Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Storm On the Way

 Some mammatus clouds just as a big thunderstorm moves in, snapshot of the back yard last evening.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Copy Cat

Sonora the Aplomado Falcon has free run of the office a couple days a week, 10 years now. I just found this photo of her imitating the famous Bald Eagle/American Kestrel photo on the wall! Makes me want to bust out the (new) clay and make a little sculpture, like the vulture, Sonora's perch.

Monday, August 28, 2023


Our "puppy" turns a year old, and best pal to Nico, who turned 5 in July. We'll see how he does in falconry season, also pals to the falcons. Mose has been way too adventurous at the river and jumped into a fleet of inner tubes then floated a mile downstream to Chief Looking Glass. Four 20-year-old gals in bikinis...retrieved an hour later. Bad Dog.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Pigeon City

Our flock is a dozen racing homing pigeons, from a breeder 23 years ago. Originally intended as toys to train falcons, they became part of the family and we wish them no harm. Even with this Northern Goshawk hanging in the tree behind. No pigeons were caught (this time.)  I took them to a wedding in Missoula years ago, a surprise for the bride and groom, released when they said their vows. They flew out of the two cadges and circled the crowd, headed home. An ancient woman leapt to her feet and shouted, "It's a miracle!" Her daughter grabbed her arm and explained that there was a lady with pigeons up on the deck. True story.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Bret's Buddy

We received a famous celebrity pigeon to add to the loft just over a month ago, a gift from Dr. Bret Tobalske and the U of M Flight Lab. "Buddy" served in a series of flight and thermo-regulation experiments, a star performer, and time to retire.  I kept him in a separate enclosure with a couple young pigeons for a few days, then put him in with all 12. I release these birds at least twice a day. After a week I scooted him out the door with the others, and he disappeared for 3 or 4 days. Apparently he flew back to the Flight Lab at Fort Missoula, nearly 20 miles! Then back home to the Raptor Ranch, what a story. Apparently he was originally from a flock in near Bellingham, Washington so good thing he didn't go there instead. Here is Buddy on the peak of our roof, show off.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Nighthawks At the Diner

(A great 1975 Tom Waits album) and Common Nighthawks flying by here last evening, first ones I have seen this year. These are the nightjars across the country, active at dawn and dusk, not night, and not hawks, but "hawking" insects in flight.  A gregarious migrating flock lingered over the river, but I failed to get any good photos so here is an older one. I love these birds and their call, the nasal peent is a sign of summer.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Just Now

Mischa the Peregrine is chillin' inside on her perch. And right outside that window, the swarm. The most honeybees ever and I just filled that feeder first thing this morning! Heck with that "No Mow May" leaving the dandelions in your yard for the honeybees - just load up on hummingbird feeders. 

ps: I checked and didn't have the top part screwed in all the way, so leaking sugar like crazy. pss: Misch just has her head turned upside down in a playful fashion, not deformed.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Down at the Slough

What fun to have this slough and wild denizens here at the house! Dogs down every afternoon and here some neighbors:

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Stupid Speedconnect #@%$*#'s!

Over two weeks ago, I was typing away and our internet quit. Happens all the time, and same the next morning so let's call Speedconnect, "A TPT Global Tech Company," our awesome provider (me and Cary down the road.) The message said open 9-5 EST, but closed 24-7. Yep, they just pulled the plug and left us high and dry. Cary found a local server but we had three companies over here and impossible coverage with all these trees. Or I could dig a 100 yard long trench...nope. For two weeks I was getting email on the laptop while parked in front of a neighbor's house with WIFI. Then it dawned on us - Verizon! Voila! Phone and now internet with a little cordless device as big as my flip phone! Sorry for the silence... stupid Speedconnect SOB's.

And just now - two Big Baby Bald Eagles Begging:

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Hummingbird Feeder?

We have never seen such an insect feeding frenzy like this at our bird feeders. Honeybees, and have at it. The hummingbirds still sneak in when they can. Now we have yellowjackets eating our raptor food, no kidding. The other day I left an entire chicken leg in the hawk building and it was bare bones by dark - carnivorous yellowjackets. (I love the book by Kaufman, Field Guides to Insects of North America. A must in any library.)