Migrations, Mushrooms and More – Bitterroot Outdoor Journal
Bob Danley, our Bitterroot Outdoor Journal guy, volunteered to watch the hawk migration on the valley's MPG Ranch east of Lolo recently. The private ranch has two main observation points and Bob saw a variety of hawks - Rough-legged, Cooper's, Harrier, Red-tailed, osprey, bald eagle and a "wing-tagged" golden eagle. The blue tags are easier to see on the bird than a metal leg band. Raptor View Research has worked with MPG Ranch and has tagged 350 migrating eagles and 70 wintering birds since 2004. There's a website to explain the project. It has an incredible graphic showing locations of the birds.
Down on the ground, Bob saw another butterfly - under a Bitterroot pear tree. (Yes, we have some of those.) The Hoary Comma was drinking pear juice from a fallen pear up Bass Creek. That butterfly species overwinters as adults. And a strange-looking mushroom that doesn't look like a mushroom - the Coral Fungus of the genus Ramaria (see photo below). He saw two other colorful mushrooms - Zeller's Bolete with a dark blue cap and the Blue-green Strophoria. He said the first hard frost will stop the mushroom growth. By the way, don't eat 'em unless you have expert guidance. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Thursday mornings at about 7:45 a.m. on KLYQ 1240 AM and on klyq.com and on the cellphone with the free KLYQ app.