Behold the wonder that is the Pacific Northwest. Not only is the climate and topography ideal for growing delicious, dynamic Rainstorm wines, but it also makes the region an advantageous home to a variety of animals. While you’re out and about, be prepared to encounter these wild residents:
- Burrowing Owl. These wise old owls, weighing in at just 6 ounces, make their home in burrows dug by squirrels and other critters. Each nest houses a breeding pair who produce 7-10 owlets. Pocket-sized cuteness!
- Sea Otter. Always a crowd-pleaser, these furry water-dwellers are a “keystone species.” They have a significant impact on the ecosystem and many other species depend on them for survival.
- Gray Fox. These foxy creatures are actually quite shy. Keep your eyes open and you may spot one while it’s foraging for food – which can be anything from fruit and nuts to grasshoppers and carrion.
- Bald Eagle. If you’re around large bodies of water, look out for these majestic hunters. When you see the signature white head and tail, you know it’s a mature eagle.
- Black Bear. Solitary black bears prefer to roam wide tracts of wooded land as they “hunt” for fruits, nuts, berries, and small game. They mate in summer, so be wary; males can be aggressive. Best to stay well away!
- Gray Wolf. Gray wolves form tight packs, and these families can survive and thrive virtually anywhere. The Pacific Northwest is hospitable in that it provides a diet of hoofed animals and plenty of space to roam.
- Cougar. Count yourself lucky if you see one of these big cats; they prefer to avoid people – and each other! Quite solitary, their beauty is unparalleled.
- Beaver. The general contractor of the wild, beavers are Oregon’s state animal. The largest member of the rodent family, they create important habitats for themselves and other animals.
- Roosevelt Elk. Named after a famous Teddy, this subspecies has the longest antlers of any elk. There are over 5000 in the biggest unmanaged herd, located in Washington.
- Sasquatch. Just a myth, a legend, a tall tale? Or perhaps Bigfoot is real. There are a lot of wild acres in the Pacific Northwest…. Maybe he’s hiding out there with the cougars! Well, you may not be able to find the Sasquatch, but you can certainly find terrific Pacific Northwest wines to liven up your dinner conversation
Who is your favorite PNW native?