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Venomlust
06-05-2012, 09:37 PM
Hey everyone.

Have some pictures to share from my second and third week in Yellowstone.

Seeing as how I'll be here all summer, I'll post new photo links on this thread to avoid flooding the forum.

http://photobucket.com/yellowstoneweek2-3

DirtHawker
06-05-2012, 10:04 PM
I have been to Yellowstone 4 times, and plan for it again, love that place. Keep the pictures coming they are great.
Sue

Kachina
06-11-2012, 12:35 PM
Great pics! We just got back from there yesterday, and enjoyed the trip very much. It's the kinda place you could spend a lifetime poking around in.

Venomlust
06-13-2012, 07:44 PM
Glad you had a nice trip, Shadera. You're definitely right. I've barely scratched the surface here, but I'm having a blast as well.

oldguy
06-14-2012, 10:35 PM
My wife and I used to drive up there for the day two or three times every summer. Its about a three hour drive from here.

Made the "loop". I love the Hayden Valley. Open and buffalo everywhere. Go there in Aug and watch the bulls push each other around like locomotives.

I picked up a very dry buffalo pie just off the road a few years ago, not really sure why. A female ranger told me I couldn't take things from a national park. I thanked her for doing her job so well protecting bison sh!t. Look on her face was worth the drive. She told me to enjoy my day in the park.
Ended up "donating" to county museum for part of their pre-columbian arts exibit. Sprayed three coats of laquer on it to seal it.

Told volunteer curator I wanted a receipt for taxes.

Venomlust
06-16-2012, 04:55 PM
Haha, that's awesome. I wish I could have seen that.

I know they're pretty strict about not letting visitors take stuff, elk antlers especially. It's the only place I've seen so many littering the landscape. The other day, we came across a pile of 20+ antlers! Possibly a poacher's pile that he/she planned to revisit some day but never got back to. Who knows...

Venomlust
06-17-2012, 04:25 PM
Here are some pictures from the past week and a half or so.

Quite a bit of red tail action going on, and some nice looking flowers.

My favorite was the pair of red tails that I apparently pissed off while walking in the hills behind the house last afternoon. There must have been a nest nearby, but I couldn't find it. What I think is the female (could be wrong) was kiting on the wind about 100-200 feet above me, screaming the whole time. Her mate joined her after a bit, but screamed far less and kept his distance.

I wish I could upload more/higher quality pictures, but my internet connection isn't so great. I hope you enjoy this set.

http://photobucket.com/yellowstoneweeks4-5

Venomlust
06-28-2012, 10:00 PM
Here are some photos from the last couple of weeks. I figured you may enjoy viewing the pictures directly, rather than clicking through photobucket.

Here are pictures from Yellowstone:

Osprey in flight:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/osprey2.jpg

Osprey perched on a tree close to its nest:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/osprey.jpg

A dusky grouse in the bush:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/grouse.jpg

A different dusky grouse:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/grouse2.jpg

A western tiger swallowtail butterfly:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/swallowtail.jpg

A pronghorn:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/pronghorn.jpg

An american coot with her babies (cootlings? cooties? what are they called?):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/coots.jpg

A pair of bald eagles:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/baea2.jpg

A bald eagle in flight:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/baea.jpg

And now, my favorite in the series. A tree swallow was nesting in a short snag adjacent to a beautiful thermal pool. Only 3 or 4 meters from the walkway I was on:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/treeswallow4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/treeswallow3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/treeswallow2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/treeswallow1.jpg

More to come very very soon...

Venomlust
06-28-2012, 11:13 PM
And now, some photos of the birds of the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey, near Boise, Idaho.

