Evergreen Washelli and Abbey View Memorial Park are home to many different species of wildlife. As spring and summer approach us, there are more noticeable wildlife in our cemeteries. Some common visitors and resident wildlife within our cemeteries include: raccoons, Canadian geese, opossums, squirrels, coyotes, rabbits, and many varieties of birds. Here are some interesting facts, and also some of our struggles with some of the wildlife within our cemeteries.
Raccoons and other small animals
Raccoons and other small animals are permanent residents within our cemeteries. They tend to be more active during the night, and can often leave a path of destruction behind them. Noticeable activity and damage by raccoons can be recognized as large chunks of turf torn apart and strewn about. They can completely tear apart a lawn, especially in the fall, in search of grubs that lie underneath the grass.
Other Small animals such as opossums and squirrels are also prevalent in the cemetery. Opossum damage can vary from large areas of lifted up turf caused by adult animals, to smaller holes and areas caused by younger animals. Ground squirrels can also be seen onsite, and their trails visible. Squirrels make a series of tunnels and trails all throughout large open areas of lawn. You may see holes about the size of a silver dollar where they enter and exit. They also love to eat your flowers and vegetation!
During the warmer climate changes in Seattle, flocks of Canada Geese are more noticeable in our cemeteries due to migration. Geese tend to love Evergreen Washelli as an area to make their own because our large amount of land and grass available for them to graze upon. At times this can impose difficulties. One struggle that can occur with the abundance of geese is the presence of their feces on the gravesite and grave markers. This can understandably bring upon Family complaints, because the feces can often be mistaken for canine feces. Because Canada Geese are wild birds and were nearly instinct in the past, they are protected under the Wildlife Act 1953. Under federal and state law and a hunting license and open season are required to hunt them. Violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Wildlife Act, which includes hunting, removing, or endangering the geese can result in heavy fines. We do our best to accommodate these birds as part of our wildlife within the cemetery, and try to manage their habits as best as possible.
We have many varieties of birds at Evergreen Washelli and Abbey View Memorial Park, and a very commonly seen bird are Crows. They are known for their mischievous activities at times. One of their favorite activities to do is wait for a family to place new flowers with fresh water, then the mischievous activities begin. They will take the flowers out of vases so they are able to reach the water, and use this water as a bathing source. This is extremely enjoyable to them, seeing as the water is fresh. Families may often be confused to come back perhaps the next day with their brand new flowers that were placed, now scattered over the ground. The Crow is usually the culprit when it comes to this occurrence, and we try to monitor this the best we are able.