Viva Montana

10,000 Birds

Birds fledging Montana summerNew York has wonderful birds. I love New York’s birds with a passion, from the parti-colored pigeons to the spring warbler fiesta to Jamaica Bay’s herons and ibises (but not the sandpipers. Never the sandpipers.). Still, there’s something about the moment, at six am, when two Sandhill Cranes stand tall out of the marsh grass and set up a back-and-forth call that echoes off the mountains.

Serial Poachers Devastate Montana

Critter News

This article describes the devastation being inflicted on Montana's wildlife by serial poachers. Tags: wildlife crime fish and wildlife montana poaching us trophy hunting It's also an insight into how serial poachers think. I would have thought serial poaching and serial killing were essentially the same, with the difference being the species, but this article says there is a difference.

The Cure for Binocular Neck: Birding in Montana

10,000 Birds

In the valley of the Yellowstone and Boulder Rivers, snuggled up against Rocky Mountain ranges, sits the little western town of Big Timber, Montana. The highest mountain in Montana, Granite Peak at 12,799 feet, is just south in the Absaroka Mountain Range. All of the neck-strain-free birds below breed in Montana. The mosquitoes and black flies are hungry in Montana. Destinations grouse Montana Rocky MountainsCuster Gallatin National Forest.

Horse Slaughterhouses Face Hurdles in Montana

Critter News

Looks like Montana's state government is heading towards the approval of horse slaughterhouses, but there are hurdles at the federal level. Tags: meat montana horses USDA Slaughterhouse us The only real markets for horsemeat are overseas and product must be inspected by the USDA before it can be shipped outside the US. However, the USDA is currently barred from such inspections. Here's an article on the situation.

The Hummingbirds of Western Montana

10,000 Birds

The Montana Field Guide, a helpful online compendium provided by the state government, lists seven species. Are invisible. I mean, I know they’re out there. Three of those — the Black-chinned , Calliope , and Rufous Hummingbirds — breed in the Missoula area. That is, in extremely precise mathematical terms, three times more species of hummingbirds than breed near the Olde Homestead.

Montana is Owl Country

10,000 Birds

This year, that award was presented to Denver Holt , a Montana scientist and bird guide and thus, if I may be presumptuious, my homeboy. The ORI maintains a research station in the Mission Valley of Western Montana, neighboring the Ninepipes National Wildlife Refuge. Montana has records of fifteen species of owls, including Barn Owl , Burrowing Owl , Eastern and Western Screech Owl , and such heart-pounders as Great Gray Owl and Northern Hawk Owl.

Montana Passes Horse Slaughterhouse Protection Measure

Critter News

Montana has passed a law making it difficult to challenge the building of a horse slaughtering facility in that state. The last such facility in the US closed in 2007. This bill specifically makes for groups that might oppose it to use the court system to do so. From the bill, which you can read here : Section 2. Judicial review of equine slaughter or processing facilities -- surety bond -- attorney fees -- venue. (1)

Horses 100

Montana Horse Slaughter Bill Not Vetoed

Animal Person

On Friday, April 3rd, Montana Governor Brain Schweitzer returned House Bill 418 to the legislature with suggestions for amendments. Tell the governor's office that (live) horses are a symbol of the American West and Montana should not want to be known as the horse slaughter capitol of the country. The letter was written to the Montana legislature. From Elizabeth Forel, of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages.

Montana Legislature Proposes Horse Slaughter Facility

Critter News

Great, just after we managed to get rid of the last one "It doesn't mean you have to do it. It's that if you don't have the funds, and you don't have the feed, and don't have the place to keep them, and they are old, and they are no longer going to work for what you need them for, it's a place for them to go," said Billings Livestock and Horse Sale's Jenn Parker. A place for them to go? Maybe then can call it Horse Haven.

The Amazing Exploding Dove Meets Montana

10,000 Birds

home about advertise archives birds conservation contact galleries links reviews subscribe Browse: Home / Birds / The Amazing Exploding Dove Meets Montana The Amazing Exploding Dove Meets Montana By Carrie • March 11, 2011 • 5 comments Tweet Share Like most Northern Hemisphere birders, I’ve been monitoring the signs of spring like a dog watching the driveway for a beloved owner. Whatever they used to be, they are now a bird of Montana.

