Bird watching from your own window perch

Quarantine and social distancing are teaching us creative ways to interact with each other and the world at large. One way to stay connected with the natural world (and take a much needed break from screens) is to head to your window to watch the goings on of your neighborhood and visiting birds. There are a surprisingly large number of bird species that can be observed right from your living room, depending on the vegetation in your backyard, alley or street. 

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‘Sushi parasites’ have increased 283-fold in past 40 years

An Anisakis worm is seen in a filet of salmon.

The next time you eat sashimi, nigiri or other forms of raw fish, consider doing a quick check for worms. A new study led by the University of Washington finds dramatic increases in the abundance of a worm that can be transmitted to humans who eat raw or undercooked seafood. Its 283-fold increase in abundance since the 1970s could have implications for the health of humans and marine mammals, which both can inadvertently eat the worm. 

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‘Fatal attraction’: Small carnivores drawn to kill sites, then ambushed by larger kin

Gray wolf caught on camera in Denali National Park in Alaska.

In many parts of the world, there is an imbalance in the food chain. Without top predators such as wolves and grizzly bears, smaller meat-eating animals like coyotes and foxes or grazers such as deer and elk can balloon in population, unchecked. This can initiate more deer-vehicle collisions, scavenging by urban coyotes and other unnatural human-animal interactions. University of Washington researchers have discovered that large predators play a key yet unexpected role in keeping smaller predators and deer in check. 

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UW Environment response to COVID-19

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Leaders throughout the College of the Environment are closely monitoring the local outbreak of the novel coronavirus and are making every effort to address the changing needs of the college community, wherever possible. The College continues to follow all advice and directives set forth by the University of Washington, which are detailed at length on the UW Novel Coronavirus Information Page. 

Read more on the UW Environment COVID-19 resource page »

The Great (Neighborhood) Outdoors: staying connected with nature during Coronavirus

⚠️ IMPORTANT Bratman and the authors stress that the current circumstances due to Coronavirus demand that we follow social distancing and other critical precautionary instructions from public health officials – including when spending time outdoors. Ah, the great outdoors. That intoxicating piney scent of an evergreen forest, the salty seawater glow on your skin after a swim, the parade of puffy clouds marching overhead while stretched out in a flowery meadow—being outside makes us happy and puts us at ease. 

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