Looking Out for Raptors

 

Assisting on a Montana raptor population survey more than a decade ago, Subaru owner Byron Crow observed a peregrine falcon screaming across the sky, ripping through the air directly overhead. "It dove straight at us, and, like a bolt of blue lightning, the falcon was gone," he recalled. "Sitting there, watching as the peregrine effortlessly turned its head to keep watch on us, but contorting its body with absolute control, I was forever transfixed to this bird."

 

Still drawn to the power of these magnificent raptors, Crow is the executive director and lead biologist of the Montana Raptor Institute for Research and Education (MTRI).

 

On any given day, Byron Crow might be driving, hiking, or rafting through miles of Montana wilderness to survey cliffs for sites of peregrine falcons, ospreys, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, and other raptors. In addition to his dedicated fieldwork, Crow presents educational programs all over Montana. He relies on his 2008 Subaru Legacy Outback 2.5i -- nicknamed "Goat" after the powerful, graceful mountain goats he often sees at his research cliff sites -- to get there.

 

Crow's Subaru suits his life at home, too. He and his wife, Kathy, enjoy hiking, rafting, fly-fishing, and sharing Glacier National Park with friends and family. Dogs Grizzy and Orvis round out the household and, according to Crow, "… constantly remind us that they come first."

 

"Contrary to my beliefs, my wife still insists that the dogs did not pick out the Outback," Crow said, "but even she believes that she saw the dogs drive by on their way to the lake one hot July day."

 

MTRI is located in Polson, Montana. To learn more about it, visit www.mtfalcon.org.

 

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