Golden Eagle Migrations

Researchers recently discovered the importance of Montana’s Big Belt Mountains (near Bozeman) as a raptor migration flyway, and their first major monitoring effort for this flyway began in the fall of 2015, and was repeated in fall 2016. This route recorded the greatest number of migrating golden eagles of any site in North America, with 2,620 golden eagles recorded, with a peak of 24 goldens per hour!

The team also recorded another important behavior: Golden eagles continued to migrate at night under a full moon.

And if the golden eagle information wasn’t enough, the researchers also documented all 17 raptor species known to migrate through the region – all on one day!

The Big Belts are a 75-mile long mountain range in west-central Montana, just north of the Bridger Mountains, which are well-known for raptor migrations. The raptor migration counts were conducted by Ronan Dugan and Jeff Grayum of the Golden Eagle Migration Survey and the report on the Fall 2016 counts can be found here.

Battle Rugs & Endless Connections

I have posted a pic of my Soviet- war era Afghan battle rug before. It is a prized possession, drenched in haunted history and metaphorical blood. I got it from fellow fly fisher and double gun nut (and fine artist and rug fancier) Michael Simon, then of Livingston Montana.

Daniela, who, like many of us who are saluki and hawk people, also likes textiles, recently found this site devoted to “war rugs” and their sometimes sinister history.

This prompted me to go in search of Michael, and I was gratified to see that he is doing very well indeed. LL Bean Covers!

Back in the day, he took photos of the local literati to adorn the walls of the local bar in Livingston, and tied flies for each. Some were outrageous, but ours, the “Goshawk & Claret”, was elegant. Will photo soon. But here we were, in 1999:

A True Tale of Bureaucracy and Individuals

I posted this as a comment below but decided it could stand as a post.

Re “individuals” and beaureaucrats.

When Libby was in Bozeman an INDIVIDUAL woman who disapproved of Libby’s keeping company with a hunter (really) got the town to go after our then third dog, as no one could keep three without all neighbors’ permission. The town actually told us to put down one, our choice.

A law firm took us on pro bono, thank God. We won, but the bill, to the town, was $27,000. The town then appealed to the Montana State Supreme Court, who found again in our favor, costing thousands more. At the time Libby couldn’t leave and we couldn’t have afforded to pay the lawyers.

One of the low points was the neighbor’s husband’s perjuring herself by saying in court that my Goshawk’s screaming was keeping him awake. I was able to prove that his hearing was remarkable; the Gos had been in NM for 6 months.

After it all one of the city councilmen told me: “You beat us on dogs. Now we are coming after your hawk. And if you beat us on that we’ll come after your pigeons.”

Now in Bozeman you must have all neighbors’ permission for ANYTHING. I believe the regs say “if your neighbor has a problem you have a problem”. As the feed store owner sadly told me: “This used to be Montana”.

I see no reason NOT to fear such monstrous violations of freedom, unless perhaps you have millions to fight them. That is why I consider bureaucrat- free zones like Mongolia, Kazakhstan (yes), Wyoming (outside of Jackson perhaps) and Catron county (guns mandatory, no other bureaucracy wanted). Albuquerque, with virtually no public input, rushed in the most stringent AR regs in the country.

You are not paranoid when they are after you.