Friday, February 16, 2018

All About Townsend's Warblers



Here is a recent post from the Union Bay Watch Blog published by Larry Hubbell, long-time local photographer and birder. 

Here also is an in-depth article about Larry and his work.




Living Sunshine



A Townsend's Warbler is one of my favorite birds. I love the alternating patches of brilliant yellow. Catching just a glimpse of one makes me smile. I can almost feel the warmth of summer sunshine on my face. When most Townsend's Warblers are soaking up Vitamin D in Mexico or California a hardy few choose to stay here during the gray of winter. 

Normally, they prefer to feed in the upper foliage of coniferous trees, but apparently in winter they are sometimes forced to look for food wherever they can find it. In winter I often see them searching among the blossoms of the flowering Mahonia in the Arboretum. 
This particular plant variety, 'Arthur Menzies', creates a bit of a conundrum for folks, like myself, who believe native plants are better for our local environment. This plant supplies winter food for the native Townsend's Warblers and also for Anna's Hummingbirds. Even though this variety of plant was discovered in the Arboretum, I do not think we can honestly call it a native. It is a hybrid of two Chinese species. You can read the interesting back story by Niall Dunne, Communications Manager, Arboretum Foundation, by Clicking Here.
  
One of the most odd features of Townsend's Warblers is how their color schemes vary depending on your perspective. When viewed from behind, they appear mostly black and white. If I only saw one departing, without a glimpse of yellow, I might not even realize the bird was a warbler.
When they spread their tails, you can see that the black and white color scheme extends to end of their rectrices or tail feathers.
When observed face-to-face a male bird appears mostly black and yellow. As they flicker through the foliage it is easy to overlooking their two white wing bars.

At first glance, a mature female looks pretty much the same as a male. You might even assume that the difference is due to the lack of sunlight in this photo. That is not the case. Females are a dark, olive green in color on their crowns and auriculars, e.g. sides of the head, while mature males have black in these locations.

Another critical difference can be seen in the primarily yellow throats of the females...

 ...as compared to the black throats of the males.

Curiously, the male throats do not all have the same amount of black.

This male shows a lot less black, but perhaps, growing a black throat is a process. Occasionally, mature females can also have a bit of black on their throats, however, their cheeks and crowns will still be olive-green.

Among both the males and females, their backs are olive green with small dark spots. Given their propensity to feed high in the trees it is easy to miss their green and black backs.
As you can see from the last few photos, these birds are often found gleaning food from the branches of conifers in the winter. Last month I found them mostly in the Pinetum, while this month, I am seeing them more in the Winter Garden among the Mahonia blossoms.

Juvenile Townsend Warblers lack the black feathers and have a paler shade of green than the mature females.
In addition, they have less markings on their sides, just below their wings. Since the younger birds, both male and female, look virtually the same we are unable to determine their gender.
The black on this bird's head helps us to conclude it is male.

However, when the bird looks down, we can see olive green with black spots on its crown.

This is the same bird, which we saw earlier, with a minimal amount of black on its throat. I am assuming that these characteristics indicate we are looking at a youthful male who is in the process of molting and growing in its mature black coloring.
While it is fun to try and deduce the gender and age of these little birds, truthfully, I am always just pleased to spot such a brilliant little warbler. Especially one who foregoes the sunshine of Central America to share the winter with us.
Most life on earth depends on sunshine for survival, but warblers are one of the few who give proper due to their life source. To me their brilliant coloring looks like sunshine come to life.

Seattle Musical Theatre Receives Grant To Rebuild Sand Point Naval Air Station's Original Movie Theater

Nora Kozloff with nearby Seattle Musical Theatre, located at Magnuson Park, would like to let the community know that the Theatre has recently been awarded a substantial grant and together with funds raised from subscribers, will enable a complete rebuild of the aging stage, called the "Save the Stage project."

Nora added that the Theatre has a 40 year history in this area with the past 13 years spent in Building 47 at Magnuson, using the original movie theater of the Sand Point Naval Air Station, in the historic building.

The original home of Civic Light Opera was the Jane Addams School theatre, where the company performed for 25 seasons. In 2002, the company moved to the Shoreline Community Center, and then to Magnuson in 2004. In 2006, the Board of Directors changed the name to  Seattle Musical Theatre (SMT).
Below is a press release that Nora said " intends to share the news of the Theatre's good fortune with members of both the greater community and our neighbors, many of whom have supported the Theatre over the years, and also to inform the community of the structural changes to the Theatre which will positively impact performances next season."

Nora said the project is fully funded and the Theatre is not seeking further contributions. 