A falconry display. The placard (not pictured) listed the various pieces of gear involved in falconry:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/rthafalconry.jpg

A Eurasian Eagle Owl:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/EEO.jpg

Bill, one helluva guy. Leads tours, knows a ton, very friendly:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/bill.jpg

Benito, a tiercel hatched this season to be used in educational/entertainment shows. Named after the Mexican president Benito Juarez, because the falcon was born on Cinco de Mayo. Strange, because Benito Juarez had nothing to do with the Mexican victory on May 5 against the French army. I digress...:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/benito.jpg

A beautiful white gyrfalcon:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/gyr3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/gyr2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/gyr.jpg

A male harpy eagle! Amazing, one of my favorite birds of prey (who doesn't love them?) Check out those monkey-killing talons:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/harpy3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/harpy2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/harpy.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/harpytalons.jpg

Venomlust
06-29-2012, 12:37 PM
Some I forgot to include:

A younger grizzly:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/grizzly1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/grizzly2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%206-7/grizzly3.jpg

Dirthawking
06-29-2012, 04:35 PM
Very nice. Keep the pictures coming.

Venomlust
06-29-2012, 04:55 PM
Can do :D. The hard part is picking which to upload. I took many at the falconry museum at the World Center for Birds of Prey, will upload those when I get home to Los Angeles (better connection).

Here's one I left out, though: some California Condors:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/World%20Center%20for%20Birds%20of%20Prey/calcondors.jpg

Venomlust
06-29-2012, 07:24 PM
Here are some pictures taken at the Morley Nelson Birds of Prey National Conservation Area at the Snake River, Idaho.

Quite the "hotspot" for breeding raptors, particularly prairie falcons. The BLM manages the land, and their website boasts up to 200 breeding pairs in the area! Jackrabbits and ground squirrels are very abundant, among other prey.

I arrived post-fledging, which bummed me at first, but then I realized I'd have a shot at seeing all the new fledglings. I was right!

Here are some shots of the view around my campsite. Some lazy and or generous souls left behind some logs of wood and large planks of plywood. Luckily, I had a hatchet and a folding saw with me, and after a few hours of work had enough firewood for two nights of fire. My regret is that I didn't have any hot dogs or otherwise cookable food. Actually, I also really regret not having a fishing rod! Folks around me were really reeling 'em in.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/campsite3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/campsite2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/campsite1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/sunset.jpg

And now, for the raptors.

I was taking a walk through the grasses above the canyon, and flushed a hen harrier off her nest! She instantly started screaming and circling me. I'm glad they don't show the same ferocity goshawks do when protecting their young. I didn't stick around more than a couple of minutes, so she could get back to the eggs/chicks. Wasn't able to spot the nest and didn't want to go stomping around and inadvertently hurt them.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/harrier.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/harrier4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/harrier2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/harrier3.jpg

A red tail perched near some farmland at the entrance to the area:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/redtail1.jpg

And my favorite part of the trip, the prairie falcons. These fledglings were all over the place, stooping at each other and any other birds that they laid eyes on (including a very annoyed turkey vulture). By morning, many of them spent their time perched on some large volcanic rocks at the base of the cliffs, preening and warming up in the morning sun.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/PRFA.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/PRFA2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/PRFA3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/PRFA4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/PRFA5.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/PRFA6.jpg

FredFogg
06-29-2012, 07:30 PM
Great pics Alex! Love the prairie photo's! clappclappclapp

Venomlust
06-29-2012, 07:56 PM
Thanks, Fred. This is an amazing place to go for anyone who wants to see lots of prairies in one place.

Here are a couple more I left out:

A couple of osprey on a nest. If you look underneath the horizontal piece of wood on top of the pole, it looks like the wing of a bird. Any ideas who it may belong to? It's quite large. I cropped that bit of the picture and included it, zoomed in. Actually, it's more than a wing! I can see a pelvis and femurs, as well. I wonder if one of the nestlings fell out, got tangled and died? Did one of the parents drag a waterlogged corpse of a bird in the nest? May never know...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/ospreynest2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/ospreynest.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Morley%20Nelson%20Birds%20of%20Prey%20NCA/wing.jpg

Dirthawking
06-29-2012, 08:01 PM
Amazing what birds will use to build their nest.

carlosR
07-01-2012, 09:26 PM
We see a lot of baling twine used in nests along the Flathead River. Occasionally a young bird will get entangled in it but it's rare.
I love Yellowstone Park.

