Thursday, July 27, 2023

Birthday Boy

 Mose celebrates one year, on the left in both photos with his pal Nico. HA!

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Our Living Room

I just gave a "Red-tail and Rattlesnake" print to a dear friend that I finally met in person on Sunday! Her young sons will share it in their bedroom at their fervent requests, a compliment to be certain. I told her that we have one next to a mounted mallard that Sibley caught, taxidermy by Dale Manning, and a big Audubon print that was my favorite painting when I was the boys' age. Dueling Red-tails, and probably an inspiration for that pen & ink she now has, drawn right out of college.  Art on the website.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Bitterroot Babies

As usual, the Bald Eagle fledglings from across the river discover our eagle building perching on the wire, here by the shade cloth. "Perhaps I can get in there and eat the rest of that squirrel..." I don't think so. And a very quiet, polite, and neat robin family right at our back door. It's that time of year.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Back Stage Pass

For the third year we have hosted a group of music buffs here, "Back Stage Pass" and fans of the metal band Queensryche. That's lead singer and super-great-guy Geoff Tate right of the penguin beak. To the left is lead singer of Anthrax, Joey Belladonna, and what a fun crew! 

A little break in the action around here now and hope to be improving, health-wise. My iron infusions for anemia may not have kicked in yet and I was told they could take a month. That would mean by Friday I may be feeling half-way human again, sick since first week in May. This is getting really old.

Friday, July 21, 2023

New Hero

Little Billie, the one-year old Northern Saw-whet Owl was struck by a car in Kalispell in January and came to us from Beth Watne and Montana Wild Wings recovery Center, just placed on our USFWS
Education (Possession) Permit! News on the way...

Tuesday, July 18, 2023


 Zootown Arts Community Center, that's ZACC hosted a morning of birds and printmaking for kids yesterday, our first visit to the hot spot downtown Missoula (Zootown). Portia the Barred Owl on the left and Sibley the Peregrine were star models, watching Sib's slow motion flight video that they play at the Museum of Natural History in NYC. Thanks Patricia Thornton for the invite, and Bev Glueckert for the help. And the young artists for your wrapt attention. 

Friday, July 14, 2023

Kestrels Stage 3

Our "Hack Building" is refurbished, slender trees installed with a Christmas tree stand, and two of the kestrels installed at dinner time. So far, so good and one of the brown mice dropped through the tube was devoured (see that back shelf?).  The intention is to hack these brothers out here, feed them anonymously so they don't associate with people, but the damage might be done. We shall see. In a few weeks I'll open the back screen and continue to feed them in the building - hack them out. This worked perfectly for three young Sharp-shinned Hawks five years ago, hanging around for the summer.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Quail Tale

These non-native game birds started showing up in the Bitterroot Valley starting in the early 2000's, hardy little flock birds that can survive the winters just fine. They were released by people with game farms and hunting preserves, or escaped from hobbyists (many apparently purchased from one feed store in Hamilton.) Either way, it became illegal to keep them in 2003, and it is not known if they continue to be "liberated." Either way they are here to stay.   The population hotbeds are Hamilton and Stevensville with 494 and 797 birds counted respectively about ten years ago!  Unlike Ring-necked Pheasants and Gray Partridge that were intentionally introduced by MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks as game birds, California Quail are not protected. There you have it.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Out With You ALL!

These guys have been in a big kennel on the porch during the day which I bring inside at night. Today they are going outside to a medium-sized enclosure, then the big Hack Building. More about that soon. I have a plan...

Friday, July 7, 2023

What State Is This?

California Quail are taking over, a call that resonates through the yard, reminiscent of a sound from a Tarzan movie or exotic place. They were introduced to the Bitterroot Valley south of here, no comment.

And health - I had some of the worst days so far, slept through the 4th with nary a firework observed. Two months of anemia now and second infusion treatment today. Fingers crossed that I "should start feeling better in a month." Up to three naps a day lately, what a waste of time.  Keep you posted.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Current "Project"

We are caring for a nest of baby American Kestrels whose nest tree was felled Tuesday night. One spilled out and the next morning all were received by a bird-lover neighbor. That female in the front has vastly improved since then, the one that spent the night out on the ground. Survivor. Her brothers all have different personalities, and we'll see about hacking them out here. That worked for a nest of Sharp-shinned Hawks five years ago. Check out the late July and August 2018 BLOGS!

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Three Chicks!

The backyard nest fledged three chicks - 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2022.  One chick once, and the other years two, and skipped three years in a row starting in 2018. What a treat to walk to the spot after driving to Missoula constantly to photograph the East Missoula nest that fledged four! But that was for my book...