Sacajawea Audubon

Bridger Raptor Fest – Oct. 3-5, 2014

RaptorBannerLogoNoDateIt's time for the 18th Annual Bridger Raptor Festival, October 3rd, 4th & 5th at Bridger Bowl!  Sacajawea Audubon is excited to be a co-host this year and will be offering several new children's activities.

Friday night kicks off at the Museum of the Rockies with keynote speaker, Peter Sherrington, founder and research director of the Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation.  Saturday and Sunday's events begin at 10 a.m. at both Saddle Peak and Jim Bridger Lodge at Bridger Bowl.  There will be LOTS of family activities including: Build a Bird House, Binocular Target Practice, Face Painting, Nature Journaling, Sketch a Bird, Raptor ID with Steve Hoffman, Digusting Side of Nature with Steve Eshbaugh and live raptor presentations.  Dan Ellison will also be giving a talk on the nesting Merlins and American Kestrels in Helena.  There will be an up-to-date raptor count board at the Montana Audubon/Sacajawea Audubon booth for you to see what birds are being seen up at the Bridger Hawk Count site.Bridger Raptor Fest is FREE and a great family-friendly, community event.  So grab the kids & grandkids, (but please no dogs) and come up to Bridger Raptor Fest!

For more information and festival schedule, go to:

Peregrine Falcon - Photo by Kalon  Baughan

Peregrine Falcon - Photo by Kalon Baughan



Bridger Raptor Festival Raffle!

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

Be one of 2 winners of a 2014/2015 Bridger Bowl Season Pass (value of $699).  Sacajawea Audubon and Montana Audubon are raffling off two Bridger Bowl ski passes.  The proceeds support the Bridger Mountains Raptor Count, which features the largest known concentration of fall migrating Golden Eagles in the lower 48.

Raffle tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50.  The drawing will be held Nov. 10, 2014 at the Sacajawea Audubon monthly program, which begins at 7 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church.

To purchase a raffle ticket and help support this important research project in our own backyard, email:


Fall Migration Field Trip – Sept. 6th

Fall Migration Field Trip

Burrowing Owl - Photo by Lou Ann Harris

Burrowing Owl - Photo by Lou Ann Harris

Saturday, September 6, 2014
Trip Leader: Robin Wolcott 406-581-5418
Meet at 7:45 am at the Museum of the Rockies. Carpool and leave at 8 am.

September is the peak of fall migration with an amazing diversity of birds passing through Montana. This field trip will take advantage of the many birding opportunities in the Headwaters State Park and Three Forks area. The trip will last until early afternoon but let’s be prepared for anything. Bring a lunch. Bring a scope if you have one. Bring your enthusiasm and your flexibility.

To reserve a spot on the trip or for more information contact the trip leader.

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September Program – “Raven, The Trickster”

Photo by Paulette Epple

Photo by Paulette Epple

Join Sacajawea Audubon Monday, September 8th at 7 p.m. as we begin a new season of educational and fun monthly programs.

Birds are compelling for reasons beyond their beauty, amazing flight, and fascinating behaviors. They inspire myths and stories that instruct, amuse, and intrigue us.

Jim Garry is one of those special people who has studied the folklore of many cultures, experienced the natural world deeply, especially the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and weaves that knowledge into spellbinding stories. Come join us as we learn about the multi-faceted raven.

Sacajawea Audubon Society meets the second Monday of the month (September through May) at 7:00 p.m., at the Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf Street (off of South 19th) in Bozeman. We invite the public to attend our meetings and participate in our field trips.

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SAS Declares War on Burdock – Volunteers Needed!

A Chickadee killed by BurdockVolunteers needed to help in the "War on Burdock!"

Sacajawea Audubon is working in August to eradicate burdock from some of our favorite trails.  This nasty introduced plant has Velcro-like seed heads that entrap songbirds, slowly causing their deaths .  You may know burdock from brushing against it and getting the burs caught in your hair, your clothes, or your dog's fur.  Lucky for us this plant is a biennial and so it is possible to gain control of it without the use of chemicals.  If we can keep a stand of burdock from setting seed by clipping off the seed heads early, it will eventually die out.

Hard working, determined Sacajawea Audubon volunteers have been removing burdock from East Gallatin Recreation Area, the 'M' Trailhead, Drinking Horse Mountain Trail, Sourdough Trail, Gallagator Trail, and other areas around Bozeman. So far we have hauled out over 25 thirty gallon bags of nasty burs filled with seeds! Two new work days have been set. Join us if you can at any of these dates and locations:

Aug. 26th - Bozeman Fish Technology Center (drive in and park at the bottom of the hill)

Aug. 27th -  The "M" Trailhead (another patch has been found)

We will meet each morning at 7:30 am.  Bring pruning clippers if you have them and wear gloves, long sleeves and long pants, all of fabrics that burs won't adhere to.  Plan to work for an hour or two.  Whatever time you can afford.  With your help, we will win this war!

Contact Paulette Epple  at    or   580-6186  for more information.



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Congratulations to Paulette & Peter!

Each year Montana Audubon recognizes outstanding individuals who work on conservation in Montana.  The following people received awards at the 2014 Bird Festival in Bozeman:

Paulette Epple - Conservationist of the Year Award

Paulette Epple, the recipient of Montana Audubon’s 2014 Conservationist of the Year Award, is honored for her conservation in her local community. She is recognized for her role in protecting Story Mill Community Park, Bozeman’s newest city park. This 54-acre site is a wonderful natural area, and includes a portion of the East Gallatin River.

