A (mostly) friendly competition between 2 avid birdwatchers that are also friends/co-workers. Who can observe more bird species in Idaho in 2009? Will they still be friends at year's end? ;-)

Sunday, June 28, 2009


After a day of surveys on the ranch on Friday with Jack and Larry we woke up Saturday morning to TONS of rain! Still in sleeping bags on Larry's couches, we huddled around Jay's computer to check the weather online, and saw a gigantic green swath moving across our area....we were hosed! so...we crawled back into our beds and got to sleep in for once--till 7AM! :) Then we decided to drag ourselves out of bed and think of what we'd do for the day. While we were deciding though, Larry, ever the amazing host, started whipping us up a batch of waffles! woohoo, talk about a morning off!
While munching our breakfast, Jay reminded us that we had info about an active Great Gray Owl nest in the Stanley area, and since it'd be a lifer for both Jack and I, we of course HAD to go check it out! (even though it meant Jay foregoing his plans for an afternoon nap...as Jack said "awww, what a big softie!" ;)

Chef Larry makin' us breakfast!

We packed up and were soon on our way through pouring rain and low clouds over the pass to Stanley. It took some doing, but soon we were a few miles up a dirt road into the forest, and were approaching the nest. We stopped when Jack pointed out an adult Great Gray perched right in front of our noses!! Jack and I did a lifer fist-bump (yee-haw!) And we were able to watch it for a few minutes perching in a Lodgepole Pine (and looking a little wet and bedraggled after the morning's stormy weather). Soon though, the bird floated off through the forest to the edge of a nearby meadow.

Jack and I checking out our Lifer Great Grays!
We drove up closer to where we thought the nest would be and soon spotted two fuzzy dudes sitting in an old Goshawk nest! The older, more gray chick was sitting low in the nest with just the top of his face showing, but the lighter, more fuzzy baby was fluffed up and sitting high. When we cracked the car windows, we could hear his screeches every few seconds. With his Great Gray Owl translation skills Jay interpreted for us as we watched: the little guy was saying "Dude, mom, where's my food!? quit feedin' this fatty over here all the time!" while the older chick was saying "okay, seriously, shut up, I'm trying to take a nap over here!" We watched for a few more minutes, then started the car back up. The sleepy chicks stretched their necks up for just a second to check us out after hearing the sound of the car before snuggling back down onto their nest. As we left, we could see mom or dad perched and on the hunt at the edge of the meadow...apparently the little guy's nagging was working!
Not a bad way to spend a rainy day!!

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