Meagan
07-09-2012, 10:46 PM
Alex, I just got back from my second visit to Yellowstone. I have more pictures of the male tree swallow you have pictures of, I am sure of it. Did you snap those pics of him in W. Thumb? If so we've captured the same guy. Great pics, I am jealous of your internship!

Venomlust
07-10-2012, 08:28 PM
Meagan, I'm still not super familiar with the Lake area so I'm not sure of the exact name. However, it was a walkway near a few thermal pools that fed into the lake. The end of the walkway is probably only 100 to 150 meters away from the edge of the lake.

The snag was very close to the walkway, maybe about 8 to 10 feet tall and covered in lichen. There were multiple cavities being used by at least 2 pairs of swallows.


I'm loving this internship, I can't complain :D. I feel very fortunate. Been watching many red tail and peregrine chicks grow as of late. Almost time to fledge!

Venomlust
07-10-2012, 09:33 PM
Here are a few pics from the past few weeks. Haven't been taking too many.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%207-10/swallowtail.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%207-10/pronghorn.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%207-10/sandhillblackbirds.jpg
These red-winged blackbirds were none too happy with the sandhill crane getting too close to their nest.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%207-10/pika.jpg
A pika!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%207-10/grousedisplay.jpg
A dusky grouse displaying. Very cool.

Meagan
07-11-2012, 04:00 PM
Alex, it sounds like W. Thumb...right by the lake with a lot of the thermal features feeding directly into the lake. The picture I have of him he is sitting on the same dead snag that the picture you took has. I'll post pictures whenever I get them onto my photoshop....I was wanting to see a few peregrines this year and we saw none. Last year we saw about 4-5. However I did see a few ferrug. hawks and a prairie falcon. I am sure I saw a female dusky grouse, she was walking in front of our car in Grand Tetons...I thought it was a ruffed grouse but by seeing the odd eye stripe above her eye I think its a dusky.

goshawkr
07-11-2012, 04:20 PM
Amazing what birds will use to build their nest.

I actually look at that the other way round - I am amazed that people think that because something was made by humans that everything should shun it.

We are just as much a part of nature as the termites building mounds and the beavers building dams.

Dirthawking
07-11-2012, 04:36 PM
I actually look at that the other way round - I am amazed that people think that because something was made by humans that everything should shun it.

We are just as much a part of nature as the termites building mounds and the beavers building dams.

My point was more of what people put out there for birds to find.

goshawkr
07-11-2012, 04:53 PM
My point was more of what people put out there for birds to find.

Well, its not hard to find bailing twine in ranching/farming areas. Try hard as you will to keep it contained, that stuff tends to slip away.

There are also those, like myself, who purposely give string/rope to the birds to use by leaving it around. Thread, rope, twine, etc works better for them than "natural" materials. When I lived in house sparrow habbitat I used to really enjoy watching their protracted battles over the stuff.

It may not look as attractive to our eyes, but I even wonder if they might prefer it because its more colorful.

Dirthawking
07-11-2012, 04:54 PM
Well, its not hard to find bailing twine in ranching/farming areas. Try hard as you will to keep it contained, that stuff tends to slip away.

There are also those, like myself, who purposely give string/rope to the birds to use by leaving it around. Thread, rope, twine, etc works better for them than "natural" materials. When I lived in house sparrow habbitat I used to really enjoy watching their protracted battles over the stuff.

It may not look as attractive to our eyes, but I even wonder if they might prefer it because its more colorful.


No offense, but that looks like some kind of nylon.

Venomlust
07-11-2012, 07:51 PM
Speaking of nesting materials...

