Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Thursday, September 21 2017 @ 08:19 PM AKDT


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Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center Solstice Celebration

NatureSubmitted by AWBRC

Join us at the Center for our Solstice Celebration. Birds and their many activities are guided by the sun and seasons. Come and learn more, and meet with some of our education ambassador birds. We will have education, fun crafts for the family, and nothing can match seeing our amazing owls and other raptors up close. June 17th, Saturday, from 12:00 till 2:00, rain or shine at our covered pavilion, 12235 West Birch Road. Follow signs from Big Lake Road.

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"Orphaned" Wildlife Best Left Alone

Nature"Don't touch!" That's a phrase worth remembering from now through early July as newborn moose calves, young bear cubs and other wildlife babies start appearing in Alaska's backyards, urban greenbelts, and along popular trails. Tug-at-your-heartstrings cute, they may appear helpless and abandoned, but a protective mother is likely nearby.

Cow moose can be particularly dangerous during calving season, warns Anchorage Area Wildlife Biologist Dave Battle, and attacks on people and pets by mothers aggressively defending calves are reported each spring.

"Give them plenty of space," said Battle. "Try to avoid single tracks and narrow, brushy trails where limited visibility might lead to a run-in with a cow moose and calf."

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Second Saturday Event at Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center

NatureContributed by Randi Perlman, On Behalf of AWBRC

SECOND SATURDAY EVENT AT ALASKA WILDBIRD REHABILITATION CENTER celebrates anniversary of landmark treaty. Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center (AWBRC) will hold a Second Saturday event on Saturday, May 13, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the International Migratory Bird Treaty, AWBRC will be celebrating International Migratory Bird Day and its role in protecting birds in the wild. Come meet AWBRC’s education ambassador birds at this entertaining and enlightening event for both children and adults. This is a unique opportunity to view these majestic birds up close and personal, and to help support the organization’s mission of helping to care for these birds and educate the public about them.

Follow signs from the Parks Highway to Big Lake Road. Travel 1.4 miles on Big Lake Road, turn Right on Kenlar (by sign for Houston High School). Follow Kenlar 0.4 miles, turn Left on Birch Road. The center is the second driveway on the right, watch for the sign. For more information, visit the website at or call the center at 907-892-2927.

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Hold On To Your Dogs, the Birds are Back

Nature From lanky sandhill cranes to petite red-necked phalaropes, migratory birds are appearing statewide in ever-increasing numbers, adding life to Alaska's skies and cacophonies of sound to marshes, coasts, and streams. The birds' arrival is a sure sign of spring and a reminder, too, for pet owners to keep dogs leashed or under control around sanctuaries and refuges, parks, wetlands, and other places migrating birds stop to rest, feed, or nest.

"The primary concern is that dogs are pretty good at finding nests and displacing incubating females," said State Waterfowl Coordinator Jason Schamber, "and disturbing spring migrants can negatively affect birds that are completing migration and preparing to breed."

Because the nesting season in Alaska is compressed compared to breeding areas further south, if a hen loses a nest, she is unlikely to lay a second clutch of eggs. Thus, this year's productivity would be lost.

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Happy 1st Day of Spring!

NatureToday is the 1st Day of Spring.

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Back Off! Grumpy Moose Need Their Space

NatureAlaskans from Homer to Anchorage, Palmer and beyond have reported encounters with aggressive moose in recent weeks. That's not unusual for this time of year, wildlife biologists say, when moose grow tired and cranky from the rigors of a long winter.

"Moose are just barely making it through winter right now," said Anchorage Area Wildlife Biologist Dave Battle. "They're nutritionally stressed, tired, and irritable. We need to keep our distance and by all means resist the temptation to feed them."

Feeding moose is illegal and a leading precursor to many attacks. When neighborhood moose are fed, the chances they may become aggressive are greatly increased. Moose with a history of unprovoked attacks will likely be shot by Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff or law enforcement to protect public safety. In addition, moose don't adjust easily to new foods, so anything people feed them will probably do more harm than good. Thus, feeding a moose is more likely to contribute to its death than benefit the animal.

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Owlentine's Day @ Big Lake Lions Rec Center

Natureby AWBRC

Alaska Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center Invites You!

Celebrate Owlentine's Day at the Big Lake Lion's Rec. Center

Join us on Saturday, February 11, from 12:00 to 3:00

Meet the education owls in person and enjoy Owlentine's Day crafts. As a bonus, we will be presenting Sandy, a Sandhill Crane.

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Scenes Around Big Lake: Winter Sunrise

NatureTaken this morning.

Photo by Dennis Garrett

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Scenes Around Big Lake: Winter Snow

NatureStepped out to see if I need to do any shoveling:

Big Lake Snowfall. Photo by Dennis Garrett

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Sandy the Crane visits The Big Lake Library

NatureSubmitted by Janet Whitfield, Big Lake Library

Sandy the Crane with The Alaska Wildbird Rehabilitation Center will be at The Big Lake Library January 13th from 4:30-5:30 pm. All ages welcome.

Hosted by BLT's (Big Lake Teens, Big Lake Library Youth Advisory Board).

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Big Lake New Year Sunrise

NatureTaken this morning in case you missed it.

Image by Dennis Garrett

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Scenes Around Big Lake-December Sunrise

NatureTaken yesterday morning.

Photo by Dennis Garrett

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Where can I cut an Alaska Christmas Tree?

Nature'Tis the season...Gather your family and find that perfect tree or maybe that wonderful "Charlie Brown Tree". Bring the holiday cheer to your home with your very own Alaska tree.

Maps and information for our Southcentral and Northern areas is available on line. Click HERE to get to the on-line information.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

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Scenes Around Big Lake: November Sunset

NatureTaken this evening while outside in Big Lake doing some Thanksgiving pre-grilling.

Photo by Dennis Garrett

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They're Still Awake: Be Bear Aware

NatureRecent incidents involving bears in Seward where a dog walker was mauled Thursday and a brown bear sow and two cubs were shot last week by homeowners in a local subdivision are serving as a wake-up call to many in Southcentral Alaska who believe bears have gone to sleep for the winter.

"Bears may be active any month of the year," says Kenai Area Wildlife Biologist Jeff Selinger, "especially if they have access to food."

Ongoing reports of bears drawn to Seward-area subdivisions by unsecured trash, pet foods, and poultry led to citations for some homeowners, but not before bears became habituated to attractants. This created a dangerous situation for people and bears alike.

Seward is not alone. Relatively mild weather in Southcentral Alaska so far this winter, combined with the availability human-supplied foods, has led to human-bear conflicts from Homer to Eagle River and many points in between, including Anchorage.

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