Author: Jan Ramelli

Common Tern

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) By Jan Ramelli I joke that photographing this bird is like trying to shoot snowflakes with a BB gun!  I enjoyed watching these birds in the Willow Creek Wildlife area where they fly with their heads pointed down at a right angle to their body; when they spot a small fish or tadpole, they will immediately dive into the water to catch their prey. They lay up to 3 olive-buff eggs in sand, shallow cup of dead grass, or even pebbly beaches or open rocky...

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Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) By Jan Ramelli I am so amazed in the beauty that you can find if you will allow yourself a little time to sit and “be still”.  Go for a drive, get out of the car, go for a walk, and take a few moments to stop, look, and listen!   This beautiful bird goes somewhat unnoticed, although many of us see it often!   This Black-necked Stilt was spotted in the Honey Lake Wildlife area where it feeds by probing and gleaning shallow water; in inland areas it feeds mainly on insects, larvae, small fish, and tadpoles. They...

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Muskrat Love

Photos and Article by Jan Ramelli I don’t know anyone who can’t say “Muskrat” without remembering the 1976 hit song by Captain & Tennille peaking at number four on the Hot 100 chart! The Muskrat is usually active at night but can be seen at anytime of the day, especially in the spring. They eat aquatic vegetation, freshwater clams, crayfish, frogs and fish. September is their breeding season and the female can produce up to 5 litters per year, with up to 7 kits in each litter. After the young reach 2 weeks they can swim and dive, and...

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Critters- The Great Horned Owl

Photos and Articles by Jan Ramelli This beautiful bird is more common in our area than one might think. Once you begin to look for the signs they will pop out at you often. A friend of mine, Paul Whitcome, told me about this particular nest and I began to photograph it at least weekly!  It has been a wonderful experience to get up before dawn so that I can be ready for them to return to their nest and watch the male and female raise their two owlets. In the winter and early spring, before the trees began...

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Three Local Hawks

What a rare find!  As we see many hawks in our area, we don’t see a Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) everyday! You will be able to identify this beautiful large hawk with their legs and feet feathered to their talons (also called chaps)!  They also have a distinct yellowish/orange marking around their beaks. They make their homes in open prairie areas; making their nests in a tree, bush, or even on the side of a hill.  The nest will often be made with roots, sticks, sagebrush, cattle dung and sometimes even cattle bones!  They will typically lay up to 5...

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