Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Friends From Finland

Carrie Hunt is the founder and director of Wind River Tails and Trails here in Florence, dog boarding and training. She is perhaps better known for the Wind River Bear Institute, hazing problem black and grizzly bears using Karelian Bear Dogs. She began this endeavor with some friends in Finland and we were happy to host four of them yesterday, here for a way-too brief hunting and fishing expedition to the Big Sky. Starting next to Carrie, they are a professor, journalist, first response doctor, and policeman in Helsinki. THEY'LL BE BACK!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Couple More

Buddies Rebecca Lessard, Wings of Wonder in Michigan, me, then HMANA Director Jane Ferreyra, and Laurie Goodrich of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary fame. Plus my plug for MTPR in the Powerpoint. 

What a Weekend

I returned from a whirlwind Detroit round trip, despite numerous airline nightmares including de-icing in Denver yesterday, and so glad to be home. I was the first keynote for the HMANA Conference, held every three and what a roster. I got to hang with so many pals and here is the highly esteemed Dr. David Bird's last image in his keynote on kestrels, photo of Owen Manning with his award-winning taxidermy mount, plus me with Sonora on MTPR Pea Green Boat three years ago! I blushed.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Off To Motown

Off to the Hawk Migration Association of North America Conference in Detroit, and delivering the opening Keynote tomorrow morning. Then I can be a tourist, and thanks Tom for feeding the birds.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Ospreys Galore

On Monday, not one, not two, but three Ospreys down at the beach. Two flew by joined by a third way downstream, soaring in dark clouds. They're on their way south to Mexico and Central America, these two youngsters on their first trip. They'll remain on the wintering grounds their first year, unusual for migrants, sometimes for two years. Then back to Big Sky, if they survive. Odds are against it, the tough life of an Osprey.

Monday, October 8, 2018


Firewood for the year, thanks Pat Johnson! And living trees planted in the front yard about 15 years ago, Western Larch in their peak colors.  With a penguin and a pheasant sculpture, rusting nicely.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

New Print

Voila, "Osprey" hot off the printing press. A drypoint monoprint, colored with gouache paint, edition of eight, 12" x 9 ". I will see if it's accepted in the upcoming Missoula Art Museum Auction, stiff competition, and if so 100% for the MAM. Next print, a kestrel in flight....

Friday, October 5, 2018

Old and New

A few photos, the first sent from our friend Annalisa from 2003 when Sibley and she and best friend Jessica Knoll were kids. Annalasa Rose will be performing her Americana repertoire of music at the Blacksmith Brewery in October 27th, we'll be there.
Then a shot from a week ago at the library in Stevensville, and everyone hooting 'em up with Simon the Great Horned Owl. A peek at the clock proves that I had been talking for well over an hour and not done yet, what a fun program!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bear-Proof Cans?

I don't think so. Our pal Barry Gordon displays a garbage can ripped open by a Grizzly Bear up the Blackfoot, my sister Betsy agreeing.

Sunday, September 30, 2018


Nico's first fire in the wood stove and some more Trumpeter Swans. Perhaps someone installed the  collar on the one in the center upside-down, numbers and letters, I don't know.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Trumpeter Swans Today

Opening day of waterfowl hunting season, and hope these swans are safe at Upsata Lake up the Blackfoot. Thanks host Barry Gordon!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Nico the Dog

 Man, that program last night in Stevi was a Top Five of all time. Our host forbade little children and many of the attendees said that’s a main reason they came, too funny. Packed house, I mean library.
And friends Molly and Kerr at MPG Ranch yesterday. Leaves they are a'turning.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Program Today

See you at the Stevensville Library at 5 pm for a fun program of PowerPoint plus birds, including Sibley, Simone, Simon, and Owen the Saw-whet pictured here. 5 pm and lots of my books. Hey, it's a library! Free and open to everyone.
And a young Peregrine on the beach, chased away by magpies.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Flying Fish

Last night as I was photographing the dogs on the beach with Tom, a brown trout flew by. And look, it's an adult Osprey, no doubt from far north of here heading to the non-breeding grounds of who-

