OCTOBER: Critters in the Rivers

October 2019

The 2019 ‘Living with the Methow River Calendar offers monthly information about our river habitat. It also showcases students’ artwork created in Methow Arts Education Programs after learning about our rivers from biologists. Learn more about our critters by visiting some the following sites: Twisp Ponds Discovery CenterCottonwood Trail, The Winthrop Barn Trail, and Whitefish Island.
(This month’s artwork by 6th grade student, Silas Wilson.)


Ravens are scavengers and can be seen feeding on salmon carcasses. Decomposing salmon carcasses provide valuable inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus to the watershed. Ravens and other animals feed on carcasses and help disperse these Nutrients far from streams.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAVENS AND CROWS-North Central Washington is home to a variety of birds.

Ravens and Crows – Who’s Who?They look a lot alike, but there are subtle differences…
Is that big black bird a crow or a raven? How can you tell? Ravens (seen on right here) often travel in pairs, while crows (left) are seen in larger groups. Also, study the tail as the bird flies overhead. A crow’s tail is shaped like a fan, while the raven’s tail appears wedge-shaped or triangular. Another clue is to listen closely to the birds’ calls. Crows give a cawing sound, but ravens produce a lower croaking sound. Listen to their calls HERE ON BIRDNOTE

DID YOU KNOW…. in honor of Halloween

Shakespeare’s Crows, Owls, and Ravens – With Rod Molzahn

© Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

From BirdNote: Shakespeare’s tragedies and histories are filled with crows, owls, and ravens, birds of evil portent, promising sickness and death. Shakespearean actor Rod Molzahn describes some of them! King Henry speaks to Gloucester: “The Owl shriek’d at thy birth – an evil sign; the Night-Crow cried, aboding luckless time, the Raven rook’d her on the chimney’s top, and chattering Magpies in dismal discords sung.” Lady MacBeth, contemplating the killing of King Duncan, observes, “The Raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements.” Bolingbroke describes midnight as, “Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night when Screech-Owls cry…”

The Living with the Methow Calendar is available each year at Methow Arts and numerous location. These are free to the public with funding and support is provided by Washington Department of Ecology and Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Additional support from Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, MRC partners, Bureau of Reclamation, the Methow Valley School District, Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, Methow Valley Fund, PSFA, Icicle Fund, and generous members of Methow Arts.