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April 23, 2017

Bird of the Week – Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Creamer's Refuge, Fairbanks

The smallest songbird in the New World boreal forest is the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. The red spot on the species’ head is only present in males and even then not all the time. Even ithout the red spot, the broken white eye ring, two white wingbars and incredible hyperactivity make this a pretty easy bird to identify in the field. If you can keep your binoculars on it as it frenetically jumps around. For a tiny bird, this little kinglet has an amazingly loud and long song. It’s a wonderful sign of spring. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

Bird of the Week – Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl, Eagle River, Alaska

We haven’t looked at an owl for a couple of years. Here’s a tiny little owl found in southcentral and southeastern Alaska, the Northern Saw-whet Owl. This little owl is even smaller than the Boreal Owl, just 8 inches long. Males weigh about the same as an American Robin. Like the Boreal Owl, it’s a cavity nester, and accepts nest boxes like this one. You won’t often see a Northern Saw-whet Owl; they are nocturnal, secretive and shy. But the strong white eyebrows you see here are a distinctive field mark. In the open, the bird looks top heavy with…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN – ADN poll: Alaskans like Trump, Sanders for president An Alaska Dispatch News poll found registered voters in the state have their eyes on two candidates that would have been considered unlikely front-runners just a year ago: real estate billionaire and reality TV star Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist. The Guardian – The rise and fall of Sarah Palin: plucked away from Alaska, she lost her soul There was a time when Sarah Palin was normal by Alaska standards. Way back before the hoopla, and way before she endorsed Donald Trump, she…

Half-Term Governor Palin Endorses Half-Wit Donald Trump

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Palin endorsement looking to bring in voters with only half a brain. Palin, who MSNBC’s Chuck Todd referred to as, “the woman that used to be the biggest reality star in politics” is set later today to endorse the new biggest reality star in politics, The Donald. Palin, who has been relatively absent from the political scene so far this Presidential campaign season is en route to Iowa to join the Trump campaign around the state. Trump’s campaign released a press release ahead of the 6pm press conference in Iowa calling Palin an “influential conservative.” The Donald was quoted in…

Bird of the Week – Emperor Goose

Emperor Goose in Flight, Yukon Delta NWR

We’ll celebrate the holidays with a Christmas Goose, specifically Emperor Geese. The handsome Emperor Goose nests in the coastal salt marsh habitats of arctic and sub-arctic Alaska and Russia and winters primarily on coastal beaches along ice-free areas of the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island. Locally known as the “Beach Goose” from its winter habit of roosting and feeding near the water’s edge, the diet of this species consists largely of clams, mussels, and algae when wintering and staging in marine and estuarine habitats. When WC was in the Yukon Delta NWR photographing birds, the spring…

GOP Parasite TransCanada Finally Shed

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The divorce between Alaska and TransCanada became final this week. The Legislature voted to buy TransCanada’s share of a prospective natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. How the state ended up in that shotgun marriage is a lesson in corporate power and Republican legislators’ willingness to kowtow to it. Our story begins with Gov. Sarah Palin’s attempt to encourage a natural gas pipeline. It wasn’t a terrible idea to try to get an independent pipeline company directly involved in the project. When the Legislature passed the Alaska Natural Gasline Inducement Act in 2007, the idea was to incentivize a…

Sarah Palin, Speaking American, and Donald Trump

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Authors note: Since every other blog and news site on the planet has commented on this, I felt that the Mudflats should share in at least some of those clicks. Because let’s be honest here, the only reason any of us are covering her at this point is for the traffic; she doesn’t have the influence to really  justify it. So with that statement out of the way, enjoy the slow moving train wreck. You’re reading this because, like me… you quietly hate yourself. But look at it this way; you didn’t have to transcribe 15 minutes of Palin-Speak.  There seems to be two out…

President Trump Wants Palin in Cabinet

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I’d like Sarah Palin to be in a cabinet too – preferably one that is soundproof. But, we don’t always get what we want. Loudmouth fake political celebrity, and bad hairpiece-wearing reality TV star Donald Trump is running for office. And he’d love to have loudmouth fake political celebrity, and bad hairpiece-wearing reality TV star Sarah Palin in his cabinet in the unlikely event he is elected President of the United States. When you think about it, it’s really amazing these two haven’t connected long before now. I mean, ok, there was that awkward first date where they both ate…

Palin Outraged Clinton Pulled a Palin

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Sarah Palin, whom shame and decency dictate should be hiding out somewhere in the back of a dark deep cave with a bag over her head this week, is instead standing on the tippy top of Mt. Hypocrisy with a giant bullhorn yelling, “Look at me!” Should any of us be surprised? No. Was I still a little surprised? A little. Apparently the thought of raking Hillary Clinton (whom Palin thanked in 2008 for putting “16 million cracks in the glass ceiling”) over the political coals was just too tempting, just too enticing to put in check her own conscience, or…

Click Bishop Takes a Page from Palin – Reads Dr. Seuss

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Republican Senator Click Bishop, whose district covers land from Fairbanks to Valdez took a page from Sarah Palin and read a story by Dr. Seuss to the Alaska State Senate. Well, it wasn’t quite a Dr. Seuss original – more of a revision of Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham seen through the filter of government overreach. Unlike Half-Term Palin’s teleprompter read at CPAC last year (when she held the book as a prop), Click seems to have actually written the words down in a copy of Green Eggs and Ham. I’m hoping that he bought a new copy and didn’t ruin one of from his grandkids….