Monday, September 24, 2018

Buddies From Utah

Right when I returned from Hawk Mountain, I was serenaded by music from just across the road from the airport at Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater. Hey, that's the Avett Brothers! Actually never heard of them but my pals from Salt Lake were there, and paid us a way too brief visit on their way home, Joseph Dane and Bret with the eagles.
Then a Raven flew by, on his way to go molt.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Five and Five

Top: Five years ago hunting 'em up with some guests.
Lower: Five minutes ago looking out the window in the office.
Sonora the Aplomado/spoiled Falcon.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cover Girl

I got the cover for the latest issue of American Falconry Magazine, immature Peregrine on the Washington beach in the rain. Thanks researcher/tour guide Dan Varland of Coastal Raptors! Our second cover, the first of Sib catching a duck. Thanks to editor Steve Jones, ever watchful for great raptor images like those from Rob Palmer and Nick Dunlop.

Turkey Vulture + Pelicans

Hawk Mountain and Lee Metcalf

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

More Hawk Mountain

I call it The Mecca (along with The World Center for Birds of Prey at The Peregrine Fund in Boise.) This visitor's center is stunning with carved birds and a cool migration map. This was where I presented my program, hawks overhead. They also have cars with unique photo paint jobs. So glad to have been invited!

Monday, September 17, 2018


That's the scientific abbreviation for the Broad-winged Hawk, favorite species at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary yesterday. I had to head home at around noon so hightailed it to the South Lookout close to the visitors center at 10 am, just in time for the first flood of birds. It had been raining for weeks and this was the first sunny day, hawks awaiting the moment to migrate south. These are "kettles," or flocks of raptors circling together in the rising air as the ground heats up - a thermal. At one point we counted (guessed) over 400 at once in a flock, easier to see with a backdrop of clouds. Then they all "stream" or glide to the next thermal to gain altitude again, little energy expended. Clever, huh? All the way to Brazil! In that two hour time span, 2770 Broad-wings flew by, 3308 for the day. WOW!

Back From Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Just returned from Pennsylvania, 6 1/2 hours in the air on United Airlines, and what a wonderful weekend! Here is my new pal Rachel Spagnola who invited me to speak at Hawk Mountain last year, and long-time buddy Laurie Goodrich, Director of migration studies. Saturday, not much in the skies but Sunday broke all records, I'll bet. Just as I had to leave. Plus Rachel and trainees. More on the way later today.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Edition Begins

It took some different ink combinations, but finished the printing part of the new Osprey etching. You wipe the plate like normal, then apply a frisket to the bird, background grey rolled on with big brayers, wider than I've been using. Now the painting part...which gets kind of tedious after a while. I'll post a final version next week, this the "experiment."

AND off to Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania at 5 am tomorrow, O-Dark-Thirty. I am very excited, and have revised/updated my PowerPoint and am bringing binoculars to watch the migration. I just hope I can get home with the hurricane airport traffic! Lousy timing, but wishing the best for those in the Carolinas.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Young Entomologist

Nico was studying this "Western thatching ant and a European ground beetle" identified by our pal Glenn Marangelo at the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium. Cool, huh?

Sunday, September 9, 2018

River Birds

Our one remaining snag was loaded with birds - top to bottom: Eastern Kingbird, Lewis's Woodpecker, and a bunch of Cedar Waxwings and Evening Grosbeaks. Then a Great Blue Heron flew by.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Pals Now

Just took a few weeks, almost.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Simon Is So Helpful

Simon the Great Horned Owl was helping today with my new drypoint etching of an Osprey, an inspiration. I draw the image on special plastic with a utility knife, ink it up, print in the press and paint with gouache. Done soon and same with Simon's molt, hopefully.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Nico and Mookie

Nico's first trip to the river, reluctant to cross the little bridge but coaxed by Tom and Mookie when she realized she was going to miss a beach party. Excellent dogs, both.

Monday, September 3, 2018