Tuesday, April 29, 2014

First Baby Shot of the Season

The story tonight is a Columbian Ground Squirrel delivery, head hanging by some skin and food for the chicks. This is the first I've photographed one on the babies in the nest this season, little grey downy head. This will get really fun, soon.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Rocky Mountain Map Gallery

Hard to imagine right now, but a week from today we'll be hosting a photography show at the Map Gallery in Missoula. Join us at 1710 Brooks Street (Brooks and Bancroft) from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm and see some new photos for First Friday. A Teaching Team bird will join us, plus a stack of books for signing. Thanks to Kevin McCann, owner and cartographer extaordinaire! He's featuring the cool Nat'l Geo Bird Migration map in the center for sale.
Also posted is the x-ray of the hardware left in my (left) elbow during surgery on Tuesday. Airport security nightmares? We'll see.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sonora and Surgery

At least the little Aplomado isn't afraid of the new bandages, moments ago coming into the house. That's as clean as these wraps will ever be. The surgery yesterday went well, and a lot more involved than I thought. The good folks at Missoula Bone & Joint are fantastic, and now time to heal. And oil paint with the other hand. Oils are a medium I tried before, but put away for the welder. This time, welding is not an option, for a while at least. And I can't give up so easily! I have my Bob Kuhn and Ken Carlson books out for inspiration - and the Julie Chapman web site!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Broken Wing For the Boss

I broke my ulna in a spill in the garage last week, fetching bird food and tripped in the pitch black dark on a boat trailer hitch, ouch. So surgery on the elbow tomorrow and had to postpone a few programs, including our trip to Polson, sorry. At least I'll still be able to hoist a camera, hopefully. Thanks Dr. Andy Puckett for fitting me into his incredibly busy schedule. Another photo from the Osprey nest at my sister's in Turah, and look at that power technology. No raccoon in the world would dare climb up there to raid the nest!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Ospreys

These birds have two nests side by side on this giant power tower at my sister's house in Turah. They have chosen this one the last several years and the male brought in fish after fish as we sat soaking up the sun.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Woodpeckers All Over the Place

A  pair of Pileated and female Hairy Woodpecker in the yard today, perhaps appearing in the new book by Sneed B. Collard! We are working on this new one, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Feaking Eagle

Ever wonder how birds clean their beaks after a nice meal? This was the male eagle wiping off fish gore last night, a term falconers call "feaking their beak." Nice job, and "nictitating membranes," or third eyelid closed. He then swiped those open eyes on the feathers on his back to clean them as well. Enough technical talk? I just got a nice email from an attendee at our Coeur d'Alene Audubon program last week and blushed. Terry Van Hoozer, a fellow raptor education provider wrote: "P.S. As I have done several "Hoot shows" over the past two years I thought I'd never seen anything a good and as uplifting, fun, and interesting as yours. I'm jealous, color me envy." THANKS, and now an invite to the Spokane, Washington  Audubon!

Eagle and Storm Clouds

This photo from last night, just after a prey delivery to the nest. I think one egg hatched either Monday or yesterday, an attentive female in the nest all day. Wow! The bridge construction didn't scare them away after all, like my raptor expert Jeep Pagel said at Christmas. "They'll stick around..."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wednesday Night

Grass delivery to the nest and lucked out.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Coeur d'Alene Audubon ROCKS!

Thanks George and Katie Saylor for the invite to Idaho and a program in the Lutheran Church in Coeur d'Alene, a quick 3.25 hour drive with jazz on the stereo and birds in the car. We packed the bird devotees in there, and I counted 150 plus with kids in the isles and latecomers watching through windows from the front lobby. That's Sibley on her perch in the center of the photo with a little halo around her... After a Powerpoint, everyone met Alisa (perfect Red-tail) then Owen the owl who started calling for his first time for an audience. I motioned to the stained glass as his inspiration for the operatic debut. Then Sibley showed off, and finally Jillian the Great Horned Owl inspired everyone to join in for a group HOOT. Thanks, new friends, and sorry I couldn't make the fishing trip Doug, as we needed to get back home. We're on Pea Green Boat on the Montana Public Radio Fund Drive tomorrow, check it out!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gibbs Family Fish Day

Ryan and Angie Gibbs and sons Gabe, Noah and Henry arrived mid-afternoon armed with poles and tackle galore. Angie's Dad Doug is the local pike expert, and they were invited to have at it in the back slough. Pike are a non-native game fish, introduced by somebody to be reminded of their childhood in Michigan or somewhere "back east."  They are behind our house in a pond above a beaver damn, and are unfortunately flushed into the river with spring flood waters. "Northerns" are tasty but really boney, so they were after the lunkers.   Ryan caught one on his third cast, what a look of surpsrise, and Noah caught the next two, lunkers escaping...for now. They'll be back!

Friday, April 4, 2014


Last Night

This was a change of incubation duties, the female preening for an hour, then in flew a young eagle to stir things up. She flew back to the nest tree with lots of vocalizations from both adults. After a five minutes, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers and a kingfisher flew behind me, so I spun the tripod 180 degrees to try to get some shots. Just then the eagle attack began. Junior was driven away, and the whole scene was captured in my head and not by my camera. Happens all the time...all the time.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Male Pileated

I have been chasing two woodpeckers around the yard, camera ready to go by the door. This is the male Pileated, with red all all the way down the crown to the beak, and little mustache. His presumed mate is in the the Blog from last Friday. Their name Pileated comes from the Latin pileatus meaning "capped" and from pileus meaning "felt cap." Cool, and your Latin for the day. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Another Dipper Shot

Man, I got a lot of swimming Dipper photos and going through them found this. Plus a lot of just water, or water and a tail sticking out...