In another example on how natural features are inter-related, Bob Danley talked about Rocky Mountain Juniper berries and a little bird on the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal this week at KLYQ. The juniper is a long-lived tree, related to the Cedar trees, and can be up to 20 feet tall. It produces seeds that are enclosed in a fleshy, berry-like cone. The pea-sized berries are the main winter diet feature for a robin-sized bird called the Townsend's Solitaire (see photo below). The gray bird winters in the Bitterroot Valley and eats juniper berries - tens of thousands of them.

The solitaire likes to perch on at the top of its favorite juniper or on the top of a nearby tree. The birds spend the summers farther west in Oregon. Meanwhile, the juniper just keeps growing. In fact, a juniper in Utah is estimated to be at least 1,500 years old. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard weekly on KLYQ 1240 AM and on Thursday mornings about 7:50 a.m. This week, it will be part of the Friday morning Event Show, November 16, at 8 a.m.

townsends solitaire
Townsend's Solitaire atop a juniper. (Bob Danley Photo)

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