Wolf Killing in Idaho Under Scrutiny

Critter News

Montana is another state where wolf killing is allowed. Tags: cull montana idaho wolves I'm not surprised Sarah Palin's family is from Idaho. The state government is as crazy about wolf killing as she is. But a US District Court Judge has granted a hearing on stopping the killing to wolf advocates represented by Earthjustice.

Idaho 109

Mountain Goats Accidentally Killed in Study

Critter News

The University of Montana study, aimed at exploring the effects of climate change on mountain goats, got under way this month with preliminary field work in the Many Glacier Valley. Tags: animal research montana From the Daily Interlake. A mountain goat study in Glacier National Park has been suspended following the deaths of two goats after they were shot with tranquilizer darts.

The Berkeley Pit – An Overview

10,000 Birds

Last week many birders were shocked and saddened by the deaths of thousands of Snow Geese who, trapped by adverse weather conditions, landed at the Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana. As an Explainer of Montana, I am here to help. The notorious Copper Kings were headquartered there – a collection of robber barons whose battles to control and profit from Montana’s minerals left marks not only on the stones of the state, but on its psyche.

2016 61

Year of the Shrike

10,000 Birds

For some reason, this is the year that the masked butcherbirds have been around in my corners of Montana, with as many sightings for me in 2014 as in the rest of my life (including the other three years I lived in Montana) combined. Birding Montana New York Northern Shrike Yesterday I saw a Dark-eyed Junco while I was walking my dog. It was the Slate-colored form, of course.

2014 74

Night Moves

10,000 Birds

Or at least the four dogs in the house I’m staying at in Montana showed no particular reaction to the 5.8 Birds earthquakes Montana OspreySo it turns out dogs are useless. earthquake and series of aftershocks that made the state wobbly in the early hours of Thursday morning.

2017 44

Birding By the Way

10,000 Birds

Because they are near the still, stocked waters of McCormick Park Fishing Pond, this pair of Osprey often do well in years when high, turbid waters result in nest failures for other Montana Osprey – and this year has been such a year. Birding Montana Osprey punsIt’s one thing to go birding.

2017 48

The Story of Russell A. Crow

10,000 Birds

This story comes from Emily Johnson, who is a sub-permittee for a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Helena, Montana. Grace’s high school is in Bozeman, Montana, next to a McDonald’s. He was placed in a wildlife center in Red Lodge, Montana, where he can live out his life, safe and protected, throwing the occasional apple, with other grounded crows for company. Birds bird rehabilitation bird rescue crows Montana

2012 77

An Osprey is an Osprey is an Osprey

10,000 Birds

Birds Montana names Ospreys web cams Today we named the three Osprey chicks that hatched out at Dunrovin ranch. It was a complex process, involving a selfie contest, voting by the site members, and fabulous prizes. I have to confess that I got a bit caught up in the whole contest. As a Dunrovin employee I didn’t submit a name or vote, but I was passionately in favor of some names, and passionately against others.

2014 59

Redpolls Run Rampant

10,000 Birds

It’s been beautiful here in Montana lately. Birding Interior West Montana winter finchesBy beautiful, I mean too cold, too gray, and as always too dry, but full of birds. The list serv is burning up with news of a vagrant (we hope, and dutifully analyzed for traces of cage wear) Harris Hawk , movements of White-winged Crossbills and Pine Grosbeaks , Northern Pygmy Owls popping out of the shrubbery, and other winter goodies.

2012 45

Beartooth Humane Alliance

4 The Love Of Animals

I love this promotional video from the folks at Beartooth Humane Alliance in Montana! A great sense of humor, and a good cause too! If you live in that area, be sure to visit their spay and neuter clinic. Beartooth Humane Alliance originally appeared on 4 The Love of Animals on September 9, 2010.

Humane 109

Saving the Sage Grouse in Alberta

10,000 Birds

The Sage Grouse is getting a boost in Alberta with the work of The Sage Grouse Recovery Group , which is seeking to augment the dwindling population in Alberta with birds from Montana. Asides

Animal Legal Defense Fund Ranks States on Animal Protection

Critter News

And the worst: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, South Dakota, Wyoming You can check out the whole report on their web site. The ALDF has released a report on how different states' animal protection laws stack up. Among the best: California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Oregon.

