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“Just a bunch of Crows looking for a bunch of Sage Grouse” April 17, 2015

Okay, time for another “I Love My Life” segment.  I’ve had a blast these last couple of weeks looking for sage grouse leks on the Crow Reservation (Apsaalooke Nation) with some really fun people.   And it’s hard for me to look for anything wildlife without trying to do my amateur best to catch it on film.  I don’t have great equipment, but it’s good enough to balance on the edge of my car door and capture some of the awe inspiring wildlife behavior that I see in the world around me (and since youtube has that “we can fix your shakiness”, the grouse aren’t shaking around too much – just the words :)!.  And since we’re looking for (and finding) Greater Sage Grouse leks, that’s what I was able to film (thanks to the patience of the fellas I was with – one of which gave me this great quote that I used for the title).

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Helicopter Eagle Nest survey – how we do it. June 8, 2014

For those who are curious, here’s how we try to determine the number of golden eagle nests in an area (for those concerned about tax dollars, these aren’t.  This is money from oil and gas leases, which is fitting since they are some of the issues causing the problems.)

Golden eagles need either cliffs or very large trees to nest in (Bald eagles nest primarily in really big trees near water).  So to find Golden Eagles (the primary target of this study) here’s what we do:

We cruise cliffs along rivers..

We fly above rivers looking in the trees (and watching out for powerlines!), check out cliffs along rivers and up drainages,

and cliffs in the mountains

and cliffs in the mountains

Golden Eagles usually nest on cliffs

Typical Golden Eagle nest with 2 chicks

Bald Eagle nest

Bald Eagle nest with adult and chick in a cottonwood tree on the river.

 

Commuting to work. A Bison Quest “I love my life!” post June 7, 2014

Commuting to work Monday morning.

Commuting to work Monday morning.

Get up in the morning, grab a bite to eat, and run out to the pasture to catch a helicopter to work.  We’re doing Golden Eagle surveys this week :)!

 

 

 

And then comes the cautious coyote… February 21, 2013

While some critters come right in to the camera, others make really sure that it’s okay first. This series shows the cautious canid starting in, then going back out, coming in again and then going back out, over and over.  It took two nights before he finally actually ate at the bones.  Even then, he would eat, then back off, then carefully come back in.  This is how a little 20 lb canid lives in a hostile world.

Cautious coyote checks it out

Cautious coyote checks it out

Moves in...

Moves in…

Moves back out

Moves back out

Moves in again with a little more confidence

Moves in again with a little more confidence

and finally, eats.

and finally, eats.

 

As we continue to get bigger critters – add a golden eagle! February 4, 2013

Another young ‘un, this immature golden is happy to find such a handy snack!  First, he checks it over….

SUNP0245 (640x501)

Then he grabs a bite.  What a deal!

Then he takes a bite.  What a deal for a growing youngster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Magpies, then Ravens and – a Goshawk on carrion! February 1, 2013

While carrion isn’t the usual for Goshawks, they’re certainly not above taking advantage of fresh goodies.  And when you’re a young of the year, now on your own, you are happy to take what you can get!

Immature Goshawk taking advantage of what's availalbe.

Immature Goshawk taking advantage of what’s availalbe.

 

Enter the Ravens. Getting bigger. January 30, 2013

ravens

Ravens replace the magpies at the “food” pile.

While the magpies are often the ones to find the goodies, the ravens are no slouches and are good at spotting food from above.  And if they see a flock of magpies poring over something on the ground, then they know there’s food around.

 

 

 
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