Here is the press release: 


Seattle Musical Theatre (SMT) has received an award from the Morgan Family Foundation to rebuild the stage at their historic theatre in Magnuson Park. 
SMT kicked off the “Save the Stage” rebuild with the support of Artfund’s “power2give.”After meeting the initial target goal, fundraising has continued through Seattle Foundation’s  “GiveBig” and King County Employees Annual Giving Program.  
SMT began its campaign to “Save the Stage” after an inspection in 2016 revealed that the temporary stage built ten years earlier would need to be demolished and rebuilt. This inspection also uncovered a surprise.  
Amidst the sagging timbers was a crescent shaped half wall dating back to the Navy’s construction of the building in 1941; it was the original orchestra pit used to support the screening of silent films.  The location of the pit was apparently too far upstage for musical theatre productions, so a stage extension was built over it. 
Meanwhile, new Artistic Director Tyrone Brown began questioning the location of the orchestra in relation to the stage.  “SMT has been plagued by poor acoustics in this facility.  Why not return the orchestra to the center the way the Navy, in its wisdom, first envisioned it?” 
For the recent production of “Annie,” Brown moved the musicians to center stage, taking out the first row of seats.  The sound quality of the production was greatly improved, though the music at times overpowered the vocals.  
“That’s when we discovered a crawl space under the theatre floor,” noted Brown.  “We stepped up the fund-raising campaign and last week received the wonderful news that Seattle Foundation, through its partner organization, the Morgan Family Foundation, will fund permanently moving the orchestra to the center after dropping the theatre floor about two feet to create the new pit.” 
“We would like to move the original orchestra pit to the new location after the temporary stage is demolished,” says Tom Ansart, Secretary, and SMT board member.  He noted that the old pit is still accessible from the backstage dressing room in the basement.  “I presume the musicians entered the pit from the green room.  Although it probably isn’t feasible to move the existing wall, we can copy its features in the new design.  For historic preservation, we will leave the original wall in place.”


"AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’" is currently showing at the Theatre, followed by "The Producers" in April, then "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" in May and June.

For more information go here.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

January Laurelhurst Real Estate Summary

Kim Dales has provided this neighborhood real estate activity report for the month of January:



current listing at 3609 NE 43rd Street for $1,480,000


January was a very quiet month in the neighborhood and the inventory in Laurelhurst remains extremely low

Here is some information on the listing activity:
  • of the 10 active listings, only 2 were new listings
  • 7 of the 10 listings have been on the market for over 70 days
  • 4 of these 7 listings have been on the market for 4 months or more including 2 waterfront listings all on the market for more than 16 months
  • typical days on market for homes priced to sell in Laurelhurst are 7-10 days
  • homes that are not selling are all listed over $2,100,000
  • the 2 sold homes both sold for less than list price which is unusual in the neighborhood



ACTIVE LISTINGS AS OF JANUARY 31ST

Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Year
Built
Sq.Ft
CDOM
Price
p/sq.ft
*4715 45th Ave NE
$1,185,000
4/1.5
1928
2,210
7
$536.20
3609 NE 43rd St
$1,480,000
3/2.25
1956
2,660
2
$556.39
3718 48th Ave NE
$1,950,000
4/1.5
1975
3,874
9
$503.36
3141 E Laurelhurst Dr NE
$2,160,000
3/3.25
1923
3,840
123
$562.50
4511 NE 38th St
$2,195,000
4/3
1938
4,044
70
$542.78
4312 36th Ave NE
$2,279,000
5/5.5
2016
4,800
147
$474.79
3817 49th Ave NE
$2,468,000
4/3.75
1970
3,467
73
$711.85
4549 55th Ave NE
$2,695,000
4/4
2014
4,320
198
$623.84
3627 42nd Ave NE
$10,000,000
6/4.5
1921
6,860
488
$1,457.73
3054 E Laurelhurst Dr NE
$11,800,000
5/4.75
1928
7,683
511
$1,535.86



PENDING IN JANUARY

Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft.
CDOM
*4715 45th Ave NE
$536.20
4/1.5
2,210
7
*Listed and under contract in January


SOLD IN JANUARY

Address
List Price
Sale Price
CDOM
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft
Price
p/sq.ft
Date Sold
4528 W Laurel Dr NE
$1,600,000
$1,491,150
4
4/2.25
3,260
$457.41
1/9
3811 42nd Ave NE
$1,550,000
$1,500,000
18
5/3.5
3,840
$390.63
1/10
4115 51st Ave NE
$1,549,950
$1,510,000
2
5/3
3,074
$491.22
1/17
3408 E Laurelhurst Dr NE
$2,950,000
$2,864,150
87
4/3.25
4,410
$508.51
1/16
Averages


28

3,646
$497.18


Median Sales Price = $1,505,000
CDOM = Cumulative Days on Market


Here are some tips for anyone thinking about getting their home ready to sell.
  • Declutter and Organize- organize your closets and pantries so they are tidy as this will showcase your storage space.
  • Paint Inside and Out - ensure interior rooms are freshly painted with a neutral color, including the front door; power wash and paint the exterior if needed.
  • Make Updates to Increase Your Home’s Value- such as new hardware, new kitchen backsplash, matching appliances, refinish hardwood floors etc.
  • Talk to and Collaborate With Your Neighbors- let your neighbors know you are planning to sell and kindly ask them to tidy up.
  • Figure Out the Right Time to Sell - sellers tend to think they need to wait until spring in order to sell quickly, but in our current market any time is a good time.
  • Price Your Home to Sell - look at  recent sales, pricing trends in the neighborhood and inventory and keep in mind overpricing could scare off potential buyers, and underpricing means that you could leave money on the table.