Saturday, August 18, 2018

"Startled" Hawk

This book by Hans and Pam Peeters, from University of California Press is the best raptor book out there. Trust me, it is. My favorite description is the comparison of Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks, Sharpies with "a startled expression." Perfect!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Not Another Camera?!

Yes, at the urging of my new pal/photographer Andy Lee I just bought a new Nikon D850, hot off the press and rarin' to go. These are literally the first few shots I got with it last night at the river, crummy smokey light. Some old camera trade-ins and recent art sales and voila! 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

More Sharp-shins

They will be here a bit longer, eating House Sparrows. This is the back of the building showing the feeding tube, the white pvc pipe in which sparrows are dropped. That little platform extends inside and I'll simply remove the hardware cloth when it's time, a tree limb for perching. This is an experiment to see if these little bird-catchers will return to their "nest site." Fingers and toes are crossed, but a tough gamble when no real parents are around with bird food.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Beach Bums

Our pals Steve and Bev Glueckert last night, and guests Dan and Beth last evening, refreshments and laughs galore.
Plus a random eagle.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sonora's Spot

Our Aplomado Falcon Sonora is in the house every morning for a meal and socialization. Here she's perched by a clay vulture I made a hundred years ago.

Monday, August 13, 2018

One More

What's that Pole In Your Yard?

Kari Voss of the MPG Ranch in Florence just erected a 15 foot pole with a microphone up top to record Nocturnal Flight Calls (NFC) of songbirds migrating at night. This is an ambitious project, and ours was number 49 out of 50 recorders installed the length and breadth of the Bitterroot Valley. Project Night Flight is in their second year with one more to go, and we are all interested to see who passes over in the dark, individual species discerned with a signature sonogram, or spectrograph. Kari added a little pvc pipe perch in hopes owls will choose that and not the microphone if they land out there at night.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

More Sharpies

The tiny male with a House Sparrow and his two sisters. They are so cool.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Red Squirrel Friend

A squirrel up the Blackfoot.
The Sharp-shinned Hawks are gorging on House Sparrows, the non-native and non-protected pest bird in most people's yards. They didn't seem to want any of the new shipment of quail, falcon food for us. The tiny male hawk especially loves to bathe, usually soaking wet just out of the bath pan. Interesting. Here is the feeding tube.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sharp-shinned Hawks MOVE

A move from the playpen in the house to a spacious space. So after about 4 hours of remodeling, this building included stapled house screen inside, a feeding station that will work inside and out, and the icing on the gravy was an newly installed aspen tree, thanks to our friends Ginny and Michael DeNeve. Gin had a wrought-iron Christmas tree stand, so they sawed down a tree by the driveway and there it is for our little hawks. Plus we just picked up some House Sparrow traps from pals at the U of M, Creagh Breuner and Joely Desimone, so now they can eat some real Sharp-shinned avian food instead of our dumb old mice. News on the way, and hope to release them here in a week or so.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Back To the Old Drawing Board

Printmaking studio over the garage, actually. After a huge hiatus with important things to do, I am finally able to work on my artwork. Currently making dry-point etchings on a special plastic and rolling inks with brayers on top. Then each is painted with gouache, the sort of tedious part, so relatively few in an edition. I just want to start another one. Here is my homage to a heron. That big black and white print on the bed is a steamroller print Bev Glueckert and I made, carved on plywood and paraded in the Day of the Dead  in Missoula in 2003!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Program Number 1700!

Friday was a big day with our 1700th program, a tour for a Florence Family and high fives all around. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Possession and Eagle Eexhibition Permits require an annual report with all the details: date/audience/contact/audience numbers/birds in program and I alway toss in miles at the end. So, yep. Program number 1700 for 132,903 people since 1988.  I counted a bunch of you twice.
Here are Sussex School kids journalling and sketching at the Raptor Ranch, 15 and 16 years ago.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Banner Day in Bannack

Our first program in Bannack State Park in 2006 was such a surprise - great turnout with new and a few old friends. Saturday we broke all travel records as I somehow miscalculated driving time (and got side-tracked with the baby Sharp-shins) - we made it in 2 hours and 14 minutes. Got out of the car a bit late and was ON! Thanks birds, many old friends, and trusty Subaru, the Time Machine.