All Dressed Up…

 

 

 

 

~Ring Tailed Pheasant~

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Male Ring-necked Pheasants establish breeding territories in early spring. A male maintains sovereignty over his acreage by crowing and calling; he approaches intruders with head and tail erect, and may tear up grass that he then tosses. Competitors sometimes resort to physical combat. After a series of escalating threat displays, fighting cocks flutter upward, breast to breast, and bite at each other’s wattles. They may take turns leaping at each other with bill, claws, and spurs deployed. Usually the challenger runs away before long, and these fights are rarely fatal. Females assemble in breeding groups focused on a single male and his territory. The cock courts the hen with a variety of displays—strutting or running; spreading his tail and the wing closest to her while erecting the red wattles around his eyes and the feather-tufts behind his ears. He also “tidbits”—poses with head low while calling her to a morsel of food. A female may flee at first, leading the male on a chase punctuated by courtship displays. Males guard their groups of females from the advances of other males. Like many birds, Ring-necked Pheasants take frequent dust baths, raking their bills and scratching at the ground, shaking their wings to sweep dust and sand into their feathers, lying on their sides and rubbing their heads. Dust-bathing probably removes oil, dirt, parasites, dead skin cells, old feathers, and the sheaths of new feathers.

For more information please visit here…

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Yellow Bells ~ Fritillaria pudica

 

One of the first wildflowers to bloom in the spring after the snow melts, yellow bells grow in dry, loose soil in open woodlands and grasslands.  Meriwether Lewis collected this plant in 1806.  For more information please visit here…IMG_1862-Edit

 

This lily produces a small bulb, which can be dug up and eaten fresh or cooked. Historically, Native Americans used it as a food source, and are still eaten occasionally.  For more information please visit here…IMG_1871-Edit

Busy Lambing on the Farm…

We own about hundred and twenty Icelandic Sheep and a handful of Suffolk ewes.   April gets to be very busy and we all get a bit sleep deprived doing lamb checks and different lambing activities…

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Biggest brother saving littlest sister…

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The boys having a bit of fun hanging on the tractor…

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This guy is a Suffolk/Gotland cross.

sunrise

One benefit of getting no sleep is a gorgeous Montana sunrise, overlooking Glacier Park in the Flathead Valley.

Western Bluebird

We are always so happy to see the return of these cheerful little birds.  They always reassure me that spring is truly on the way!   These were spotted on one of  my evening walks…IMG_9274-Edit-3

Cool Facts

  • Western Bluebirds are among the birds that nest in cavities—holes in trees or nest boxes. But look at their bills—they’re not equipped to dig out their own holes. They rely on woodpeckers or other processes to make their nest sites for them. This is one reason why dead trees are a valuable commodity in many habitats.

  • Occasionally Western Bluebirds have helpers at the nest. Most of the extra birds attending nests are helping their presumed parents, some after their own nests have failed. Interestingly, studies show that many nests include young that were not fathered by the resident male.

  • Genetic studies showed that 45% of nests had young that were not fathered by the defending male, and that 19% of all the young were fathered outside the pair bond.

  • Western Bluebirds have a gentle look, but territory battles can get heated. Rival males may grab each other’s legs, tumble to the ground, and then pin their opponent on the ground, stand over him, and jab at him with his bill.

  • A Western Bluebird weighs about an ounce. It needs about 15 calories (technically, kilocalories) per day, or 23 calories if raising young.

  • The oldest known Western Bluebird was 8 years, 8 months old.

  • For more information, visit here…

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