Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

These are the last rays of light of this wonderful year of 2012, nice clouds over the Bitterroots to the west; a few sculptures (penguin and pheasant) and Luna the cat to the right. Thanks to all of our Raptor Backers, Board of Directors, birds, dogs, and cats, (and pet mice) to make for a great New Years Eve. Totals for 2012:  56 programs for 4711 participants, young and old.  Merci My Friends!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Today's Hero

Or Heron. The shot from today, and thanks to everyone that checks in on these Blogs! Especially, you Carmen. Bald Eagle Nest books are here, so order one autographed copy now. Act now and get a free book we always say!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Summer Scene

The Bald Eagle Nest book is getting out there with a release just a few weeks ago. My copy is getting thumbed through by friends, and thought I would bring up a behavioral observation: men start at the back and flip forward. Remember, this is a chronological tale events in a Bald Eagle nest that fledged four young, and I can imagine the guys thinking, "Hey, these birds are getting smaller!" This photo is a favorite, an Eastern Fox Squirrel that also raised a family in this nest, that dark area in the lower right corner.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Audubon's Top 100

I just learned that this image from the new book made the Top 100 in the Audubon Photography Competition, 10,000 entrees. The top 8 (or 10) are announces after Christmas, fingers crossed.It's part of a series of photos of the newly-fledged Bald Eagles being mobbed by a pair of tiny Bullock's Orioles. This was the still clumsy male eagle, just out of the nest, and fleeing in terror. He crashed through the top of a cottonwood tree and had a limb stuck in his mouth. He must not have realized he could dislodge the thing by simply opening his mouth, because he grabbed at it with one foot, then the other, all captured "on film" as the oriole bounced off his back. My big carton of books from Stackpole Books in Pennsylvania is lost in the mail somewhere, shipped over a week ago, but I'll let you know when they are here to get your autographed copy.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Teaser (Commercial) for the Show

I was just sent this YouTube link and seems like Sib is indeed the star!
Check it out. One little problem:  they claim she is a "rescue falcon." Maybe I did rescue her, but more like bought her from a breeder ten years ago. Oh well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sib on the Discovery Channel

The TV show that the BBC production team shot here a few months will be on this Sunday the 23rd, Discovery Channel and broadcast time 9/8 Central and I guess that means 7 pm Mountain. It's a documentary called "X-Ray Yellowstone" about Peregrine Falcons and Sibley will be featured in the Tower of Power at 1600 frames per second, and in the field catching and munching on a partridge. I'll never forget then sound man announcing "Quiet on the set so we can hear the crunching bits." Check out the blogs from first week in October, including two videos of The Star in action!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Muskrat Shoot Today

A drive through nearby Lee Metcalf NWR offered a few "shots" at three muskrats spotted by Tom, and reminder of another fantastic book for your shelf and for the holidays - the new Mammals of Montana by Dr. Kerry Foresman and available from Mountain Press (and booksellers everywhere.) Kerry writes about these big rodents, second only in size to the beaver, that they are nearly waterproof.  "The fur can trap a large volume of air (calculated at an amazing 21.5 percent of the average dry volume of the fur)" They float like corks, can feed underwater as their teeth chew outside of their closed lips and mouth and cute as can be. For a rodent. Check out Mammals of Montana and the amazing photos by Alexander V. Badyaev, a page-turner and constant companion for me, copies at home and in the car and gifts for lots of nature-loving friends.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Order One Today!

They're HERE! Word from Stackpole Books today and the new Bald Eagle Nest book has arrived, available from Stackpole, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel Booksellers! Just in time, and don't believe what they say on their web sites now, as we know they are in and it will take a day or two to update. But rest assured, the wait is over and a great time to learn about this eagle family.
And I'll have a pile also, of you want an autographed copy for the holidays. What news, and we are elated.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Four Downy Heads

Count 'em. This is one of my favorites from the book, a delivery by the male and he splits, leaving the female to attend to the four young. Rarely and I mean hardy ever, would all four young be up and looking the same way. Frustrating but it paid off sometimes, one time in particular when the parents delivered an entire yearling deer, in three pieces.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's HERE!

The new book is here, or in this house at least - sitting on my desktop with two pages from our publisher on the Mac (and a pdf of the new Bald Eagle bookmarks, more on that later.) It looks great and we even made the cover of their spring catalog - the male eagle perched on the top of a Ponderosa Pine. I remember when Carmen Bassin and I were standing on those train tracks, hour after hour, and that guy just posed after scaring away a couple of ravens. Our editor said, "Anyone can preorder the book right now—from Amazon or B&N, or from us." Check it out and should be here in a few weeks. Darn, too late for Christmas but there's always next year. 134 "beautiful" photos telling the saga of a nest that fledged FOUR young, unheard if. And it's about April through November of 2011, chasing the Bald Eagle family around, getting better and better Nikon gear as I sold Raptors of the West books out of my car. And Bald Eagle Nest too, soon enough.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Donate on the Web

After quite a bit of "dinking" we have a new option to sponsor Raptors of the Rockies- a Donate button on each page of the web site Steve Palmer figured it out, and this site is his baby, launched on Superbowl Sunday 2000. Those long photo panels change everytime you look at a page, his idea. Anyway, our board of directors asked me to look into an easy way for people to support our program, in this day and age of digital transactions and voila! One week later we are up and running. Our very first donate-button-pusher was my pal Dan Varland on the Washington Coast! Give it a try, it's a tax exemption for 2012 and will buy a bunch of frozen quail to feed the Teaching Team.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Farewell to Hero Dave Brubeck

I heard early this morning of the passing of jazz giant Dave Brubeck, master pianist and composer, just one day shy of his 92nd birthday. As announcers on KCSM Bay Area Jazz said, "He is already missed." It doesn't really matter what you have as a musical preference, but I guarantee you have heard "Take Five," the amazing breakout hit from this "West Coast" quartet, written by saxophonist Paul Desmond and on the 1959 album Time Out. This is arguably the first record I ever heard, a favorite of my dad, who inspired my passion in jazz music. Dad and I saw Dave Brubeck and his sons play at a concert in Cincinnati when I was in high school, a night I will never forget. Two generations of fans were in the audience, all loving the man and family. Five minutes after the lights went out my dad leaned over and asked,"Kate, what's that smell?" smoke wafting in the air. HA! Generations, and that night a great bond with my father and his past, who heard Brubeck in the 50's in a club in San Francisco. Dave Brubeck is already missed, but currently spinning on the turntable in this house, a stack of records to enjoy forever.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Girls are Bigger

Here is a good example of what scientists call Reverse Sexual Size Dimorphism (RSSD) or Girls are bigger. Red-tailed Hawks often don't display such an obvious illustration, and the sexes overlap in size with even the experts second-guessing by weight and measurements. I am not the only one to get it wrong it seems, and the first-ever hawk in our program in 1988, Clive, laid an egg at age 5. Like I told my friend Ginny Merriam that was here today for a visit, "Eggs are an indicator."