This female house finch was trying to snag strands of my mop to use in her nest. She was at it for a good half an hour. Feeling bad for her, I cut up some pieces of hemp twine and placed them in plain view on top of the barbecue. No dice. Then, I interwove the pieces of twine with the strands of the mop, thinking perhaps she'd take one by accident, if nothing else. NOPE. Only wanted the white mop strands.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz5J6fDJWfs&feature=plcp

goshawkr
07-11-2012, 07:58 PM
Speaking of nesting materials...

This female house finch was trying to snag strands of my mop to use in her nest. She was at it for a good half an hour. Feeling bad for her, I cut up some pieces of hemp twine and placed them in plain view on top of the barbecue. No dice. Then, I interwove the pieces of twine with the strands of the mop, thinking perhaps she'd take one by accident, if nothing else. NOPE. Only wanted the white mop strands.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz5J6fDJWfs&feature=plcp

She was probably fixated on the realization that all the material she needed to do the whole nest was in that mop. :D

Venomlust
07-11-2012, 11:25 PM
I'm pulling on it, why won't it move?!

Venomlust
07-30-2012, 10:57 PM
I tried to include a few more pictures than in the last update, but it's been great out here.

Here we go:

A familiar face. Revisited the tree swallows nesting in the dead tree.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/treeswallow.jpg

A white dragonfly, I thought this was really cool.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/dragonfly2.jpg

A dragonfly that landed in a thermal pool and boiled to death.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/boileddragonfly.jpg

Brink of the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/waterfall1.jpg

Lower falls of the Yellowstone River.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/lowerfalls.jpg

A bison that snuck up on us. You'd be surprised how many people think you can just walk up to one like it's friendly. I had to stop on a narrow road surrounded by trees (no place to pull over) to let an adult male bison pass by the car. He was about 2 feet away, and literally as big as my Subaru Forester. That bison isn't pictured here, but this was a big boy as well.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/bison2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/bison1.jpg

A soon to fledge Peregrine. Has since fledged since taking this photo.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/peregrine.jpg

A foraging black bear.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/blackbear3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/blackbear1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/blackbear2.jpg

Some of Yellowstone's beautiful thermal features:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/thermal5.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/thermal2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/thermal1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/olblowhard.jpg

A pile of antlers we found at the summit of a medium size mountain, being dwarfed by a large one.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/antlersandelectric.jpg

The ceiling of the Old Faithful Inn, opened in 1904! This room is about 5 stories up, and unfortunately can't be accessed thanks to modern fire codes... frus).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2011-15/treehouse.jpg

Hope you enjoyed 'em.

Meagan
07-31-2012, 09:17 AM
Alex, great photos! I am in love with Yellowstone, we are already planning a trip for the fall so I can go and see the elk during their rut. We are also planning a winter visit in a few years. About the bison, people simply amaze me. My job here in Missouri is working at a state park with the largest public natural prairie left in this state. We have a free range bison herd of about 120 animals and their size is imtidimating. I keep a safe distance of 100 yards, at the min. While in Yellowstone earlier this month I could not stop counting the number of people we saw getting 10 ft from these large beasts...even bears!

People think that being in Yellowstone means they are in a zoo. I was thinking of starting a "Idiots of Yellowstone" folder on facebook...not only for people and the animals but also for people ignoring the signs next to thermal features and standing on the crusts edge! Seriously?! Great pictures...how did you find this summer job? If you dont mind me asking? I would love to spend an entire summer out there!

Venomlust
07-31-2012, 06:42 PM
Meagan,

Yesterday a visitor was gored by a bison, the second of the season that I've heard about. It's one that spends a lot of time grazing in Mammoth Hot Springs near the General Store. People think that because it's not out in the wilderness with its friends it must be safe!

Someone also fell into a geyser yesterday. No idea how they pulled that off. Probably a future winner of a Darwin award.

The story for me getting this job involved a lot of volunteering over the years, some internships, and some field work. A friend that I worked with last summer knew that I wanted to work with raptors, saw the internship posted on some website somewhere, and forwarded it to me.

