Learn about the many birds that call Dunrovin Ranch home.
It All Started with the Ospreys!
Dunrovin Ranch was delighted to install a web camera above the ospreys' nest in 2011 as part of a University of Montana study regarding water quality in Montana rivers. Since then, the web camera has proved to be far more than a scientific instrument. It not only affords intimate looks into the fascinating world of birds, it connects bird watchers and nature lovers from across the globe and brings the wonders of nature in many homes and classrooms.
Found across the globe on every continent except Antarctic, the osprey is possibly the world's best known and most admired bird of prey. Feeding exclusively on fish, ospreys perform magnificent and dramatic plunges from the air to snatch their meals from waters of all sorts - oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Ospreys show great fidelity to their nests and breeding partners. Montana's migratory ospreys fly thousands of miles between their winter territories along the Gulf of Mexico and their summer breeding homes along Montana's rivers and lakes. Each year ospreys begin to arrive in Montana in late March to reclaim or build their nests, lay their eggs, and raise their chicks. Migration back to their winter grounds begins in September. What a blessing it is for Dunrovin Ranch to have a long established osprey nest above our barn! Learn More.
The Dunrovin Ranch osprey nest story centers on mother osprey Harriet. Harriet is truly a heroine to those of us who have watched and loved this bird through the magic of our web cameras. She has done it all. She has battled the weather, caring for her eggs and chicks through snowstorms and unrelenting heat. She suffered the loss of her long time mate Ozzie, taking over his duties at the end of the summer to successfully fledge his last chicks. Returning without a mate, she had a hectic summer selecting and training her new mate, Hal. The following year they returned together, and Hal proved himself to be a terrific partner and parent, delivering fish after fish as they raised their first two chicks together. What's next for this avian couple? Join us at the cameras as we all continue to pursue the rest of Harriet's story. Learn More.
Located along the Bitterroot River, Dunrovin is home to a wide variety of birds. After the ospreys depart in September, the ranch installs bird feeders from the nest's perch and in a nearby pine tree, creating a bird feeding haven that attracts both seed and suet eaters as well as hawks and falcons who prey on them. The web camera enables us to catch all of the action and some wonderful close-ups. Once the bears tuck themselves in for their winter to sleep, Dunrovin installs a series of thistle, seed, and suet feeders on a bench overlooking the river equipped with a second web camera. This transition zone between pasture and cottonwood forest attacks a a different mix of species for viewing. We plan to install a web camera down at the river to bring more birds and other wildlife, and even wild horses, into view. Learn More.