Tuesday, March 31, 2015


West of the Nest

Lately, all the action has been on our side of the river, the west side across from the Bald Eagle nest. The kingfisher, some woodpeckers and just as the sun was setting, the male eagle landed 30 yards away. I'm in the habit of constantly looking in all directions in case someone flies in, and maybe this Pileated will set up housekeeping right there, 180 degrees from the eagles.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Friday Night, Rockin' On the Beach

This was literally one second before the sun went down behind the Bitterroot Mountains. Two hours last night and just saw some white head feathers in the nest, no flights or fights with the resident hawks. Bummer because the light was perfect.

To see the other TEDx Talks, Go to Youtube, type in TEDxUMontana, and there we all are!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

TEDx Talks Are On Youtube!

Our faithful leader Jace Laakso has just posted all sixteen TEDx Talks from our big evening in February, and yes, I actually did watch mine. Catherine Courtenaye said she might have to watch hers starting with a small screen, say, a smartphone! Here is mine:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Just As It Got Dark Tonight

Looks like our Youtube videos from the TEDx Talk won't be up until next week. You'll be the first to know!

Raptor Round-Up 47

Thanks webmaster Steve Palmer for posting the new newsletter, check it out on our site:
Click the Read it Here. Stories about TEDx, 2014 in review, Sonora the Aplomado Falcon, the Ohrmann Museum and Gallery, Kestrel book review, and lots and lots of photos!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Another Stretch!

Another stretching photo, from tonight. Get comfortable. I recently found out that Pilates are not a Greek food available with fries, and isn't plural.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Falcons Rule!

About one of three trips to the beach pays off with photographs this time of year, and tonight a nice Merlin across the river. I got the new Raptor Round-Up Newsletter #47 to our printers, Pyramid in Missoula, the best. Then came back to see this Merlin stretching just before dark. So happy to see this little falcon and a Peregrine flying by as well, my first of the year. So very cool, and doesn't matter that no eagles showed up. Falcons RULE!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Eagle Aloft

Just now I was out feeding all of the birds, and Max and Nigel were hyper-excited and calling non-stop. I spotted a speck in the sky about 1000 feet up, grabbed the binoculars, and sure enough a fellow Golden Eagle. Headed your way, MPG Ranch hawkwatchers! Bald Eagles fly by all day, but when the boys are that excited, especially this time of year, it's got to be a Golden. Here is a photo from years ago, much closer, and still in sub-adult plumage.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Belted Kingfisher

Hey, where's your belt? That's because it's a male, and the females wear the pants in the family, sporting the rufous colored belly band. He posed for 20 minutes last night, a rattling call to perhaps attract a mate. The sun only poked out for a few minutes, and this was an in-between sun and clouds shot. I find myself muttering, "Come on sun...come on sun..."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Another GREAT Review! Five Stars

"What a beautiful book! You don’t have to be a bird watcher to appreciate the stunning photography in this publication, or the Killy Hawk’s (Kestrel’s) remarkable charm in the wild. If you are ‘into birds’ then you know that “Among the ranks of North American raptors, American Kestrels hold the top honor as most endearing,” says the author, Kate Davis. In both prose and a hundred superb illustrations, we learn a great deal about this amazing little bird.
Among the falcons, the American Kestrel is the smallest (about robin size). It is remarkably colored with vivid rufous and blue-gray plumage dashed with black and white. Despite its small size, the Kestrel is a skilled and savvy hunter with a wide variety of small prey. Those who have marveled at Kestrel hunting prowess know how it hovers in one place by flapping or flicking its wingtips or how it ‘kites’ into a strong wind by twitching its wingtips.
The book covers hunting behaviors and more, including the Kestrel life cycle, natural history, and challenges to its survival in the 21st century. As attractive as it is,American Kestrel is more than a coffee-table book. It’s an attention-grabbing, conversation-making good read."
Reviewed by Don Messerschmidt, Portland Book Review

