Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bayern Bash a Ball!

Thanks to the raptors board and Jeurgen Knoller, owner of Bayern Brewing in Missoula, our 5th annual Raptor Backer Party was a ball. This year we had a silent auction and here, John Heffernan is holding up a gorgeous mounted California Quail, donated by board member and best taxidermist in the world, Dale Manning. Photographer and pal Keith Fialcowitz was there to capture the fun, and win the bid on the New York Cheese Cake to die for, from Deborah Richie. Other items were a trip to the Rocky Mountain Front to trap eagles with Rob Domenech, and an Osprey banding day with Erick Greene, who amused us all by recounting some odd items discovered in Osprey nests over the years. Next time, first Saturday of Spring, will be our 25th Anniversary Party! Hard to even imagine, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coastal Raptors of Washington

Check out a Peale's Peregrine on a "root wad"on the beach, a better term than "driftwood" according to our host Dan Varland. My new Bald Eagle book includes several new images from that trip, and all the final edits to the publishers on Monday, whew! Today was a special program at Missoula Community School for 80 attendees, and 4 birds that included iPod, Alisa, Sibley, and Graham. The children were drawing our birds as we left, one youngster with a huge sketch of the Bird Lady holding an owl, me with a big belly and lots of circles inside. He told me that those squiggles were my breakfast that I had eaten before I came! We love these kids.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Press and Print, Big Time

First, a cover story in the Ravalli Republic Sunday detailed the influences I have had over the years, from Barry Wakeman and John Craighead, to Bill Harley and Bill Ohrmann. Read "Tales of Talons," a wonderful new angle on this raptor program by Perry Backus. Then today a cover story in the Outdoor Section of the Missoulian "Raptor Snaps,"about the books, awards and "shooting" birds in general, brilliant work by Bob Chaney. I love his lesson in Latin, rapture and inertia! You guys are fantastic and I owe you each lunch and a beverage. In the meantime, been going through the Washington Coast photos and have you ever seen a Snowy Owl take a drink out a little puddle of water on some drift wood on the beach? Well, you have now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Back From The Left Coast

A bunch of bird people celebrated March Madness of the raptor variety this weekend, guests of Dan Varland and Coastal Raptors. Photographer pals Nick Dunlop, Rob Palmer and his girlfriend Fi and I met up in Portland, rented 4-wheel drive Jeeps, and headed north to Ocean Shores and Long Beach, WA. Wind and rain were near constant companions, but we still shot thousands of images, and here is a favorite. Bad timing in a way, as it was the big Razor Clam Festival with thousands on the beach digging away, but we managed to luck out with eagles, Peregrines, and even eight Snowy Owls, who were especially cooperative. Still going through the photos, and more on the way. THANKS Dan!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom

Mom insisted that we check out the Bonner Peregrine eyrie on her birthday, so here are the Phillips girls and our favorite person! I'll be on a photography trip to the Washington Coast until Monday, and news soon. We also just got a giant pack of thank-you letters from elementary students at Florence for our last assembly. I told the kids that Pygmy-owls like our iPod make a sweet whistling call, an repeated toot-toot-toot that is reminiscent of the sound a truck makes while backing up. The letters from students said they learned that "the Golden Eagle can live up to 40 years," "the Peregrine Falcon can fly 200 miles per hour," and "the little owl got hit by a garbage truck." You never know what these youngsters will remember, and always a hoot.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What A Day

We started the day with a 6:40 am spot on Montana Today, NBC Television and check it out: interview with Monte Turner. Sibley was a "Rock Star,'" his words but see for yourself. Then she had a nice flight at MPG Ranch with photographer pal Keith Fialcowitz, and funny to think that two hours before she was in a television studio under the lights. I was so proud on both counts. Then, the icing on the gravy - the Bald Eagles in the Backyard shot of a lifetime, and even located their nest, with a little help and more news on the way. This is so exciting...