We had so many Red-tails in the Bitterroot Valley yesterday that they were sharing power poles or waiting in line to perch. Just kidding but LOTS (a little hyperbole...)
Sunday, January 30, 2022
A snapshot from the yard, looking across the Bitterroot River at the Bald Eagle nest and looks like a daughter from the past has joined the pair. The nest was built in 2011, young for six years then a three-year break when it was occupied by Canada geese, 2018 and '19. Two chicks last year and we'll start keeping a close eye in mid-March for incubation - a spotting scope in the living room! That's the nest just above the lettering.
Friday, January 28, 2022
On Sunday I was observing what I thought was an aforementioned Harlan's Hawk and then spotted the feathered legs = Rough-leg, plus the striped tail (adult male.) Then a dark morph adult Red-tail, too. These hawks keep us on our toes, and all color phases around.
Sunday, January 23, 2022
I met up with pals yesterday to check out the pieces in the Missoula Art Museum Auction yesterday, and what a show. We get to see the art in real life until the virtual on-line auction on February 5th, and well worth the visit. Diverse, original and colorful (and black & white, too!) Bev Glueckert and I have prints hanging side by side, Renee Taaffe (with Bev's piece), Bev and Annie Garde pointing them out. I can't decide which pieces to bid on and I'll be back!
Friday, January 21, 2022
Heavy Rotation! Thanks Larry Garde for my birthday gift, an amazing LP by jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal Quintet, LIVE at Oil Can Harry’s. Here is Sibley listening, and remembering when kids came over years ago and were quietly wondered what that strange device in the corner was for. When they pointed at the turntable and finally asked, I went in the back room and pulled out a vinyl album, turning it left and right. "Oh, we know that that is! Mom uses those to keep squirrels off the bird feeder!" Clueless.
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Want to impress your friends? Tell them that the big bird standing on a little limb or stick is a Rough-leg. David Sibley reports in the must-have Sibley Guide to Birds -"Rough-legged Hawks often perch on small twigs at the top of trees and shrubs." Watch for them all winter here, females and young birds with a dark belly band, all have a big black wrist patch in flight. The little tiny feet are feathered to the toes hence the "rough leg." And wouldn't you know, dark morphs to confuse us all. Bottom is an adult male.
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Every winter I am amazed at the number of black Red-tailed Hawks hanging out here in the Bitterroot - Harlan's Hawks, a subspecies that breeds in Alaska and near-by Canada (HA on this Cornell Labs map.) We enjoy 14 subspecies of Red-tailed Hawks in North America and Harlan's was considered a separate species in the past (and some feel still should be.) This is an adult dark morph and the more I think of it, that young hawk (light eyes, barred tail) from Sunday could be a light intermediate Harlan's, lacking the warm brown colors of our resident calurus subspecies (CA on the map.) Man, do these hawks come in all varieties of plumages, and even dark morph calurus birds. The adult Harlan's tail is white, usually a terminal dark band and to further complicate things, sometimes a faint red tint as well. Check 'em out on Eastside Highway.