longview Park Superintendent, Al George led 20 citizens on a walking history tour of Lake Sacajawea.  As well as lake history, the Avian Interpretive Signs were featured on the tour. These signs were designed and installed through the efforts of Willapa Hills Audubon Society in partnership with the City of Longview and are now a prominent feature on the lake, offering both art and educational opportunities to Park patrons.  WHAS member, Margaret Green spoke to those gathered,

telling the story of the signs’ history as a memorial to WHAS founding member Ruth Deery.  Margaret shared the importance of Lake Sacajawea as a site on the SW Loop of The Great Washington State Birding Trail.   She also pointed out that the signs are meant to encourage observation, listening, and learning.  Those in attendance had many positive comments about the beauty of the signs and expressed their appreciation.  Several carried binoculars and there was much talk of birds throughout the walk.

Al shared an intriguing story of a resident brown pelican, which spent many years at the lake in the 40’s.  Because the bird was without a mate, it was named Gloomy Gus.  In May of 1948, the Cowlitz Valley Moose Lodge bought and imported another pelican in hopes of cheering Gus.  “He was not impressed”, Al told the group, and eventually, Gus left the area.  As far as we know, this is the only pelican sighted at Lake Sacajawea.

The Dahl family shared a story of their encounter with a wood duck in the early 90’s.  The duck, hoping for a nesting site, entered the chimney of their lakeside home at Maple and Kessler, flying down the chimney and into the living room.  Leslie Dahl was able to capture the duck and remove it safely.  However, several days later, upon returning from a short vacation, the Dahl’s found the duck and its predictable mess, once again, in the living room. Again, the duck was safely removed, but the Dahl’s do not have fond memories of that wildlife encounter.  Since that time, WHAS member Barney Wheeler, has constructed 4 wood duck boxes, which have been placed on the lake’s two islands.  We are happy to report that they have been in use for several years.

For a list of birds check out the Lake Sacajawea Bird List, provided free of charge by the Willapahills Audubon Society.