Tag Archives: naturalists

Male Sage-grouse

“Really Fantastic and Great to Behold”

Take a closer look at the Great sage-grouse, a native bird species that was endangered by loss of habitat in the Columbia River region. This unusual bird plays an important cultural and environmental role in the desert lands of Oregon and Washington, and efforts are being made by the Yakama Nation to improve habitat and increase the number of sage-grouse living here. more >

Townsend’s Warbler By Francesco Veronesi from Italy (Townsend's Warbler - Washington State_S4E2274)

Birding along the Columbia River 1834-37

John Kirk Townsend’s research and letters give us a glimpse at the types of birds and animals found to be living along the Columbia River in the 1830’s. Because of his detailed and seasonal observations, we can compare the flora and fauna at places like the Sandy River Delta and Vancouver with what exists there today. more >

A close friend of John J. Audubon, Townsend sent specimens of birds collected along the Columbia River – like the “Townsend Warbler” shown here at upper left – to Audubon and the societies who sponsored Townsend’s journey to the Northwest. This is a plate from Audubon’s book.

1834 Letter Describes ‘Awful & Magnificent Grandeur’ At the Mouth of the Columbia River

John Kirk Townsend, naturalist and ornithologist, wrote vividly descriptive records of his experiences and journey in the American West. This week, read a particularly gripping excerpt of his time at Cape Disappointment. more >