Paulette Epple received the Conservationist of the Year Award

Paulette Epple received the Conservationist of the Year Award

 Through this project, Paulette facilitated a budding partnership between Sacajawea Audubon and The Trust for Public Land, and she rallied Audubon members to write letters of support to the Bozeman City Commission and to deliver testimony at two public meetings during the approval process.

With Audubon membership support, Paulette has installed 13 nest boxes on the property, organized and led several field trips, and conducted bird surveys, building a bird list of over 80 species. The result? In March 2014, the Bozeman City Commission approved the Story Mill Community Park project, which is now slated to become Bozeman’s largest community park.

Paulette’s volunteer efforts and dedication are exemplary.

Peter Norlander - Special Achievement Award

Peter Norlander received this year’s Special Achievement Award as an individual who has been a committed and active volunteer for the Bozeman area chapter, Sacajawea Audubon—as well as an active member of the Montana Audubon Board of Directors.

Peter Norlander
Peter Norlander received his Special Achievement award at the Bird Festival in Bozeman.

An enthusiastic birder and mimicker of bird calls, Peter first served as Sacajawea Audubon’s programs chair, later as a Board member, and even later as president of the Board for two terms. He has led field trips out of Bozeman to look for owls and for International Migratory Bird Day; and he participates in two local Christmas Bird Counts most years.

Peter enjoys contributing to Citizen Science projects, specifically helping with bird surveys on the Yellowstone River, in Ennis, and on Hebgen Lake.

In addition, Montana Audubon has also been fortunate to have Peter’s enthusiasm as the Vice President of its Board of Directors, as well as an at-large Board member.

Congratulations to Paulette & Peter!

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Thank You to our Local Festival Sponsors!

Calliope Hummingbird by Andrew Guttenburg

Calliope Hummingbird by Andrew Guttenburg

Sacajawea Audubon would like to give a big THANK YOU to all our local sponsors that supported the 2014 Wings Across The Big Sky bird festival, held June 6-8th:

Bozeman Tourist Business Improvement District

Owenhouse Ace Hardware


Bridger Bowl

Big Sky Resort

Lewis & Clark Motel

Mystery Ranch Backpacks

Northern Lights

Community Food Co-op

Jim Dolan

Carol Guzman

Nicklin Earth & Water

Gallatin National Forest

Western Cafe

Allegra Printing

GranTree Inn/Best Western



June 29th Field Trip – Rocky Mountain Road Bluebird Trail

Mountain Bluebird fledging - L. Harris photo

Mountain Bluebird fledging - L. Harris photo

Leader:  Janne Hayward, 587-6124  **(TRIP FULL)**

(1/2 day, driving gravel roads)

Get up close and personal with Mountain Bluebirds.  Join bluebirders Janne Hayward and Lou Ann Harris as they check bluebird nest boxes and band adults and nestlings along Rocky Mountain Road.  This is a rare opportunity to get an inside look at the lives of these amazing birds, including nest building, egg laying and raising young.  Due to the sensitive nature of the work, we are limiting this field trip to 6 participants.  Inclement weather will cancel the trip.  If there is enough interest, a second trip will be added Monday, June 30th.

Participants in this trip will meet at the N. 19th Rest Area at 7:30 a.m.  Car pools will be arranged there; an offer to help with gas to the driver is always appreciated but not mandatory.  Dress for the weather;  good footwear is a must as field trip conditions are not always dry.  Turn off your cell phones and keep unnecessary conversations to a minimum.  Some field trips are limited to a certain number of participants.  Contact the trip leader for more details about any trip, and to sign up for the trip.  We encourage beginning birders to participate.  Come have a good time and learn something new.



Madison Valley IBA Bird Census – June 25th


Wilson's Snipe - Photo by Hobart Collins

Wilson's Snipe - Photo by Hobart Collins

On Wednesday, June 25th, we will conduct our next bird survey of the Madison Valley IBA to record the breeding birds currently around.  (We have moved to a Wednesday due to the recreational use on Ennis Lake in the summer.)  With all the birds back there will be a incredible diversity with over 80 species usually recorded.  Let Paulette Epple know if you can join us for a morning in the Madison Valley collecting data on our IBA.

We will meet at the Ennis Pharmacy Café and be ready to head out at 7:00 am.  The Café opens early at 6 am for early breakfasts for those that wish to eat there.  If you can help, email Paulette at or call 580-6186 to let her know.


Yellow Warbler - Photo by Hobart Collins

Yellow Warbler - Photo by Hobart Collins


June 14th Field Trip – Kelly Canyon

Mountain Bluebird  (L. Harris)

Mountain Bluebird (L. Harris)

Leader:  Ron Farmer, 586-3987

(driving and walking along gravel roads)

This trip passes through open fields, then climbs past dry juniper covered hillsides, mature wetlands, mixed woodlands, and eventually reaches into the conifer forest.  Bluebirds, towhees, kingbirds, hummingbirds, warblers, grosbeaks, and tanagers are just a few of the species that we should see along this route.  Four car limit.

Participants in all trips will meet at the front parking lot of the Museum of the Rockies at 6:45 a.m., and depart at 7:00 a.m. unless otherwise noted.  Car pools will be arranged at the museum; an offer to help with gas to the driver is always appreciated but not mandatory.  Dress for the weather;  good footwear is a must as field trip conditions are not always dry.  Turn off your cell phones and keep unnecessary conversations to a minimum.  Some field trips are limited to a certain number of participants.  Contact the trip leader for more details about any trip, and to sign up for the trip.  We encourage beginning birders to participate.  Come have a good time and learn something new.

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