Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A REAL Program

 First REAL program since last February 2020 (Zooms don't count) and 52 kindergartners at Florence Elementary today, courtesy Mrs. White. Sib and Owen and question number one from the kids: "Can your falcon do any tricks?" Answer: "Yes, steal hats off people’s heads and fly away." So glad to be back at it!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Kestrel Namesake's Birthday

Another jazz birthday, Ella Fitzgerald's is today, our American Kestrel named for her when she joined us eight years ago. Ella is the best vocalist, ever, period. Ella the kestrel here with a mouse and her brother Wes (Montgomery, best guitarist ever) share the building by the eagles, singers in their own style.

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Big Guy

The big guy in the neighborhood, while she's in the nest - looking like a week since chicks started hatching. Stay tuned, this will be fun!


Friday, April 23, 2021


 Belted Kingfisher on the beach. For this species, the females sport a nice belt.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Jazz Hero Mingus Birthday

Happy Birthday, Charles Mingus! He would have been 99 this Earth Day, and here I am doing "Jazz Sessions" with Annie Garde at Montana Public Radio two years ago, filling in for Terry Conrad. Sib also digs Mingus, has since she was a chick.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Eagles Hatch

I think so anyway. A flurry of activity Sunday and looks like one brooding female last evening. Canada geese in there the last two years, empty the year before that so a welcome event. Here's the scope in the living room the day it snowed, and we can watch until the leaves block the view. I can guess when she settles down and add 35 days for chicks. My Project!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Sonora In the Snow

Our Aplomado Falcon sure looks out of place in the snow - desert denizens, and 4 inches of fluffy stuff last night!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

What a Review, from David Sibley!

My friend David Sibley, Sibley Field Guides and other magnificent books on birds had this to say about our Falcons of North America Second Edition:

Doing justice to the falcons in a book is a tall order, but this one surpasses expectations. Filled with fascinating information and absolutely breathtaking images, I find myself going back again and again to browse or just to stare at a photo. Wow!

Here we were at Pine Butte in 2003, David on the left, one of eight years we shared programs at the Guest Ranch with the Nature Conservancy. There's a grizzly bear out there somewhere.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Vehicles for Charity

We began reducing the size of our Subaru fleet by donating the 2002 Outback to Vehicles for Charity,  and our charity happened to be Raptors of the Rockies 501(c)(3)! VfC are a non-profit based in Denver and they set up the account so that other people can donate their unused or unwanted car, truck, even camper to us. They even tow it away and 80% of money generated at auction goes to the non-profit of your choice. I loved this car and put a couple hundred thou on it in programs, falconry trips - everywhere for years. Next to go - the 2003 Subaru Outback (not Nico the dog, here!)

Friday, April 9, 2021

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Top Story

Front page in the Ravalli Republic newspaper today and great story by Perry Backus, who has been covering the Raptor Ranch news for over a dozen years. Always a treat and coming up in the Missoulian as well! 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Ice On the River

 Jay Sumner and I spent a day in the field looking for Peregrines, and this bit of the North Fork of there Blackfoot River, ice abounds. Two out of three cliffs occupied.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Dumb Old Eagles

My laziness did not go unrewarded. I watched the female eagle get up and move around the nest from the house with binoculars for an hour, and finally grabbed the Big Camera for a walk. For one hour, 30 minutes at the beach, nothing. I said, 7 pm I'm done, so put the camera back in the bag, JUST as all heck broke loose. Missed most of it and one shot before I dejectedly returned home. Oh well. Four more months to go. Let's see...incubation began on March 15th...35 days and hatching...fledging on the 4th of July....hanging around a begging forever...okay, five months.

Saturday, April 3, 2021


 How 21st Century, and after some glitches on my end, Nick Dunlop began, I finished up - a killer program on photography and our new book. 147 folks registered and Kirsten Elliot reported: "Thank you for the incredible opportunity you provided to the HawkWatch International community yesterday! We even had one woman who attended—and ordered the book—all the way from Australia! She's willing to pay an extra $30 just to have it shipped to her!" My brother Jonathan was watching from New Jersey and sent these screen shots. What FUN and Sib and Sonora were stars! During the second hour of "Meet and Greet" we got the idea to produce updated posters for the schools. Next project, now at the tail end of the pandemic.