The Lookout
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Monday, September 12, 2016 - 2:45pm David Cronenwett

All about the prairie falcon.

Often, it is the charismatic and spectacular that draws people to nature. When wildlife is depicted onscreen for example, we’ll usually see images of large mammals and skillful predators; bears, wolves, lions, bison, elk, all doing their thing amidst some gorgeous and wild landscape. Birding is no different, with raptors garnering much of the public’s awe and attention. This shouldn’t be surprising: hawks, owls, and eagles are majestic predators that have been honored by human cultures for millennia, appearing in art, literature, and oral histories. For many birders though, it is the falcons that hold a special place among birds of prey.

Prairie Falcon, Bozeman, Birding, MT Audubon

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 11:24am David Cronenwett

The season of the American robin.

Despite the predictably-unpredictable weather this time of year, spring is in fact, upon us. For me, one of the simple joys of the season is during early morning, when robin song often sifts in to my dreams. It is a lovely and humane means of greeting the day. Throughout their range, robins are frequently the first to begin singing before dawn and the last to stop in evening’s twilight. The American robin (Turdus migratorious) could be the most well-known and regularly observed native bird in the country. Robins were named early on by North American colonists who saw a resemblance to the European robin. However, the two birds are not closely related; ours are members of the thrush family and the European version is classed with the Old World chats and flycatchers. Both species do sport a rusty breast though, which accounts for the misplaced association long ago.

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