Monday, November 30, 2015


A duck a piece, the first is Sib's hen mallard in the snow. Then Jay's Peregrine Ki caught a mallard on the ice of a pond, and I volunteered to crawl out and retrieve her. Jay got this snapshot with my camera after Ki jumped up for a quail and I stashed the duck in my vest. Delicious with the right duck recipe!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Still Negative 8 Degrees!

The last three nights we have had some house guests, namely the Queen of the Roost, Sonora the Aplomado Falcon. This desert bird would surely be uncomfortable outdoors, despite her heated perch and heat lamp. Here she is on her primary perch on the bookshelf about to go back out for the day while we fly the Peregrines…when it warms up a bit. I love Sundays!

Friday, November 27, 2015


Birds currently in the house are the Aplomado, Peregrine and Pygmy-Owl with negative 8 degrees this morning. It has warmed up to zero, so Sib will spend the day outside but no flying. Here are some Tundra Swans at Lee Metcalf refuge down the road yesterday with Snowbowl Ski Area looming in the background to the left.
On a sad note, we had to euthanize our old American Kestrel, JayDub, 15 years of age. He had taken a bad turn health-wise and a hard decision but had to be done. We'll miss JayDub, who had many appearances on Montana Public Radio, chittering for the listeners.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

3 p.m.

The promised blizzard today and glad I got home from town before dark, whew! Also happy to have installed the plastic wind breaks on several hawk and owl buildings, then even more when I got home. Here is a peek from the window at my desk, my view all day and for a while coming up, a winter scene. Birds inside tomorrow night with zero-ish temperatures predicted.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday Moon

Friday the two Bald Eagles were perched here in their nest tree from noon until dark, reported Tom. Yesterday I hoped they would repeat their performance but just got this shot of the moon, tree in the foreground. Recognize those limbs that the eagles love so much to the left?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Couldn't Resist!

Raptor Winner, Tempe Regan

Our friend Tempe Regan won the Anderson Award at the Raptor Research Foundation Conference, the greatest honor and should open doors for life! Her Master's degree project at Boise State is on Barn Owl mortality on an Idaho roadway, hundreds of winter and fall nighttime surveys last year which are heroics in itself if you ask me. Her paper presentation was fascinating and very well received, considered the best among the students applicants. The William C. Anderson Memorial Award was established in 1982 in memory of Bill Andersen, who drowned in 1980 while canoeing in Manitoba during a Peregrine Falcon survey. Here is Tempe accepting the award from Gary Santolo, and below her presentation. Remember Tempe from last year's Newsletter and blog? She told me this story at the Texas RRF Conference: 
“You came to my school in Superior, Montana when I was 9 years old. I remember you standing there with a bird on your arm and being in awe and thinking I want to do that!” Yep, Feb. 21st 1996. I am so proud of you and Way To Go, Tempe!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Look at this deer in my mom's front yard in Missoula today! Tame as a cat, as our friend Nick would say.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sibley Today

Weather forecasts say huge winds today so Sib was out just before noon, and exactly as she left the car the winds kicked in. But nothing like as promised, so far. Hurricane force on the Rocky Mountain Front, hold on to your hats.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ohrmann's Weekend

We enjoyed a great visit with John and Phyllis Ohrmann Saturday, and were allowed to see many "new" woodcarvings that Bill made, unveiled for the first time in decades. Below is John's dragonfly sculpture with Bill's 12 foot Wooly Mammoth, the greatest art piece in the world if you ask me. It was this sculpture that peaked my interest in welding, and Bill was my tutor starting in 2004. He sadly passed at age 95, just two weeks after the open house last year, and is very much missed. But we could feel his presence and imagine his wry smile... all around.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ohrmann Museum Open House

See you at the Bill Ohrmann Gallery and Museum, "Usually Open" and this weekend the Open House. Just 2 1/2 miles south of Drummond on Scenic Highway 1 on the way to PBurg. John and Phyllis  promise a big event, with some wood carvings and paintings that haven't been exhibited in years. No doubt, "Something to offend everyone…"  HA! See you there 11-5 pm today and tomorrow. I'll be there this afternoon taking pictures with my Lumix.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Merlin Flights

Sunday after the conference Nick Dunlop and I paid a visit to his friend, falconer Keith Richman and spent several hours in the field with his two Merlins and Peregrine. While waiting for the rain to let up over coffee, we heard about a wild Merlin that Keith had seen the last four years. She would spot him and his truck and dog and follow along as he flushed sparrows, just like  a trained bird. We lucked out and "Freebird" showed up mid-morning, just a Keith had described and now her fifth year with this routine! She "waits on" flying high overhead, responding to vocal and hand commands, and caught this House Sparrow, photo by Nick. What flights with his birds, and who would believe our luck. Thanks for the hospitality, Keith!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Back from Sacramento!

What a Raptor Research Foundation Conference! This will be a hard one to top, with over 400 attendees, 150 scientific papers and 50 posters. What a slick event thanks to our hosts the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory in Sausalito by the big bridge, Allen Fish director. Hopefully he can relax now, but from my experience in hosting the 2008 conference, it will take a week or two. First photo is the Madison Conference 50th anniversary panel - Jeep Pagel moderator with Tom Cade on the screen. This was the beginning of the conservation movement, banning pesticides that were killing off several species, namely the Peregrine, more on that soon. And my pal Gary Santolo, Chairman of the Awards Committee and our fine selection of raptor beers. I have officially retired as Conference Committee Chair and will be a tourist at the next one in Cape May, NJ in October 2016. Yippee!

Monday, November 2, 2015

See You In Sacramento!

Off to the Raptor Research Foundation Conference in Sacramento tomorrow with a flight at 6:10 am. So feeding the birds with a flashlight at 3:30 am, whew. In the meantime, Bill Harley RULES with his stupendous concert yesterday and programs today at Bonner Elementary school. How can you jam-pack so much fun in one week?! A rainbow as I was leaving for the concert yesterday and the eagles, and news from the road if I can figure out how to do that.