Monday, February 29, 2016


…It's What Makes a Subaru a Subaru. That's what they say anyway and I love them. This photo was an hour ago of Sib flying at One Horse Creek, a place that I love. And bird and dogs too, so an all around great time right across the road almost every day! I've had seven of these Subaru's, the perfect vehicle for what I need and I'm sure I'll buy another one after this gets too old (a 2003.) Below is a car parked at the restaurant yesterday, one that cannot possibly fit a falcon and two dogs, so not for me, sorry. I told my brother that we bought it for my Mom. That's a brand new Ferrari, a little out of place in Bonner, Montana.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Happy Birthday, Sally!

Celebration today for our Mom's Birthday, eighty-something. After lunch we go look at a Blackfoot cliff to see if the Peregrines have returned. It's tradition. Happy Birthday, Mom from your three kids!

Saturday, February 27, 2016


A photo of our fine staff of volunteer bird-carriers at Chief Charlo Elementary School Wednesday, Sibley in the back of the car and Snowbowl on the horizon. See the shadows of the photographers? And another photo from the Montana Public Radio studios, Joan Richarde across the glass in the control room. Thanks Sam, Joan, Annie and Teaching Team Raptors!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Miles the Owl and Ron Austing

My friends from the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory noticed from my Facebook post that I was wearing their t-shirt, my favorite and I always get comments on the beautiful design. Here is another photo from the MTPR show last week - Annie checking out the Ron Austing photo of a hooting Great Horned Owl, an image that graces our mantlepiece. I met Ron when I was in the Junior Zoologists Club at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1974, and have treasured his photographs, books and laughs that we shared when he came to the Raptor Ranch. He wrote in my copy of his title The World of the Great Horned Owl, "36 years after the fact!" Sadly Ron passed away in 2014, a dear friend and hero.

Montana Public Radio

Some photos from last week's Pea Green Boat with host Annie Garde, and thanks Sam Manno. We began with Otto the Rough-legged Hawk, a long-time pro at 19 years of age. He was squeaking on the air, proof that we really do have live birds in the studio. Then Miles (Davis) the Great Horned Owl joined us and finally Wes the American Kestrel. Annie has such great descriptions for the listeners, here  explaining his malar stripes and head spots. "See" you again in two months, a different set of guest birds and discussion of all things spring! Always on a Thursday so I can listen to Jazz Sessions on my drive to Missoula.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Last Night

Both eagles were in the nest tree, then the male flew out then both did a little nest maintenance for a while.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Right Off The Nest

New photo and last year incubation began on March 1st, so soon...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tables Are Turned

Yesterday Sibley chased an eagle and today the other way around, different bird. No birds were harmed in either encounter, or either day out looking for pheasants. Fine with me, and fun flights in the brilliant blue skies of the Bitterroot, over an hour of her sailing around on a Sunday.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Down At the Beach

First trip of the year with the camera, tripod, and dogs. The darned pair flew out of the nesting tree as I walked down but got this one coming back almost as I left. This will be a fun year, and for YOU, Barry Gordon who always asks, "How many Bald Eagle pictures do you need?" For 2015 = 3574 images in Lightroom. And three times that number deleted.


Sib half-heartedly chasing a young Bald Eagle, and squad of mallards in the slough in the front yard. Almost the finale of falcon flying season, but beginning of beach season, heading down there with the camera and dogs shortly.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Montana Public Radio Day

Join us at 4 pm MST no matter where you are - on the radio or streaming live on your computer. We'll have three birds, an hour of discussion and fun with host Annie Garde on Pea Green Boat, daily childrens' programing. We'll talk about the nesting Great Horned Owls (with Miles), migrating Rough-legged Hawks (Otto), and then, gotta love a kestrel (Wes). The left of the FM dial, 89.1 in Missoula and at, "Listen Live."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


First - what happened to the snow?! We woke up this morning and it was gone, just remnants of the huge piles by the driveway and pigeon loft that have been here since early November! Fifty degrees plus, way too early for spring thaw so pray for snow. Next - I taped a show with Steve Glueckert at Missoula Community Access Television yesterday, called "Look Before You Speak." We discussed lots of things and showed some of my photos. I said that DELETE is your friend in photography, so was getting rid of hundreds of terrible photos when I came across this Great Egret shot from 2009. Currently printing to be framed for the wall. Last - we'll be on Montana Public Radio Pea Green Boat on Thursday, details on the way.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Pheasant

Sib was working closely with Mookie the Lab today to score a hen pheasant right across the street from our house. Thanks to Michael and Ginny DeNeve for the continued hospitality and hunting ground, well over a dozen pheasants flushed by the dog in the cattails. It always amazes me that the falcon steps off a warm bird for a formally frozen quail that she eats every day, hen stashed in the falconry vest for human consumption. Well, Sib eats some of her prize, just not the tender breast meat!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Montana Audubon Bird Festival

I was asked to produce the logo for the upcoming Montana Audubon Bird Festival to be held here in Missoula in June and came up with this. It's actually two photos combined, our eagle beach by the house with amazing September clouds then an adult flying by, Photoshop magic. See you in June, keynote speakers are super-naturalist-hero Dr. Erick Greene on Friday evening and moi on Saturday June 4th. It's not too early to plan those birdwatching tours with Audubon and Director Steve Hoffman! Below is what I made for the logo in 2010, Sib and Sula Peak.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Snowy Owl

Searching in the archives I found this cool female Snowy Owl, photographed on the Washington Coast in 2012. Nick Dunlop, Rob Palmer and I were visiting Dan Varland of Coastal Raptors for his annual March Madness week, trapping and banding raptors on the beach. About a dozen Snowy Owls were dozing in the dunes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spring Is On the Way

Today- Red-winged Blackbirds' and chickadee spring songs resonating, plus Sibley with her molt starting. Still lots of skiing though, to be certain!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Superbowl Sunday

Sibley the Peregrine had nice flights yesterday but seemed more determined to harass other flying raptors than look for pheasants. The second flight she returned to the roof of the Subaru, some feathers stuck to her talons so she hit something out there but I missed it. Plus one of the many eagles in the area, landing on a goose platform. What a nice day, especially for the Broncos.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016


Okay, I missed the epic powder day of Tuesday when 13 inches of fluff showed up on the slopes, but still enjoying tons of snow at our local ski spot! Ski partners Tyler and Kim and see you at the Bowl tomorrow. ps: I rode the chairlift with a gal that said she was just skiing in Vail, Colorado. One day lift ticket price - $175.00

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

More from St. George

We enjoyed a birdwatching tour of Zion National Park, no shortage of amazing scenery. Then Saturday I was lucky enough to attend two programs at the Tonaquint Nature Center by Nikki Wayment of HawkWatch International. Pictured is uber-volunteer Winston Brundige with a dark morph Swainson's Hawk and Western Screech Owl. When a youngster wanted to pet the pretty bird, Winston demonstrated the owl's ripping and biting skills on his glove! No petting the Teaching Team, sorry. That's my host Steve Eberhard on the right of the poster, R.J. Hughes with Red Cliffs Audubon on the left. My banquet keynote address was really fun (maybe a bit on the animated end) and everyone hooted up an owl at to finish the event, right on!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sib Today

Utah Views

I was picked up at the airport by birder extaordinaire Marshall Topham, who pointed out a Prairie Falcon perched on a light pole at dark right away. Bet this was the same bird, as he and wife Nancy dropped me off Sunday! Way to begin and end a wonderful trip. We also spotted this Ferruginous Hawk but I was not fast enough with my camera. The last shot was taken in the mile-long tunnel at Zion, a window to the beauties of the park. More on the way…