Last weekend, we were back at Piceance Creek/East Douglas for a quick trip to see the horses. While there, we met up with new friend and fellow wild horse lover, Rachel Reeves (she is too much fun – thanks for joining us Rachel!). Not far into the HMA, we came upon some horses and got out to photograph.

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Bachelor stallions

Hi Rachel! 🙂

While we were out, I kept hearing screams – youngster screams. After the bachelors moved off, I tried to determine where the calls were coming from. And then I spotted them. I asked Rachel if she was game for photographing something other than horses for a minute and of course, she was.

This was a good location for these baby red-tailed hawks. I couldn’t safely climb up from any angle.

Aren’t they amazing? Momma hawk buzzed us a few times, so we didn’t stay long, but finding these guys made me think about some of the other wildlife Tom and I have seen while in search of the wild horses. So, I thought I’d share some of those images with you just for fun. The ranges have so much to offer and the variety of wildlife is part of the appeal. I don’t know exactly what all of these creatures are, so I will give only location if I’m not certain and maybe some of you can fill in the blanks.

In no particular order and certainly not fully representative of what’s out there. 🙂

Close enough to the Piceance Creek HMA to include, a family of bald eagles.

The little eaglet calls out to its parents

Pryor Mountain HMA in Montana

Handheld image taken with a long lens very early morning - so not crystal clear - of a black bear. Pryor Mountains, MT

Lucky dragonfly - Big Horn Canyon - Pryor Mountains, MT

Toad. Not sure what kind. Big Horn Canyon, Pryor Mtns, MT

Turkey vulture - Big Horn Canyon, Pryor Mtns., MT

Horned lark - McCullough Peaks HMA near Cody, WY

Desert cottontail - McCullough Peaks HMA, WY

Pronghorn - Green Mtn HMA, Wyoming

Sage grouse - Green Mtn HMA, WY

Elk - White Mountain HMA near Rock Springs, WY

Meadowlark - White Mountain HMA, WY

Killdeer - Salt Wells HMA, WY

Badger - Salt Wells HMA, WY

Pronghorn - Salt Wells HMA, WY

Mule deer - Adobe Town HMA, WY

I have no idea what these little guys are (Meadow lark?), but they were so well camouflaged that I almost stepped on them! McCullough Peaks HMA, WY

Baby birds - McCullough Peaks HMA, WY

MacGillvray’s warbler - Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, CO

Bull snake - McCullough Peaks HMA, WY

Chipmunk - Chippy. They're all chippies to me. 🙂 Red Desert , WY

Bluebird - Fifteen Mile HMA, WY

Grasshopper - Red Desert, WY

Coyote - Fifteen Mile HMA, WY

Dragonfly - Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, CO

Duck - Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, CO

Shackleford Banks, Outer Banks, NC

A little bird hitchhiking on the back of a Banker pony (which they are sometimes called). Shackleford Banks, Outer Banks, NC

Shackleford Banks, Outer Banks, NC

Shackleford Banks, Outer Banks, NC

Chippy - Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, CO

Lizard - Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, CO

Horned toad - McCullough Peaks HMA, WY

Corolla, Outer Banks, NC

Corolla - Outer Banks, NC

North Carolina deer - Corolla, Outer Banks, NC

Corolla, Outer Banks, NC

Geese - Corolla, Outer Banks, NC

Carrot Island - Outer Banks, NC

I have no idea what kind of bird, but they sang beautifully and had a mud nest close to the red-tailed hawks. Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, CO

At the entrance to the mud nest. Piceance Creek HMA, CO

Proximity of the mud nest to the hawk's nest - Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, CO

Location and view of the mud nest. Coyotes were yipping in the valley while I took these pictures. Very eerie since their voices echoed all around me.

Brewer's Blackbird - Fifteen Mile HMA, WY

Some kind of ground squirrel - Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, CO

Jerusalem cricket - Salt Wells HMA, WY.

