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The low-speed stampede

The low-speed stampede

Holders are charged with the toughest part. They are tasked with securing the birds so the banders can install a leg band on the left leg and patagial markers on each wing. Not as easy as it sounds, when you consider that they have to hold the 15-pound bird securely. They also have to hold the pelican’s bill so it can’t bite anyone.


Water for wildlife

Water for wildlife

The use of guzzlers provides water to all types of wildlife in areas where water sources are few and far between. One of the great benefits of this is the ability to attract animals to areas with abundant forage and little natural water…


Building nurseries for big-eared bats

Building nurseries for big-eared bats

The crew put up screen troughs on the tree trunks below the bark, which they refer to as poop-catchers.


Chasing owls in Utah’s west desert

Chasing owls in Utah’s west desert

Last week, I had a delightful experience that made me giddier than my wedding day. I was invited to join biologists and researchers as they banded burrowing owlets. Tiny, downy, newly hatched baby owls? Count me in!


A little owl makes a big journey

A little owl makes a big journey

One of our PTT-equipped owls managed to evade prairie falcons, badgers and weasels and began her fall journey southward from Cisco, Utah on October 3. On October 8, she was on the edge of Grand Gulch in San Juan County, and by October 14, she’d found her way to…


Hunting ethics

Hunting ethics

Either hunter could have legally shot at the bird but both declined. I was impressed with the good judgment and courtesy the father and son team exhibited even though they had no idea I was watching.


Wings beat and roosters flew

Wings beat and roosters flew

At the end of the day, as we walked back to the truck, a rooster flushed. Having played guide that day, I was the only one in our group who hadn’t gotten my limit. This one was mine. The rooster came down the draw towards and past me. I fired once, twice, then I fired my last shell. On the third shot the rooster folded.


White-nose syndrome: a disease of bats

White-nose syndrome: a disease of bats

Bats are interesting and largely beneficial animals that provide important “ecosystem services.” That is a fancy way of saying they eat lots of harmful bugs for free. They can eat half of their weight in forest and crop pests every night.


Stay Low. Stay Still. Survive.

Stay Low. Stay Still. Survive.

The mulie bounded across the road in front of us. Powerful leg muscles flexed under her summer coat, propelling her through effortless 20-foot arcs. Five heads swiveled to watch the deer, some of them lurching from reclined positions of slumber.


Tagging toads at night

Tagging toads at night

Boreal toads are more active at night, so we’ll be surveying breeding sites after dark using headlamps. Food and sleeping arrangements at one of our remote cabins in west Box Elder County will be provided! The work typically does not end until after midnight.


A very unexpected ending

A very unexpected ending

As the buck charged, I realized there were five little spears headed right for me. I was standing right between those antlers and the door! I made some timely comments at the top of my lungs as I quickly jumped from the trailer.


The thrill of harvesting a bird with “jewelry”

The thrill of harvesting a bird with “jewelry”

To me, the most satisfying thing about the Waterfowl Slam is that every dollar raised from this program is going towards creating or enhancing waterfowl habitat in Utah. So far we have raised over $10,000 that will go directly back into habitat projects around the state!