Animal Rights Zone Launches Today

Animal Person

Montana. Today is the launch of. I'm excited to be a blogger for Animal Rights Zone because its target market is people who don't usually subscribe to blogs. Also, it has the added bonus of organizing my content better than I have. The goal is to provide blogospheric content that is easy to find, and from a variety of sources. On the left, you'll see this: Concepts. Project Treadstone. Responsible Policies. Rabbits. More >> Animals. Goats. Horses. Mammals. Buffalo.

Obama's Rules Freeze May Help Wolves

Critter News

Wildlife conservationists say the freeze will delay and possibly prevent the removal of gray wolves from the federal endangered species list in Montana, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, and also in portions of Washington, Oregon, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Wolves 100

Nat Geo WILD!

4 The Love Of Animals

Talking Hot Dog Ranch, Livingston, Montana: Casey Anderson tosses Brutus the grizzly bears a fish at homemade “falls.&# (Photo Credit: © Grizzly Creek Films). Casey then returns to Montana to see if he can teach a bear raised in captivity to fish for himself, in an aquarium designed for that purpose. Are you excited for the brand new channel from National Geographic? It’s called WILD and launches on Monday, March 29th, with some seriously cool new shows!

2010 118

The Once and Future Oriole

10,000 Birds

Moving to Montana was not even exotic – it was a non-possibility. I didn’t go to grad school or move to Montana until my 30s, and I didn’t see the Bullock’s Oriole until I had been in Montana almost four years. I can’t possibly remember when the Baltimore and Bullock’s Orioles were lumped into Northern Oriole.

2014 68

A Snowflake’s Chance

10,000 Birds

The species that calls western Montana home is the black cottonwood, while plains and narrowleaf cottonwood call the rest of the state home. Taken together, they are one of the most familiar trees of Montana’s riparian areas, and given the richness of those riparian areas, one of the most vital for birds as well – some half of Montana’s bird species use cottonwoods as habitat at some point during the year.

2014 68

On the Renewed Debate Over Horse Slaughter

Animal Person

Butcher (no joke) from Montana: " “No one has to send a horse to a processing plant. " Surge in Abandoned Horses Renews Debate Over Slaughterhouses " in today's New York Times begs a lot of questions that I wonder how you would answer. Let's deconstruct: The facts of the case: "Emaciated horses eating bark off trees. Abandoned horses tied to telephone poles. Horses subsisting on feces, walking among carcasses.

Introducing the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge

10,000 Birds

One of the admirable things about Montana is how it contains prime examples of not one, but two iconic North American landscapes. But eastern Montana contains the equally though differently stunning high plains, a world unto itself with very different wildlife meeting very different challenges. I recently had an opportunity to visit that world when I joined a Montana Natural History Center field trip to the Charles M.

2012 74

Car Birding with the Literary Set: Or, How to Succeed, though Failing

10,000 Birds

Besides the owls themselves, I promised them the best pie in Montana, which is to be found in the Ronan Cafe. None of these people were birdwatchers, as such, before coming to Montana, although one of the poets was outdoorsy in a hiking and skiing way. We passed through a town called Paradise, Montana, where a woman was leading a horse across the lawn of the post office. If you are ever in Ronan, Montana, try the pie.

2013 57

Canis Lupus

Animal Ethics

Here is a New York Times story about gray wolves, who are no longer on the protected list in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. If you haven't read Barry Holstun Lopez 's 1978 book Of Wolves and Men , you should do so. It changed my life

Trumpeter Swans: Don’t Shoot Them

10,000 Birds

Many years ago, back in the 1970s, I visited my sister, who lived in West Yellowstone, Montana, in the dead of winter. Only several dozen of these swans wintered in the region (the region being, approximately, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming) and for some reason they were almost all at this river in this year, and on this day, they were right there in view. We rented snow mobiles and drove into Yellowstone. That was the only way to get into Yellowstone in the winter (other than walking).

