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Kalispell, Montana 406-257-7021
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Saw-whet owl fledgling Spring Brook Ranch
Saw-whet owl fledgling that we found
in the corral after a wind storm (He is OK)
frosty morning Spring Brook Ranch
A frosty winter morning

juvenile badger Spring Brook Ranch

We have a healthy population of Columbian Ground Squirrels on the ranch that are prey to many species, including badgers and raptors. It is common in early summer for badger moms to drop off their cubs from the previous year in a field of squirrels and then sneak off to give birth to her next litter. These adolescent siblings are very playful, reminding us of puppies the way they chase each other and play fight.

immature bald eagle in flight Spring Brook Ranch

Our healthy ground squirrel population also attracts raptors. This is a juvenile Bald Eagle, it's head will turn white as it matures. Red Tail and Cooper's hawks stop by the ranch on their annual migration to enjoy a ground squirrel snack. In the ponderosa pine forest we find Great Horned Owls.

Maggi the Mule Spring Brook Ranch
Maggi the Mule
bison bull in snow Spring Brook Ranch
bison bull in winter
cow moose in pond Spring Brook Ranch
Moose are common visitors to the ranch
and the pond behind the house
Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park
Mountain Goat above Hidden Lake
in Glacier National Park

baby Barn Swallows on nest Spring Brook Ranch

Baby Barn Swallows on nest in our garage. The same pair has been nesting there for years, they fly in and out through an open window. We really like swallows and try to provide them with good nesting sites. As a result we have hundreds of barn and tree swallows around the house that are constantly on patrol for mosquitoes.

black bear family in a tree Spring Brook Ranch

The ranch has hundreds of apple trees that were planted 80 or more years ago. These trees have gone wild and are now in mature evergreen forest that grew up through the old orchards after they were no longer tended. These old orchard sites are strong attractants to wildlife, especially bears. In the fall bears experience hyperphagia, a period of excessive gorging, as they put on fat for their winter slumbers. We find piles of bear scat that are filled with apple peel and seeds. Lots of scat, like cow pies everywhere, only bear. The bears cause us no trouble and since the apple trees have been there almost a century we consider them part of the natural environment.

Bison Yearlings on the run Spring Brook Ranch
yak yearlings in the corral Spring Brook Ranch
Copyright 2010, Jim Watson, All Rights Reserved