Thanks to my experience I had great recommendations lined up, and the resume to match. I don't get paid for my work here, but I get free housing and a food stipend. More than good enough for me!

There are plenty of opportunities to work out here, but I only hear about them in passing, don't know many details. I do know that they sometimes have a hard time finding people to work during the winter season. Quite brutal, very physical and long days. But there are some summer opportunities out there, I bet if you called some departments here or wrote some emails you could get better information than I can give you.

rkumetz
07-31-2012, 07:15 PM
We have a free range bison herd of about 120 animals and their size is imtidimating. I keep a safe distance of 100 yards, at the min. While in Yellowstone earlier this month I could not stop counting the number of people we saw getting 10 ft from these large beasts...even bears!

People think that being in Yellowstone means they are in a zoo. I was thinking of starting a "Idiots of Yellowstone" folder on facebook...not only for people and the animals but also for people ignoring the signs next to thermal features and standing on the crusts edge! Seriously?!

I like to call things like idiots walking up to large meat eating animals and leaning over boiling water "evolution in action". It is a great way to observe Darwin's theories being demonstrated before your eyes in an interactive sort of way. Kind of like being in one of those science museums for kids but on a larger scale! (and you don't even need funny glasses because it is already in 3-D!) :D

Venomlust
07-31-2012, 07:25 PM
clappclappamennn

wingnut
07-31-2012, 07:40 PM
Thanks for posting the pics Alex. I especially liked the tree swallow pics and the harrier too. You're quite good with a camera. You've probably been asked already but what are you shooting with?

Venomlust
07-31-2012, 09:46 PM
Doug, thanks for the compliment.

I'm using a Nikon d3100 and a Nikon Nikor VR 55-300 telephoto lens. I was previously using a d60.

To be honest, I'm a very lazy photographer. I usually just shoot on auto. It's only lately that I've been fiddling around with manual settings like exposure, shutter speed, and whatnot. Auto usually works just fine, so why fiddle? :D

**EDIT**

Also, how crappy of me. I forgot to mention that my girlfriend snapped a few of the photos in the last set, as she was visiting me with my parents and we traded off with the camera while we traveled around.

Dirthawking
08-01-2012, 05:06 PM
I like to call things like idiots walking up to large meat eating animals and leaning over boiling water "evolution in action". It is a great way to observe Darwin's theories being demonstrated before your eyes in an interactive sort of way. Kind of like being in one of those science museums for kids but on a larger scale! (and you don't even need funny glasses because it is already in 3-D!) :D


You are of course familiar with the show titled "When animals attack", I think they need a sister show called, "When dumb people do dumb things around dangerous animals"

Lowachi
08-01-2012, 05:14 PM
nah, just name it the Darwin Awards! just blur their faces & go.

Venomlust
08-10-2012, 10:57 AM
New round of pics:

A very cool cricket that I've seen running around lately. Quite large, perhaps 2/3 the length of my pinky. I really love their cryptic coloration. They almost look like they're covered in lichen.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2016-17/cricket.jpg

A bison with an itch that only this tree could scratch.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2016-17/scratch.jpg

A so called "bison jam." Bison don't care where you need to go, they do what they want!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2016-17/bisonjam.jpg

Well, some of them are a bit too slow, or weak, and end up having their noses eaten off.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2016-17/bisonskull.jpg

A juvie red-tail, reared this summer. I love how closely the pattern on their rectrices follows that of their flight feathers.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2016-17/RTHAyoungster.jpg

A ratty looking red-tail molting into its adult plumage.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2016-17/rattyRTHA.jpg

An adult red-tail, now molting after successfully fledging three chicks.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Weeks%2016-17/adultRTHA.jpg

Tom Smith
08-10-2012, 03:41 PM
The crickets are Mormon crickets, I have not seen them that color though but, it is not unusual as they are pretty variable.

Dirthawking
08-10-2012, 04:59 PM
I love those crickets! I used to keep a small group of them. Man are they loud! Nice chirp to listen to as well.

