Sunday, July 21, 2019

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Jake 'n Jake

Our friend Jake Snowden turned eight years old yesterday, and we were there to unveil our new Peregrine, Jake, who turned 25 days old.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Peregrine Watch

Up the Blackfoot with Jay Sumner looking for fledgling Peregrines and got one at Land Lindbergh's. On the left is Betsy McDonald and Land's daughter Erin in between rain showers. Jay thinks there may be as many as 800 breeding Peregrine pairs in the state, not bad and up from zero in 1980. Jay would spend a whole season in the field and and not see a single Peregrine, imagine that. Land and I always have lots of laughs and today's humor was the beverage - knowing my penchant for domestic beer in a can, he and Betsy asked at the store in Clearwater Junction, "What is the worst cheap beer out there?" and they decided on a six pack of Natural Light. HA!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Swift Nest

Our new Peregrine hasn't made a peep...until this morning when he heard new hatchlings from a chimney in the office peeping for the first time. A nest of Vaux's Swifts started their begging calls, and now a duet. Feed me/us.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New Peregrine

Our new little boy - Peregrine, 22 days old now from Springhill Falcons, Sibley's sort of cousin. Thanks Jen Manning for the ride to Bozeman and what fun, news on the way.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Last night, looking across the Bitterroot River.

AND got a new Peregrine baby, thanks Jennifer Manning for driving us to Bozeman! News on the way.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


The GUTS (Girls Using Their Strengths) annual visit, friends from the Missoula YMCA, and a Spotted Sandpiper on the beach. Lots of visitors lately and need to take a break. I know - I'll go to Bozeman with Jennifer Manning and pick up a baby Peregrine.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Raptor Round-Up #57

Eight pages in Living Color on the web site, thanks Webmaster Steve Palmer. I sure with that InDesign would quit with the "updates" that totally change how you re-size and move images. This took hours longer to write than it should've.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Thanks, Pat!

Nearly every year the slough/creek behind the house fills, the bridge to the river floats, and we have to pull it out and leave it on the bank for several months. Re-installing is always a trick, usually a bunch of friends helping out with brute strength. However, Pat Johnson has used a very clever pulley system to do it singlehandedly! This year was particularly tough as the bank on the near side had washed out, so Pat built another sturdy platform just downstream. Plus he reinforced the far side and hooked the pickup to the cables, tugged away and perfecto. Back to the beach and Pat is a genius.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy 4th!

Our town of Florence has the best fireworks show, and I took this sitting in a lawn chair in our front yard!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Birthday Girl

Nico is one year old!

Monday, July 1, 2019


Robin on the front porch swing. The second or third batch of chicks from the nest in the eaves this year.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Roughin' It in the Park

Dan Ellison invited us to Helena to spy on and photograph this Merlin nest in a downtown park. I just drove 2 1/2 hours but Nick Dunlop (center) flew in from Central California, Bruce Haak drove the 8 hours from Boise and they stayed the week. Three young are in an old crow nest at the top of this spruce tree (check out the cones!) and parents bringing in birds from all directions. What fun, despite all the darned rain. Nick's photos will be in our New!Revised! Falcons of North America book.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Capital City Merlin Nest

WAY more news on the way, whew and wow.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Siblings at the Art Museum!

 The Flores - Reed and Scout, Snowy Owl and Peacock
Grahams - Liam and Eamon, Peregrine and Kestrel
Lurgios - Lachlan and Amelia, Turkey Vulture and Great Horned Owl 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Raptors And Art Camp

We finished our paper mâché raptors today (plus a Western Meadowlark and Peacock.) A Ferruginous Hawk, two kestrels, two Snowy Owls, an Aplomado Falcon, a Boreal Owl, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, and Sibley the Peregrine. The best kids ever!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

600 !!!!

Sibley the Peregrine's 600th program was today at the Missoula Art Museum! !! !!! Joining our family in 2003 as a tiny baby, she's also celebrated 816 tours for a total of 1416 appearances with kids and their parents, the public fun, plus starred in 4 films. Wow, so proud, Sib. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Blackfoot Trip

Back to the Blackfoot with Mom, sister Betsy, and Jay Sumner. Where are the Johnsrud Peregrines?! These cliffs have been a mystery for years, with both adults showing up, acting like they are nesting, then no young. Last time we saw fledglings was 2016, three here:

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Lewis's Woodpecker

My favorites, and (mostly) only here in the warm months, "hawking" insects over the river. I never noticed how they jam a mouth full of the buggers and keep on hunting.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Another Paper Malfunction

Well, I picked up some good ole Rives BFK creme printmaking paper at the UC Bookstore and ran four more Peregrines. This time I accidentally got too light of a stock! When I went to paint it, the paper buckled and warped with each application of gouache.  I had to use a clothes iron to flatten it over and over. Wash. Iron. Repeat.  I think I’ve ironed two shirts with that $4.99 special from the Goodwill and twenty times today on a Peregrine.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Live and Learn

I wanted to tone down my Peregrine etching a bit, so spent Sunday afternoon printing on creme-colored paper I had on hand. "Perfect!" I kept thinking, and pressed and dried six prints ready for painting Monday morning, three at a time. As I applied the first brush stroke of gouache to the falcon cheek, the paint was soaked up immediately, blotting out the face! I looked on the back and it had soaked through in seconds. Boy, did I have the wrong kind of paper! It reminded me of the movie “Alien" when they cut through the parasite trying to remove it from Kane’s face and the dripping blood burned holes in the floor all through the spacecraft. Just like that.
ps: my buddy Nick Dunlop suggested I could use the bad prints to mop up spills on the floor, and that's what we'll do!
Got some new paper to use today. Live and learn.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Film Buffs

Yesterday I was at grocery store and watched a woman's cart with supplies and her purse slowly  roll downhill away from her car so grabbed it right away. I returned the cart and asked if she remembered that famous scene from the movie "Battleship Potemkin" (1925, Eisenstein , I just looked it up) when the baby carriage rolled down the staircase at Odessa.  She replied, "Sure." HA!
And here is my new dry-point etching called "Peregine Cliff."  I pounded various coarsenesses of sandpaper into the plastic to get the different textures, painted with gouache.  Total experiment and still working on the color. 11" x  8"

Thursday, June 6, 2019

No Owls

Back to our secret spot and no baby owls this time. Does an Eastern Kingbird count? Oh, and a Black-chinned Hummingbird at the house.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

New Calendar

Here we go, Pyramid Printing in Missoula and out by July! Photos from right here and all proceeds to benefit our program.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Double Header

Missoula Community Access Television was filming a spot here Thursday with Neil Falcon Wells and icon Joel Baird. An intro in the office with Sonora the Aplomado Falcon, then  great tour of the facilities and sculptures.  Yesterday we had a program at Lolo Pass Visitors Center with Woodman School and my pal and young ornithologist Elsie Quigley with Simon, Sibley in the background, photo by her mom Meggan. Nigel the eagle and Owen the Saw-whet were also stars. Fun two days in a row!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

More Owls

Tom and I went back to the spot we saw the owls and voila! Looks like at least three fledglings and watched one fly across a big opening and actually land on a limb and not on a leaf. Landing is usually the difficult part.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Magpie Nest

For the second year running, Black-billed Magpies nested right outside the office window. And this year the young fledged the day of the Chief Charlo School visit. They were climbing in and out of the big domed stick nest for days and are now chasing their parents around the yard!