Find Skulkers by ‘Spishing or Pishing’
When looking for birds in dense, shaded areas, birders use the techniques of Spishing or Pishing to find the hidden birds - known as Skulkers. This week's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal leads you to an Audubon link on how to attract birds by using your voice. Bob Danley of the Outdoor Journal also described how Skulkers like the Gray Catbird can mimic other birds and even other animals to confuse you. The bird (photo above) is about the size of a Robin and can even mimic a cat.
What can you see in the Bitterroot Valley this week? The hot weather has brought out the butterflies. You can find them at mudpuddles, where they get nourishment. Bob saw the Pale Swallowtail, which has about a 3 inch wingspan (photo below). Dragonflies enjoy the warm weather, too. The Western Red Damsel (photo below) is out and about. Though it's pretty small, this dragonfly is definitely red. You can find it near water - ditches, creeks or ponds. June and July are the best times to see it.
Bob has been highlighting some shrubs in the weekly report (heard Wednesdays at about 7:45 a.m. on 1240 AM KLYQ and klyq.com). This week was the Snowbrush evergreen shrub (photo below) which needs fire for seeds to germinate. It has small white flowers and can be up to 5 feet tall.
Wildflowers all overtaking everything in Western Montana. Over 83 species are flowering right now. That includes three types of violets - the Sand Violet, the Smooth Yellow Violet and the Smooth White Violet (photos below). The Yellow Violet is the largest and can be a foot high in moist forests. Get out there and enjoy the bustling natural world around you.