Montana Outdoors

November 16, 2017

Clark’s Nutcracker

Filed under: Birds, Trees — Tags: , , — montucky @ 4:30 pm

These birds are large, about the size of Blue Jays, and inhabit the higher mountain areas of the west. They pull out seeds from the cones of pine trees, especially White Pines, stash them in a pouch under their tongue and then bury them in a cache for the winter. Each bird will bury tens of thousands of seeds during the summer and will remember the locations of most of them: the ones they can’t find plant more trees. It is said that some birds will plant trees but the Clark’s Nutcracker will plant forests.

I had always read that the seeds of the White Pine were a large part of a Grizzly Bear’s diet, but I could never figure out how such a huge bear was able to get the seeds from the cones. I later read that they will sniff out the large caches of seeds buried by the Nutcrackers and feed on those.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker ~ Nucifraga columbiana

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark's Nutcracker

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August 30, 2017

Grouse

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:44 am

Spruce Grouse

Spruce Grouse

These are Blue Grouse who let me get pretty close to them this morning. They are about the size of small chickens. Earlier in the summer a hen and three chicks took up residence at my place when the chicks were about the size of tennis balls. They have stayed here all summer and now I can’t tell the hen from her chicks. It’s unusual to see them here but they are fairly plentiful in the area of the new fire. Perhaps they knew something?

May 30, 2016

Hummingbirds

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:15 pm

This evening with nothing much else to do as the sun was setting, I tried for a few shots of the hummingbirds who come to my feeders. I dunno… but I tried. I have two feeders up: one has six stations and the other four. Each night just before it gets completely dark there is a feeding frenzy, with fifteen to twenty birds all trying to feed on the ten stations, I suppose to fill their little tummies ahead of the night’s cold. They consume about a liter of mix every day.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

December 20, 2014

This morning’s grouse

Filed under: Birds, Ruffed grouse, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:38 am

Ruffed Grouse - Bonasa umbellus

Ruffed Grouse - Bonasa umbellus

Ruffed GrouseRuffed Grouse - Bonasa umbellus

Ruffed Grouse – Bonasa umbellus

December 4, 2014

Good morning for a breakfast of Hawthorn berries

Filed under: Birds, Wild turkeys, Winter — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:38 am

Fresh snow covered the ground during the night but the breakfast table was set in the trees.

Wild turkeys in Hawthorn tree

Wild turkeys in Hawthorn tree

Wild turkeys in Hawthorn tree

November 15, 2014

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

The berries they are eating are from the Red Hawthorn AKA Columbian Hawthorn, Crataegus Columbiana.

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