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Northern Pygmy-Owls at Maclay Flat

On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, I went birding with Lucy, Papa, and Tyler at Maclay Flat. Only 2 seconds after exiting the car, all of us were staring at a northern pygmy-owl that had posted up on a small conifer next to the entrance of the trails. After about thirty pictures or so, we moved…

Happy New Year!

Through December, Lucy and I have been using watercolors to paint birds. Most of the supplies that we used were given to us by the Montana Natural History Centers’ annual nature journaling class. Although a combination of our paintings are included, I wrote all the captions. I hope you enjoy them! The Tufted Puffin (Fratercula…

Feeder Field Notes of December

The red-breasted nuthatch was the most curious and the first to feed from the suet. To learn more about the importance of the number of ‘dees’ in the chickadees call, the science article Allometry of Alarm Calls by my friend Erick Greene, Kate Davis, and Chris Templeton is a great place to start. Of the…

Limit Our Waste and Help The Birds

Welcome back readers! I’m going to tell you about deer fat suet feeders and how we make them, tips, warnings and more. We made these feeders because we are a family who tries to limit their waste. Using deer fat, we make candles and lotion with a byproduct that usually goes to the landfill. But…

The Laziest Parents in the Bird World

What exactly is a parasite? Well, parasites are animals that live off of other living animals. Brood parasites, though, place their eggs in other animals’ nests. But why do birds parasitise? In my opinion it’s because they’re the lazy, good-for-nothing parents of the bird world. The real reason is that it lessens the chance their…

Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana Male and Female Western Tanager, photographed by me ________________________________________________________________________________________ The 2nd most colorful tanager in the U.S.! The Western Tanager goes from its breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada, to its wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. We have tanagers at our cabin up rock creek every summer. I once said…

Our Oregon Trip In a New Perspective

We haven’t been to Oregon in 2 years! When we used to go I was interested in whales. Now that I am interested in birds it’s a whole new perspective of Oregon. My interest in birds brought us to completely new places, like Oregon Islands, Bandon Marsh, and Nestucca Bay NWRs.  My camera The best…

Birds Are Returning!

Birds are returning to Montana! I am super excited that all the warblers will be here soon! The goldfinches and wood ducks have grown their new colorful feathers and the hummingbirds will be zooming around the place. The owl babies will hatch! Some birds have already reached their breeding grounds and we have seen those…

Fun at Freezeout Lake

For my birthday this year we went to a special place! Freezeout Lake is a Wildlife Management Area located in Choteau, Montana. Each year it serves as a stop over for thousands of swans and geese in their seasonal migration. Many years we have tried to come here but covid has recently stopped us. This…

Waxwings, Waxwings Everywhere

HISTORY Waxwings are named for the red tips on their feathers that reminded people of wax used to seal letters. With only 3 species, waxwings are widespread throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. They are the Bohemian, Japanese, and the Cedar Waxwing. Waxwings are in their very own bombycilla genus. ID (Bohemian and Cedar Waxwing)…

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