Meet Our Equines, Our Partners…
Horses are at the heart of Dunrovin Ranch. They are our business partners, our friends, our soul mates, and our sources of great satisfaction and wonder. We can’t get enough of them: those who live among us, with whom we form strong bonds; those who take our spirits with them as they run free in parts of wild Montana; those in need of our kindness and help; those who spring off of an artist’s canvas, through a photographer’s lens, or from the pages of an author’s story; and those who have passed over yet remain deeply embedded in our hearts. We are captivated by horses of every shape, size, breed, and disposition. We are curious about every part of their being. We exalt in the many ways in which they interact with humans. We eagerly seek to understand their important role in mankind’s history. They enrich our lives – and we strive to enrich theirs. We are committed to taking the best possible care of our own herd, and we have partnered with the Montana Horse Sanctuary to help try to help Montana horses in need.
Dunrovin’s Donkey DIVAS: Miss Gertie and Miss Maude…
Eccentric women are a staple at Dunrovin – SuzAnne comes from a long line of such women on both sides of her family. These two mischievous sister donkeys fit right into that tradition. Just like SuzAnne’s Grandmother Gertrude, Miss Gertie is the older, daring and bossy sister who loves to kick up her heels. And much like SuzAnne’s Great Aunt Maude, Miss Maude can be very opinionated but also has a sweet, cooperative nature and is all too easily influenced by Miss Gertie. The running and bucking around the barnyard generally starts with Miss Gertie – but Miss Maude is rarely far behind and they can whip each other into a total frenzy. They LOVE entertaining people with their antics, parading about town, and celebrating each and every holiday donned in appropriate attire. A true source of comic relief, it is almost impossible to be the presence of the Divas without a breaking into a smile.
Dunrovin’s Best and Oldest Friends!
Dogs make us human. There’s evidence that as humans began to live with dogs our frontal lobes grew along with our visual cortexes. Dogs, on the other hand, developed a more acute sense of smell and hearing. Where our capacity to reason expanded, the regions of the brain that deal with emotion expanded in dogs. Which is to say: we are their eyes, they are our ears; we help them think, they help us feel. If you’ve ever loved a dog, you know what we mean. At Dunrovin, dogs tag along with us during our chores, keep us company in the cold, and remind us to have fun. Jewel, our black lab pit bull mix from the local animal shelter is the consummate trail dog. She lives to fetch, swim, and lead the herd down the trail. Kola, our little Jack Russell “Terrorist” is probably the most entitled creature to ever grace this earth. It’s all about him and he’s more than happy to tell you so. Our staff bring their dogs to work each day and the entire ranch has literally gone to the dogs!
Discover the Ospreys of Dunrovin…
Dunrovin wouldn’t be Dunrovin without our osprey nest and all the birds that visit us throughout the year. For years, Ozzie and Harriet have returned to rear chicks, and this is the place to discover their whole story, including the tragic loss of Ozzie in the summer of 2014. These two were models of perseverance, hope, and diligence. You can also find all of our talk about birds of many stripes, not just raptors. If you’re new to our osprey camera or need a recap, take a look here. You can watch archives, as well as get to know what it’s like to share our lives with these amazing birds.
…and Birds of all Kinds
Dunrovin Ranch’s location along the Bitterroot River, with its riparian cottonwood forest, makes it a magnet for birds of all kinds. The ospreys, of course, demand top billing with the enormous nest that is a centerpiece of the ranch and their boisterous family life is a hallmark of Dunrovin’s summers. But they are not the only birds that call Dunrovin home or pay a visit. Sparrows make their own nests in the lower catacombs of the osprey nest; other raptors including bald eagles and Cooper’s hawks use the nest as a vantage point when searching for prey; woodpeckers, flickers, and magpies stop by. Dunrovin also maintains several wild bird cafeterias that attract everything from gold finches to stunning colored wood ducks. The river is home to kingfishers, great blue herons, and many ducks and geese. Golden eagles and red-tailed hawks soar overhead. The fields attract meadowlarks and bluebirds, and flocks of snow geese during their annual migration. Berry-laden bushes are swarmed by the waxwings, and wild turkeys and grouse strut across the lawns. Many of these birds can be easily seen via our web cameras.