2014 82

Light Warbler Action in Central Park

10,000 Birds

I also ran into a local birder who was unimpressed when I gushed about how much I was enjoying my morning — until I explained that I was from Montana. Well, I am sort of am from Montana now, I guess. My last species in the park was Wood Duck , which we have in Montana too but which is always fun to see. It had been a long time since I birded Central Park.

2013 64

Just call him Dr. Dolittle

10,000 Birds

If you’ve ever wanted to understand why warning calls by one bird species seem to spread rapidly, like an avian version of the Wave , to birds of other species, Professor Erick Greene from the University of Montana is your man. “Think of the amazing repartee. If I could walk with the animals, talk with the animals, Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals, And they could talk to me!”. From the film version of Doctor Dolittle ).

2015 54

Spotted: Sandpipers

10,000 Birds

As I’ve noted before, floating is not ideal for birding, but sometimes it’s all you’ve got and if so, it’s time to learn to appreciate the Spotted Sandpiper — along with the Bald Eagle , the Common Merganser , and other commonplace water birds of Montana. There are things you don’t do in the mountains. You don’t go surfing — except that river surfing, or at least stand-up paddleboards, are totally a thing now.

2013 60

Clark’s Nutcrackers at the Top of Rocky Mountain National Park

10,000 Birds

In the fall of 2017, my mother and favorite birding buddy visited the mountains of Montana for a fishing trip. My husband and I had limited time to see the massive park, and, like my parents in Montana, a good portion of that would be devoted to fly-fishing. While hiking along a river, she spotted a large, gray and black bird on the branch of a tree. Upon returning, she raved about her new favorite species: the Clark’s Nutcracker. I’ve been dying to see one ever since.

2018 41

Nemesis Bird: The Ongoing Saga

10,000 Birds

Of last round’s candidates, the Gallinaceous Bird TBD is now out, as I’ve since seen both Greater Sage and Ruffed Grouse , stolid Montana natives of good repute. So my new nemesis, as of this summer, is the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch , a bird that according to range maps occurs literally every single place in Montana that is not where my eyes happen to be right at any given moment. I have been remiss. More than remiss — negligent.

2013 58

Beats the Beltway: a review of Bruce Beehler’s book “Natural Encounters”

10,000 Birds

Lately (in the last month or so) he’s been through the Dakotas, Montana, and Canada, up to the Northwest Territories.

2020 61

Justified and Ancient

10,000 Birds

Whether there is one Sandhill Crane in a camas field in Montana or 1,000 in a flock on their wintering grounds, they put the charismatic AND the mega in charismatic megafauna. They call it a shell pit because of the vast array of fossilized mollusks who once lived and died there, then became a resource to be mined as gravel and fill.

2016 64

The Flight of the Vultures

10,000 Birds

But the turkey vultures would certainly leave the places we saw them – Montana, North Dakota, Illinois and Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio and eventually New York – and head south. The only bird we saw in every state was the Turkey Vulture. No vast kettles, yet, only ones and twos. Maybe only to the southern borders of the same state in the case of some of the Pennsylvania birds, maybe down beyond the limits of the US through Central America for the westerners.

2014 62

A Disturbing Development

10,000 Birds

Just when you’ve persuaded everyone you know, from barflies in Montana to hotshot Manhattan editors to your infant nephews, that birds are the greatest thing ever… something like this happens. A recent paper published in the French journal Alauda (sadly, it appears not to be available in English online yet, but here’s the gist ) brings us news that Eleonora’s Falcons breeding on the archipelago of Essaouira have been caching prey during breeding season.

2015 54

The “Birds” in the Brush

10,000 Birds

When you move on to Montana, you discover that there are worse things that one species of tiny screaming mammal tricking you each year as you try to cope with an influx of songbirds and a winterized memory bank that contains only Black-capped Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos (and only about half their calls at that.) Montana has four species of chipmunk and six species of ground squirrel. Ah, late spring. You hear a loud, unfamiliar chirp from near the ground.

2013 71

The Economic Impact of Birding on National Wildlife Refuges: Creating Local Jobs

10,000 Birds

Lee Metcalf NWR (Montana): 178,000; $4.5 Every few years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) attempts to calculate the economic contribution of National Wildlife Refuge visitation to local communities. The most recent effort was released in June 2019.

2019 87