Why Do Red Crossbills Have Scissor-Like Bills?

Crossbill Evolution by Michael K. Schwartz Broadcast 6.2 & 6.5.2020   Listen:   As winter faded into spring and the last remnants of snow remained in shadowy patches atop higher peaks, I wandered into the Rattlesnake Wilderness, outside of Missoula,...

Black-Billed Magpies: Common But Uncommonly Smart

Black-billed Magpies by Susie Wall Broadcast 10.8 and 10.11.2019 Listen:   When I first moved out West, I was impressed by the large black-and-white bird I noticed strutting around my yard and campsites, its long black tail dragging on the ground behind it. The...

Owly Neighbors

by Thurston Elfstrom Since moving back to Missoula in 2008, my wife and I have enjoyed fairly regular sightings of Great Horned Owls in and around our neighborhood. Up until this point, my experiences with Great Horned Owls tended to be more auditory—infrequently...

Ghosts Of The North Woods: Great Grey Owls

Great Grey Owls by Lily Vonderheide Broadcast on 9.13.2015 Listen:   One evening while walking along the river just outside of town, winding my way through a meadow fringed with ponderosa pine, I met a Great Grey Owl hunting down amongst the bunchgrass and...

A Bird in the Hand

by Sarah Millar “They really are as light as a feather!” laughs one of our Master Naturalist students as she releases a robin. As you can tell, she was really excited that she got to hold a wild bird in the hand for the first time! A few weeks ago, I tagged along on a...