Tuesday, January 21, 2020
I recently told a friend that I had been taxidermist for 20 years, and she asked, "What's the craziest thing you ever did?" Here it is - a rooster for a fly-tying hackle business. I dyed the skin in five different colors then stuffed it, used at trade shows. Hugh Spencer claimed that he raised these special chickens, with a wink! He even had some believers...
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
This is a metal sculpture I welled back in 2005 with Nico in the sun. Live Peregrines are in the house every day as well and one Aplomado Falcon that perches on a house plant or bookshelf. We have a bunch of other metal bird sculptures, photos, and etchings all over the place, and what an avian home we have.
Friday, January 10, 2020
The other gorgeous hawks here in the winter are Rough-legs. The females and young have these distinctive white rumps with the dark terminal tail band and dark belly. After a year, the males have a mottled dark grey plumage with bars down the tail. From the breeding grounds in the north, they spy on rodents in the snow, hovering over a meal and often perched on utility poles and fence posts. They also tend to perch on small limbs and twigs on the tops of shrubs and trees, rather than on thick branches, a way to spot them a half-mile away and impress your friends with your wondrous raptor ID skills.
Thursday, January 9, 2020
A careful look at these big hawks all over in open country reveals the obvious resident Red-tail, plus two others. Considered a Red-tailed Hawk subspecies, the Harlan's Hawks are here in the winter, migrants from Alaska and Canada. They have various degrees of black plumage, some all dark, and lacking the bright red tail. They are here in the Bitterroot Valley every winter, welcome visitors. The other is the Rough-legged Hawk (next Blog.)