City Hawks

With the quieting of our city streets, I’ve been noticing the intensive activity of our urban bird neighbors, who have been courting, homebuilding and generally flying about with abandon as us humans slow down. Pigeons and robins abound, but twenty-five years ago Cooper’s Hawks began colonizing urban and suburban landscapes throughout the US, developing a tolerance for living in proximity to humans, including here in Seattle. Since 2012 Seattle’s Urban Raptor Conservancy has monitored the local Cooper’s Hawk population nesting density and annual nest productivity.

Ms. 7-R, banded July 26, 2019 near her nest in Volunteer Park, visited the Capitol Hill Library on Feb. 3, 2020. Photo © FoldingFan, 03 February 2020, all rights reserved.

Earlier this year the Capitol Hill Library received a visit from one Ms. 7-R, a young Cooper’s Hawk who, in an encounter with some unruly crows, stunned herself against one of the large windows. Fearing for her life we contacted the Seattle Cooper’s Hawk Project and learned more details. Ms. 7-R was hatched and fledged from a nest in nearby Volunteer Park, and was likely to be now out exploring for mate and home of her own. Fortunately, she was only slightly stunned and soon flew off on her own. We later heard she had been sighted in March near Frink Park in Leschi still looking for Mr. Right. To hear the cry of the Cooper’s Hawk, and see more helpful ID and life history information check out The Cornell Lab All About Birds Website. Continue reading “City Hawks”

Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008

Seattle Reads, the arts, and gentrification was the topic in our Throwback Thursday post on March 31, 2008.

Image result for the beautiful things that heaven bears

If you have picked up this year’s Seattle Reads novel, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu you’ve had a chance to get one novelist’s take on some of the issues and pressures that can fracture a community changing in the face of gentrification and immigration.

Facing similar issues, particularly those of gentrification pressures, local Capitol Hill artists, arts activists, neighbors and interested citizens are gathering at Seattle City Hall in April to discuss community concerns about rapidly diminishing affordable space for arts uses in the City’s core neighborhoods. Get details at:

Make Room for Art: Cultural Overlay Districts for Seattle
April 2, 5pm-6:30pm, Seattle City Hall

City Councilmembers will hear from Seattle residents, arts and entertainment venues and organizations, property owners, developers, and officials on how the Council might go about establishing an overlay district to offer incentives and controls in a specific area to encourage or preserve particular kinds of activities, spaces, and/or design. How can the city grow in a healthy balanced way that benefits all? This could be an exciting opportunity to add your voice as “A City Makes Herself.” Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008”

Labor in Film: We Are Wisconsin

laborIn late winter of 2011, while the Middle East was deep in the midst of the “Arab Spring,” United States workers in the state of Wisconsin found themselves embroiled in a take-down struggle with Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature to preserve their collective bargaining rights. Continue reading “Labor in Film: We Are Wisconsin”

Tricky books

An amazingly wide range of questions come across our library information desks, I’m sure every librarian has their favorites. My current favorite was from an earnest young man of around seven years of age who was interested in “tricky books.” I tried to show him magic books with no satisfaction. Of course there just isn’t a clear way to find those books full of sneaky tricks that little boys need to play on their friends and families…..or is there?

While I wasn’t able to find anything right away to help my young patron (much to his mother’s relief), later after poking around, I started finding some terrific books, targeted right at the adventuresome young man (or woman) in your life: Continue reading “Tricky books”

Occasional Mysteries: Reading Retro

I’ve recently been reading some classic historical mysteries. That’s classic not in the sense of “set in older times,” but as in foundations of the genre, written in the vernacular of older times.

The Riddle of the Sands book cover imageFirst published in 1903, The Riddle of the Sands, by Erskine Childers could in some ways be thought of as rather more of an early prequel to the modern spy thriller novel than a murder mystery, as the mystery it holds is one of intrigue and national strategies played out in the tidal mudflats of northern Germany. The language reads in the proper British style of the day, but the atmospheric descriptions of time, tide and endless navigational feats through rain, fog and mud create an enveloping environment of mystery and a sense of the growing menace in Europe during the years before WW1.

Continue reading “Occasional Mysteries: Reading Retro”