Tom Smith
08-10-2012, 08:43 PM
I love those crickets! I used to keep a small group of them. Man are they loud! Nice chirp to listen to as well.

Uh, Mormon crickets don't chirp they thump their chests on the ground to attract a mate and it is a thumping noise. You are probably speaking of another true cricket.

Mormon crickets aren't a true cricket but a katydid, a very large one. When they have population spikes and they run low on food they haul on out eating everything in their path and it is a weird race because the fat leaders know that if they don't keep up the lead, the ones following will eat them when they catch up because they are starving and there is nothing else to eat but the fat leaders that have paused for a break or to lay eggs with their long ovipositors. Then whack, they are toast and gobbled up by several of the followers. Hmm, that kind of sounds like a zombie attack.

Venomlust
08-10-2012, 09:23 PM
It could have been a different species of orthopteran, but I found a similarly sized "cricket" that was clearly making sounds by rubbing its wings together. Was very dark, and not quite as large as the female Mormon (thanks for teaching me) cricket. I wish I had my camera with me that day.

Lowachi
08-10-2012, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the pix, Alex

Tom Smith
08-10-2012, 11:23 PM
Alex, here is another one recently photographed in SW Idaho. In SE Idaho, where I live I have only seen very large black ones. Sometimes many thousands of them crossing a road. They make excellent aquarium fish food for large cichlids and can be frozen fresh and kept in a freezer for some time. This one is probably about the size of a mans thumb.

http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z128/tomns/Alflics061407059cpDmod.jpg

Venomlust
08-11-2012, 12:00 AM
Awesome! I bet they make great reptile food, as well. I have a turtle who would go crazy for them.

Venomlust
08-17-2012, 08:09 PM
Well, my final week in Yellowstone has been great.

I unfortunately missed an awesome day of photographs last Saturday. The air in the area has been quite hazy due to smoke from multiple fires, in Yellowstone and surrounding states. We had an afternoon storm last Friday, so I knew Saturday would be nice and clear.

Not only was it clear, but I was treated to fledgling Peregrines, Swainson's Hawks, and Red-tails flying no more than 20 feet above me. I also had a face-to-face encounter with a badger.

Being the genius that I am, I didn't check the charge on my camera's battery. Dead! Oh well, it was a memorable day that I'll never forget. I would have loved some photos, though!

Without further lollygagging, here are this week's pictures:

A sweet elk skull with rack intact:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%2018/sweetrack.jpg

An elk carcass that was dragged into a ravine and devoured:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%2018/elkcarcass.jpg

An impressive Red-tail nest:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%2018/RTHAnest.jpg

A not-so impressive Red-tail nest that nonetheless sustained two chicks to fledging:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%2018/RTHAnest2.jpg

A fledgling Red-tail taking flight:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%2018/juvieRTHA.jpg

A beautiful fledgling Red-tail in flight (different from the former):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%2018/juvieRTHA2.jpg

A haggard Red-tail, I think quite pretty:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%2018/RTHA.jpg

A baby snake being held by my coworker. Is this a bull snake? Please confirm for me:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/Venomlust/Yellowstone%20Week%2018/babysnake.jpg

Tomorrow is a beer fest in town, and Sunday, I head back to Los Angeles! It's been an amazing summer doing exactly what I want to do with my life. I feel very fortunate, and I learned a lot about raptor biology/ecology.

Zarafia
08-17-2012, 08:26 PM
Alex, thank you for sharing your photos with us! What a great experience you are having!

Dirthawking
08-17-2012, 09:20 PM
looks like a common plains garter snake. Yellow stripe all the way down Lhe spine gives it away.

Venomlust
08-17-2012, 11:57 PM
Awesome, thanks Mario.

*edit*

And I hope everyone enjoyed these photos. I've taken so much from this forum that anything I can contribute makes me satisfied. I'll keep you all updated with the beginning of my falconry career, at last!