Monday, March 16, 2015

The End of the Season

No more flying for Sibley the Peregrine, with all of the territorial raptors in the sky and thermals. It's hard to get used to after seven months of loading the bird, gear, camera, and dogs in the car most days for a fly. Top is the last shot of the season, and below has our ski area in the background. The week before she perched on an irrigation wheel, SnowBowl shining like a diamond in the sun and I kicked myself for not taking a picture. So I perched her on the hood of the car here. Friday, Saturday = skiing at The Bowl, Sunday = hunting 'em up!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Drummond, Montana

Main street in Drummond, "Home of the World Famous Bullshippers" says the sign on the highway. This skull impresses the tourists, about ten feet across. Now that's one big bull. Actually it's a steel sculpture made by Don Grazier long ago. Rumor has it that Bill Ohrmann saw this and decided to try his hand at welding, making a big bison, moose, several bears, rhinoceros, and that Wooly Mammoth.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mammoth and Chesty

I noticed that we had new visitors to our Blog so have to post this, the greatest art piece ever created. Bill Ohrmann's 12 foot tall running Wooly Mammoth welded from 16 gauge steel and stainless steel tusks. Plus our Harris's Hawk Chesty perched on top! That sealed the deal. Bill, teach me how to weld, which he did starting in 2004.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ohrmann Museum and Gallery

What a great trip today to the Ohrmann Museum, the coolest art display ever and friendliest friends, Phyllis and John Ohrmann here with my Mom Sally on the right by the giant welded Polar Bear sculpture. Man, the wind was blowing but look at those clouds.  My hero Bill Ohrmann passed in November, but the Museum is now open for admirers and fans. I would suggest a trip, a short drive up Scenic Highway 1 off the Drummond exit on Hwy 90. Amazing artwork and pals.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Photo Search

Various folks had been searching for photos to illustrate stories, this submitted to an organization looking for an Osprey catching a fish. I'll have a Bald Eagle shot in National Wildlife Magazine in the June/July issue, and a bunch in the new Raptor Round-Up Newsletter, on the way in a week. Plus a big show for Bird Fest 2015 at The Artists' Shop, downtown Missoula starting on April 3rd! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Okay, Another and This One Tonight...

Right after this the female dragged her feet in the river and split, male went back to the nest, and I gave up and headed home.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

One More From Last Night

It's Official

My guess is that official nesting began on March 1st. Last evening the male was perched in a snag, was joined briefly by his mate, and then he flew to the nest and took over incubation duties. The female flew in big loops nice and high, stretching her wings, and is landing here. She preened her feathers until dark and we'll see if it looks like they are feeding a nestling or two by the 5th of April. This will be their  fifth year at this nest on the Bitterroot River behind the house, and I am the luckiest photographer on the block!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Studio A

Here are the kids getting settled, Terry Conrad and Jazz Sessions in the background. We always go on the show Thursdays so we can listen to jazz on the way to town.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pea Green Boat Today

Wow, great kids- Adaline and Westin Schick, great birds - Alisa, iPod and Ella, and great host Annie Garde on Montana Public Radio today. Photo by Josh Burnham in the studio. See you again in two months!

March Forth (Fourth)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chesty's Nest

Our Harris's Hawk Chesty flies around the yard most days, and probably hangs around because of the nest she has been building on the arbor. Sticks are added, they blow down and so on for about 10 years now. At 24 years of age, she laid 5 eggs last year, mostly in the winter, crazy bird.
PS: Listen live wherever you are, Pea Green Boat streaming, or on the left side of your FM dial, Thursday, tomorrow at 4 p.m. MST. Three birds, two kids, one host - Annie!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Two in the Air

Yesterday flying Sib and dozens and dozens...and dozens of hawks and eagles in the air, so that season has sadly come to a close. We saw several "dog-fights" and they could have been just playing but heart stopping at the time.  We'll still fly at One Horse Creek, no game but she burns off some steam, the dogs run around and a fun spectacle to behold.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Old Stompin' Grounds?

This young Bald Eagle was checking out her old nest from two years ago, perhaps. A few hours later some real commotion on the beach as she was chased upstream by one of the adult eagles. They are adding material and I've seen one laying down in the nest.  Judging from behavior, last year's eggs and incubation began March 10th, all observed through a scope in the living room, happy household!