Thursday, November 30, 2017

Raptor Round-Up #54

It's "up" in living color on our website (click here) and a few hundred in the mail, the old-fashioned way. This one is packed with  photos of our birds and see neighborhood birds, and a few squirrels! Plus a fire flier that I made this summer. Whew. Sure takes a while to put these together, and hopefully fun to read. Thanks Webmaster Steve Palmer!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Salish Language School Field Trip

The very shy (!) youngsters were back, and we were worried about the snow of late November. Teacher Shanna assured me, “They love snow!” And apparently pigeons, dogs, and birds of prey.  We lucked out on the weather end. Below, the scope really was on the eagle nest to start with (not for long.)  And this 5-year-old with a kestrel bookmark informed me privately several times, “They ARE predators.” Brilliant.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Anne and Eric's Reunion

My pal Anne Iverson from Mountain Press Publishing Co. and husband Eric Edlund hosted a gala reunion over Thanksgiving, a tradition for many years. They booked the stone chalet in Stevensville, just a hop,skip and a jump from Florence so I suggested a tour of the Raptor Ranch. Twenty folks from mostly Seattle and California but also Iowa and Illinois spent a few hours exploring, which culminated in this customary singing of “Happy Tails” as a finale. They had substituted their own special lyrics that one new friend told me they added in 1973 in San Francisco. Wow, I thought my ears were playing tricks on me. Apparently they call themselves The Nitwits, a fun group and inappropriate moniker as they identified the last names of all of our Jazz Birds, especially Wes (Montgomery) the kestrel. Okay, Becky got them all correct, and thanks for your generosity, not Nitwits at all!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Eagles at Dawn

A photo from the deck at the house just now, and these eagles have been down hanging at the river quite a bit lately. The nest is right above where I signed my name, and easier to see with the leaves gone. On a roll with editing photos from the Raptor Research Foundation Conference (down to 566 from 800 taken!) Plus working on our Raptor Round-Up Newsletter Number 54, and wait 'till you see this one - birds and fires. Hope to have it out by mid-week, thanks to Pyramid Printing in Missoula. Yep, I still mail out 200 copies.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Caddy Family

So happy to post these photos from Pam Voth, and here is Simon the Great Horned Owl meeting Adrian Caddy and the sculpture brought over from the UK, a perfect rendering in chain saw art. Simon is named for Adrian's son that was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident this spring, and Adrian had this likeness of the owl made by an artist friend.  He brought it over in carry-on by airplane and we had a tender meeting at the Raptor Ranch a month ago. Thanks Pam for capturing the moments.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sibley Today

Chasing game! Actually Mookie the black lab dog...
And check out our newish photography web site:

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Back from RRF

Made it home safe and sound from the Raptor Research Foundation Conference in Salt Lake and what fun, with 300 attendees, I swear 1/3rd were students. Great hope for the future of research and this fine organization. Banquet night and student award winners, including long-time friend Tempe Regan on the left. She told me she saw a Raptors of the Rockies assembly when she was a kid. “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, ad her second such award from RRF, her first in 2015!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Off To RRF

The highlight of the year since my first conference in 2004 has been the Raptor Research Foundation annual gathering, leaving tomorrow for Salt Lake City. This time the hosts are heroes HawkWatch International and I'll be photographing the events, attending the scientific program, and helping Nick Dunlop out with the photography competition. I presented at that first meeting in Bakersfield, which was in conjunction with the California Hawking Club. I'll never forget the last question at the desk when I arrived, "Will you be checking in with a hawk?" I was hooked.
I am entering this shot of Sib standing on my buddy Dale Simmon's head in the humor category of the contest. Cracks me up - she had knocked a pheasant down there somewhere.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

More of the Caddys

At the shooting range at Michael DeNeve's (thanks Mike!) then down to the river and the eagle nest, Adrian and son Alex, our pals since 2002.

Friday, November 3, 2017


Just Hitting the Stands...

...and mailboxes! I have the cover, inside spread, and four other photos story by Julie Lue, also of Florence. "Our" nest on the Bitterroot River, 55,000 copies printed and sent across the country. Montana Outdoors editor Luke Duran reports that 60% are mailed out of state, cool.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Simon's First School

This was even more earth-shattering as we had a special guest sitting here in the front row. Our young Great Horned Owl is named for a dear friend that was killed in a terrible motorcycle accident right when the baby bird arrived at his new home. Simon's brother Alex was visiting from Britain and perfect timing for him to see avian Simon the Owl dazzle the kids. And our best buds Vern Argo and Kristen Wood in the Grizzly football wear there in front as well. It was quite the experience, emotional for many of us and glad to have Alex back in the Big Sky.