Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Saw Whet owls

In early May, I got a call about a nest of young Saw Whet owls at Market Lake and so we went and found them.  Only this little guy would poke its head out and then it would go back in.  Several days later the top of the nest box had been broken and the owlets were gone.
A week later while looking for warblers in a willow thicket about a quarter of a mile away, I flushed this male.

As I looked in the thicket, I found six owlets.

Later I found more along the Henrys Fork of Snake River.

Just more wild days in Idaho.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

More Sage Grouse

Saturday I took a neighbor out looking at sage grouse.   Living here for many years, he had never seen them.  I thought they might be done, but on a lek there were over 50 of them and I wanted to get some silhouette pictures of them so I parked below a ridge line and "harvested" these.  By the way, two cocks got into a fight under the truck which made it very exciting.

A very wild day in Idaho - wildness is the essence of the enjoyment of life.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Leucistic Robin and other birds

I got a call from a lady that told me her daughter had a strange robin in her year.  I went visiting and found the robin, common Grackle and some Yellow-rumped warblers.  It was a fun hour.  Here the leucistic robin harvests a worm for the lawn

Yellow-rumped warblers were every where; in the trees, on the rocks, on the lawn and on the road.

The day before I found these two male turkeys chasing two females near the Henrys Fork of the Snake River.

Last Saturday I caught some sage grouse displaying on the top of a ridge.  I am visiting that same place tomorrow morning with a friend.

Just a few days in the Wilds of Idaho.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sage Grouse on their Leks

The sage grouse are lekking again and with the area between Highway 33 and the Egin/Hamer road open for travel, I have been able to observe this magnificent bird in action again.  But their population continues to decline.  I am working with the Idaho Fish and Game to try to locate new leks or traditional leks that might be used by birds.  I have found a few leks with a few birds, but the large leks with over 50 to 100 birds on them now have from 20 to 0 birds on them.  Here are a few of the show-off birds from this last week.

Last weekend we had a great snow storm and with one day left of spring break, I started searching for birds on leks.  On a lek that had 40 birds on it last year, I found only 23.  This handsome dude attempted to attract one of the three females.

He even battled other male to take control of the center of the lek where the females look for the king of the lek.

Soon a female showed up, but with the snow and cold, was not ready to start her family this year.  She showed up, but did not get too close to the ruler.

The battle bruises can be seen on the air sacks of this warrior that I found yesterday as he tries to attract a female.  

This gentleman has beautiful large combs above his eyes as he sits on top of a ridge with eight other males but no females are visiting them.

I saw a lot of different birds, elk, deer, coyote and even a mouse while spending a wonderful wild day in the wilds of Idaho