The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


March 21, 2019

My New Friends the Corvid Family

Most people have met corvids yet did not know that was their name. The family of corvids I am referring to is birds of the Corvidae of which there are 120 species worldwide.

Commonly recognized in English they are known as the crow family, corvids or the genus Corvus which including the jackdaws, crows, rooks, and ravens, constitutes over a third of the entire family.

Where I grew up, I only occasionally saw a raven or a crow and I didn’t know the difference. The reason I became interested is that while I was slowly exiting a rest stop I noticed a family sitting on the back of a pickup eating chips while about a half a dozen crows waited for crumbs next to the pickup completely unafraid. I was puzzled by their behavior, so I began on a quest to understand them better. It took me about a year to gain the trust of almost an entire murder of crows. The first one to come near me on a regular basis was one I called Buddy. He was trailed by the magnificent seven, followed by the dirty dozen, and then their extended family that numbered nearly thirty crows. These birds will eat anything including dried dogfood.

Buddy would initially come by and sit on my fence staring at me with those big black eyes questioningly. When I would come outside to give those scraps and tidbits of meat they liked, I would also call to them. Over a short period of time they appeared to recognize me and my voice and came closer than ever, not like pigeons in a park but close. I always keep the same hat on because one time I took it off in front of them and they went nuts making all kinds of racket while flying away in all directions.

If you see a black bird and you are not sure whether or not it is a crow or a raven, three distinct things will always help you identify these marvelous sentient creatures. The first way to identify the difference is their tails in flight. The raven’s tail feathers fan out in a diamond shape whereas crow’s tail feathers look like a fan. The second way is when ravens fly they use the winds to carry them while crows constantly flap. The final way to identify them is when they are on the ground. Crows walk but ravens hop. Crows are amazing in that when another crow dies they all come to see it as if it was their way of saying goodbye, or as one ornithologist postulated, they were investigating how the bird died. What a wonder, the corvid family.

Tsuga Gallery exhibit

For those who may or may not be familiar with Tsuga Gallery on Main Street in Cathlamet for the rest of the month of March they will be displaying featured artist Becky Ledtke’s “Heavy Stone Jewelry.” They have wonderful artwork from various local talents as well. Admission is free.

Skamakowa Grange Open Mic

If you missed the last open mic and wanted to attend, then now is the chance to mark your calendar for this Saturday for a fun night of music and song. Admission is free. Sign up is at 3:45 p.m. with the open mic beginning at 4 p.m. A jam session will follow. Skamokawa Grange #425 is located at 18 Fairgrounds Road. For additional information contact Jerry Ledtke at 360-795-3434. Donations to the Skamokawa Grange are always appreciated.

Westend News: Super Sale is here

The Naselle/Grays River Valley Seniors luncheon meets every Wednesday at noon for all those who are 55 and older; also the potluck will be at the Valley Bible Church on every fourth Wednesday. Anyone interested in renting the Rosburg Hall is encouraged to contact Sonja Kruse at 465-2251 or Barbara Rose at 465-2251. Thursday luncheon at noon at the Rosburg Hall is sponsored by the Community Action Program (CAP) out of Kelso/Longview. Any questions, contact Denise Rae at (360) 425-3430 extension 259.

Grays River Valley Community Center’s 6th Annual Super Sale will be held on this Saturday the 23rd from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Items for sale are used, new, crafts, vintage, antiques. For more information call 360-465-2310, if there is no answer, leave a message and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

Naselle News: Artists fair coming up

Finnish-American Folk Festival of Naselle cordially invites the public to the second event held at the new Naselle Community Center at 14 Parpala Road in Naselle on March 30, 2-5 p.m., an artists fair. Meet the artists and their beautiful works of art. View art work and purchase your favorites. Sandwiches, wine or homemade apple cider will be available. Donations are accepted at the door. Artists in residence include Marie Powell, Lori Holliday, Wendy Manula, Helen Pikanen, Shannon Tetz, Erin Engelson, Samantha Wert, Adam Haase, Pat Howerton, and others. I would like to print some images of some examples of the artwork, but in fairness to the artists it could not do them justice. I have seen some examples and I intend to be there and speak to the artists as well as view their work.

Naselle-Grays River Valley Schools is looking for a maintenance supervisor who will work directly under the superintendent and will oversee all functions pertaining to the operation and maintenance of the district’s facilities and grounds.

The Bank of the Pacific located at 309 Knappton Road in Naselle has officially transferred ownership of the former Naselle branch building to the Ocean Beach Hospital this last Friday. The hospital district plans to use the building as the new site of the Naselle Clinic.


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