Burrowing owl - Sand Wash Basin HMA, CO

Robins bathing - Pryor Mtn HMA, MT

Golden eagle - Adobe Town HMA, WY

Red-tailed hawk - Adobe Town HMA, WY

Bighorn ram - Little Book Cliffs HMA, CO

Northern Shrike - Fifteen Mile HMA, WY

Rattlesnake - Sand Wash Basin HMA, CO

Prairie falcon - Dishpan Butte HMA, WY

Solitary sandpiper - Great Divide Basin HMA, WY

Marmot - Pryor Mtn HMA, MT

Jackrabbit - McCullough Peaks HMA, WY

Cottontail - Sand Wash Basin HMA, CO

Pronghorn babies - McCullough Peaks HMA, WY

While I love and admire all the wildlife, the only reason I have any of these photos to share with you is because I went out specifically to see the wild horses. They are the main attraction. They are my passion, my inspiration and they are what draws me out to these remote and remarkable locations.

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

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It’s that time of year when we start seeing the babies! This is Tiaga from the McCullough Peaks HMA with her 2010 foal. She has been a long-time companion to the impressive gray stallion Major (https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/major-mccullough-peaks-wy-stallion/).

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“White Dream”

January 29, 2011

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It is the hope of both the artist and myself that the “White Dream” painting will come to benefit our wild horses and also be informative. Thank you Gates for your honesty and willingness to share your talent for the wild ones.

An older post about the awesome band stallion Major from McCullough Peaks:
https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/major-mccullough-peaks-wy-stallion/

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(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction or downloading permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images. To share, click on the blog entry title. The permanent link will be displayed in your browser’s address bar. Copy this address to share.)

Wild horse prints and other products are available on my website: www.NickolesPhotography.com

McCullough Peaks family. The band stallion is on the far right – his name is Handsome. Very appropriate don’t you think?

I just received a letter from the United States Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management) regarding the proposed implementation of a fertility control field darting program for the McCullough Peaks HMA. The EA (Environmental Assessment) is available to read online at: McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area.

Reviewers of the EA have 30 days to comment. Comments should be addressed to Patricia L. Hatle, BLM-CYFO, 1002 Blackburn Ave., Cody, WY 82414 and postmarked no later than February 22, 2011. Comments can also be e-mailed no later than close of business on February 22, 2011, to: Cody_wymail@blm.gov

Just a little bit of information that I can offer regarding the information above. Field darting means the use of the one year version of the fertility control drug, PZP. The 2-year PZP requires putting horses into chutes for application and has been shown to have very unpredictable results. I know there is a lot of opposition to the use of PZP in any form, but let me offer these thoughts to consider – and this is addressing just this particular herd and is just my personal opinion.

The McCullough Peaks HMA has boundaries. The horses are no longer free roaming so realistically, some form of management must be implemented. I’ve been out to this HMA many times and I’ve spoken at length with the Range Specialist (Tricia Hatle). I’ve been told that the horses cannot be managed successfully by predation (a viable option for say, the Pryor Mtn HMA if mountain lions were no longer hunted there). There is no prey base. There is only a very small population of deer and research has indicated that the area is also too open to attract predatory animals such as wolves (who do occassionally pass through) or mountain lions.

So, if this is the case, it seems to me that the least invasive and more humane management program is field darting. If successful, (dare we dream) helicopter roundups may eventually become unnecessary for this HMA. And should the horse population exceed the AML at some point, bait trapping for adoptable candidates could be employed. To me, this is a much better alternative to the ripping apart of family bands as they try to escape a helicopter and the indiscriminate removal of unadoptable, long-term holding bound, sale authority aged horses – the leaders and teachers of the young. Just some food for thought. I encourage everyone to do their own research into the issue. Here is a link to another post about PZP that offers even more information: http://springcreekwild.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/love-triangle/

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(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction or downloading permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images. To share, click on the blog entry title. The permanent link will be displayed in your browser’s address bar. Copy this address to share.)

Wild horse prints and other products are available on my website: www.NickolesPhotography.com

Band stallion Major from the McCullough Peaks HMA near Cody, Wyoming. In this photo, he’s sparring with other stallions that are challenging him for his family.

(Click on the image for a larger/sharper view)

The “Email Subscription” link automatically alerts you to new posts. Stay updated and subscribe today!

(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction or downloading permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images. To share, click on the blog entry title. The permanent link will be displayed in your browser’s address bar. Copy this address to share.)

Wild horse prints and other products are available on my website: www.NickolesPhotography.com

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