Burien, Washington

Andy Waters, Pat Toth, Rhonda Ham

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Burien, Washington

15858 First Avenue South #106
Burien, WA 98148

Phone: (206) 241-3201
Fax: (206) 241-3741
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Comments:
Located near Trader Joe's at the Five Corners shopping mall

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Mewsings from Millie

As we move into the sultry days of summer, I thought I would revisit a column I shared with you a couple of years ago. Summer for many means vacation and vacation usually means escaping from the craziness of daily life and finding peace and quiet.......

You know, some days around the store it can be very quiet and other days, not so much. Sometimes when it gets really hectic I abandon my usual lounging spots on the seed bags or the counter and head for the backroom for a little peace. Well, it has been found that birds change their behavior as well when encountering noise pollution. When there's lots of noise around, male birds begin to sing higher tunes and that shift in tone makes them less attractive to females.

Studies show that noise pollution interferes with some birds' ability to communicate during breeding time.

Research has also shown that females emerge more often in response to low-pitched songs and that females who mate with high-singing males lay fewer eggs.

This puts birds between a rock and a hard place when dealing with traffic and industrial noises that threaten to drown them out. Either they sing less appealing songs or tones in an effort to be heard, or they sing the songs that make them sound appealing and risk not being heard at all.

This brings us to One Square Inch.

What is One Square Inch? It is an independent research project. It is the quietest place in the United States. It was designated on Earth Day in 2005 to protect and manage the natural landscape in a back country wilderness area.

It is based on this simple logic: if a loud noise, such as a passing airplane, can impact many square miles, then a natural place, if maintained in a 100% noise-free condition, will also impact many square miles around it. It is predicted that protecting a single square inch of land from noise pollution will benefit large areas.

Where is this One Square Inch of absolute silence? It is right here in our beloved Washington!

Located in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, it is 3.2 miles from the Visitor's Center above Mt. Tom Creek Meadows on the Hoh River Trail. The exact location is marked by a small red-colored stone placed on top of a moss-covered log.

Olympic National Park was chosen for One Square Inch because of it diverse natural landscape combined with substantial periods of natural quiet. Air tourism is undeveloped and roads do not divide park lands. The variety of natural sound-scapes presented by different habitat types such as alpine glaciers, rain forests, lakes and streams and wilderness beach provide meaningful examples of sound-scape beauty.

Olympic National Park is an area of exceptional natural beauty. It features the largest and best example of virgin temperate rain forest in the western hemisphere, the largest intact stand of coniferous forest in the contiguous 48 states, the largest truly wild herd of Roosevelt Elk, 57 miles of spectacular coastline, numerous off-shore islands, heavily forested mountain slopes, alpine park lands, glacier-capped mountains and 12 major rivers and 200 smaller streams that provide a rich habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures.

The park contains one of the most pristine ecosystems in the country with over 1200 types of vascular plants, over 300 species of birds and over 70 species of mammals. At least 8 species of plants and 18 species of animals are found only on the Olympic Peninsula and nowhere else in the world!

It is truly a very special place.

You can visit One Square Inch. A hike from the Visitor's Center takes approximately two hours along a gentle path lined by ancient trees and ferns. At the site is the "Jar of Quiet Thoughts", a depository of notes left by visitors. You are welcome to read and add to the Jar. No quotes from the Jar are allowed in respect for the quiet thoughts that came from a quiet place. Contribute your own and please remember to respect the silence.

Until next time, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh............

Mille the Muse of Mews