Sunday, April 30, 2017

More Peregrines

These are adults up the Blackfoot yesterday, and even mated twice. Kind of far off but brought in with binoculars, scope and camera.  My mom and sister were along and are naturals at this Peregrine-watching stuff. I think it's safe to say that out of the three ledges they've been frequenting, this will be the nest site. We called it "Jay's ledge."

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Peregrine On the Beach

A brief visit from this year old Peregrine, and suddenly flew...for some reason.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Two Chicks!

Looks like two chicks this year:
I said that two years ago and a third stood up in the nest weeks later. I shrieked like a little girl. She’s keeping her eye on that pesky raven I think.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Last Night

This raven and eagle sure don't get along, one chasing the other all the time! Great light for once.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Our Max, the Golden Eagle!

His 28th birthday, or pretty close. This photo will be included in the upcoming HawkWatch Calendar with 13 other of my photos. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spot the Target Species?

My friend Mac Donofrio did within a minute, searching for a pair of Peregrines up in the Bitterroot Mountains Friday. I came slogging in after punching through a few feet of snow on an old logging road then bushwhacking up a ridge for an hour. Mac was way ahead of me, and gasping for breath I asked if he had anything, perched on a rock and peering his scope. "Got em,"  he declared. We decided to stay in hopes of some closer action, but this was it - one up on that distant cliff of One Horse Creek. With Mac looking through the scope I had him tell me when she/he was in profile for this photo. HA!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Various Deliveries

I was in a slightly different location last evening hoping to see a downy head poke up and instead got these. A nice new stick brought in by the female (!) then at least one ground squirrel and perhaps a fish. Soon enough we can guess how many chicks they are feeding. Since they built the nest in 2011 it went like this:
2012- three, 2013- two, 2014- one, 2015- three, and last year- two glorious offspring. Thank goodness. I am so lucky to have these friends as neighbors.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Now Look!

Who owns the platform? The Ospreys. Apparently they showed up the day after the goose-exit, and rightfully own the nursery. Today's shot.


Here is the whole platform, and someone just told me that an Osprey was on it the next day! I'll go check it out. Plus the plunge of the last chick, joining the family below and foraging on vegetation, brooded by the female at night. Two months before their feathers grow in and they fly.

Monday, April 17, 2017


Just as we were driving by this Osprey nest platform at Metcalf Refuge on Saturday, I noticed the occupants were about to bail. The female Canada Goose had been incubating for about a month, all of the young had hatched at once and they were off for their first "flights" with a bounce on the ground below. I swear we just pulled up and I said, "Tom watch this!" In a minute the female flew, her mate honking below and then, one after the other, all seven were leaping and tumbling  - unbelievable timing and luck which doesn't happen very often in the photography world. Now an Osprey can come and claim the platform, double duty as a nursery and just in time.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bald Eagle Dispute

This 4 year old eagle showed up and sure stirred it up at the nest last night. They actually made contact a few times when the big female got too close to the nest. Those photos are mostly obscured by limbs, oh well. And Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Every year I worry that the eagles' nest will fail and I would have no excuse to stand on the beach for hours every night. This year I could spy the white head hunkered down in incubation starting around March 5th, watching through the scope in the living room. Add 35 days and voila! - hatching Sunday or Monday. Posture, behavior, and hyper-vigilance by the male all indicated big news for the nest. He even chased a raven and a duck that flew by the tree! Then I watched fish deliveries like this whitefish, dropped off. Instead of the female ripping off a chunk and tossing it down, it looked like she was feeding a chick, what luck. More news on the way, and this from the last time it was sunny on Monday.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


First an Osprey attack, actually as I was walking down to the beach so grabbed the camera and hand-held. About 20 swoops on the eagle, whew. Then this of a young Bald Eagle, maybe his daughter from last year. It will only get better and the eagle chicks have hatched, feedings of fish. Whew again.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Non-Lead Bullets

Thanks Mike McTee at the MPG Ranch for organizing this demonstration of lead versus non-lead ammunition, and an eye-opener. Friend Chris Parish of The Peregrine Fund and new friend Leland Brown from the Oregon Zoo are perfect partners in demonstrating and describing why the healthy and ethical choice of hunters should be bullets made of copper or other alloys. Ingested lead fragments can remain in the shot quarry and ingesting them is unhealthy for humans and can be lethal for scavengers like raptors. Chris shot various caliber rounds into water traps (brilliant) and ballistic gel so we could see the relatively clean path of copper and the stuff left behind with traditional lead. Made me want to bust out the ole 270!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Back at the Beach

The last two evenings on the river behind the house I was positive I would see an Osprey. Reward just before dark last night when an attack ensued. I have a confession - I was so excited and surprised (and rusty at this photography thing) I forgot how to change the crop mode on my Nikon D800 camera. So lots of shots of ospreys cut in half, instead of the wider shots with both birds. And the Osprey was just above the eagle, oh well. Unbelievable and won't happen again. I mean my blunder, not the Osprey attacks.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


A happy shot from New Years Day:

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sunday's Delivery

Last night I spent a couple hours in sun then snow squalls and saw the male eagle land on the slough behind me, wary as could be, but had an idea he was picking up some grass to add to the nest. Finally, after 20 minutes this addition.  If all goes right for these two in their 6th nesting season, chicks around the 10th. Cross your fingers.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

What a Find!

Out looking for Peregrines yesterday on the Blackfoot River with Jay Sumner of the Montana Peregrine Institute and his dog Flash found half an elk. Okay, front quarter.