Sacajawea Audubon
17May/150

May 23rd Field Trips – Triple Tree Trail & Sweetgrass Co. Prairie Birding

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird

May 23: Triple Tree Trail
Leader: Loreene Reid 600-6666
pres@sacajaweaaudubon.org
(5 hour trip; moderately strenuous climbing 500 ft, 4 miles)
As this trail climbs the hillside it passes through a number of habitats, and transitional edges between them. At the bottom of the mountain, grassland quickly gives way to brushy deciduous habitat as the trail crosses Limestone Creek, where Ruffed Grouse, Calliope Hummingbirds, and Lazuli Buntings are some of the birds to expect. The trail then ascends through Douglas fir and lodgepole pine forests with a wide variety of nesting birds, including Cassin’s Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, and Western Tanager. This trip features perhaps the greatest diversity of any short hike in the Gallatin Valley. 12 person limit

Long-billed Curlew

Long-billed Curlew

 

 

May 23: Sweetgrass County Prairie Bird Tour
Leader: Beth Madden 406-224-1012 bethmadden64@gmail.com
(The 5-6 hour driving tour should wrap up by early- afternoon)
We will follow an approximately 40-mile long driving route through prairie and agricultural landscapes north of Big Timber. Past trips have yielded Long-billed Curlews, Sandhill Cranes, raptors, and prairie songbirds from Bobolinks to longspurs. Stops at wetlands will yield water birds. (Big Timber is 63 miles east of Bozeman on Interstate 90). Meet in Big Timber at the Town Pump located at I-90 Exit 367 at 8:00 AM for car- pooling

Participants in all trips will meet at the front parking lot of the Museum of the Rockies at 6:45 AM and depart at 7:00 AM unless otherwise noted. Car pools will be arranged at the museum; an offer to help with gas to the person driving 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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3May/150

Story Mill Community Park Bird Walks

Yellow Warbler - Photo by Hobart Collins

Yellow Warbler - Photo by Hobart Collins

Calling all Bird Lovers,

Coming this spring Sacajawea Audubon will be offering guided bird walks to the developing Story Mill Community Park. Members of Sacajawea Audubon will lead these morning outings to see the many bird species that call the Story Mill area their home. Six dates on Thursdays and Saturdays in May and early June will be offered for bird walks.

The dates of the Walks are:

Thursdays, May 7, May 21st, and June 4th

Saturdays, May 16th, May 30th, and June 13th.

The time is 8-9:30 am.

We will meet on Story Mill Rd across from the Mill Elevator, at the trailhead of the Story Spur Trail.

Please contact Martha to sign up: marthacoll@msn.com or call 579 0506

Bring your binoculars, your eyes and your ears for a unique birding experience.

Space is limited.

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2May/150

2015 Spring Field Trip Schedule

Western Meadowlark (Photo by Lou Ann Harris)

Western Meadowlark (Photo by Lou Ann Harris)

Participants in all trips will meet at the front parking lot of the Museum of the Rockies at 6:45 AM and depart at 7:00 AM unless otherwise noted. Car pools will be arranged at the museum; an offer to help with gas to the person driving 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.

➢May 9: Headwaters State Park
Leader: Martha Collins 586-9478 or 579-0506
marthacoll@msn.com (1/2 day trip; easy walking)
The Headwaters area includes a variety of habitats, including sage/grassland and riparian, so anything from waterfowl to sparrows can occur. One of the unique features of the Headwaters area are the limestone cliffs, which support several cliff nesting species such as Prairie Falcons and White-throated Swifts. The park, which is situated along the Missouri River corridor, is an ideal location to observe early spring migrants. Those wishing to meet at the Headwaters area contact the trip leader. 15 person limit.

➢May 9: Shields Valley Driving Tour
Leader: Forrest Rowland 814-573-1391 rowbird2005@gmail.com.
(Options for half to full day)
Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by visiting Shields Valley’s birding hot spots with local guides. The array of habitats visited will range from dense riparian, lush agricultural, shortgrass prairie, and sage flats at lower elevations, up through mixed Douglas Fir and Pine forests to high-elevation Sub-alpine Fir, depending on road conditions. We will also spend plenty of time birding Cottonwood Reservoir , which will surely be loaded with waterfowl and shorebirds at this peak time of year. Options for half- to full day.
Meet at the Clyde Park Post Office parking lot, at 7:00 AM for car-pooling.

➢May 16: Old Town Road and Milligan Canyon
Leader: Tom Forwood 570-6432 fwptforwood@gmail.com
(1/2 day trip; mostly driving with light walking on roads)
This trip begins along the cottonwood bottomlands of the Jefferson River, and then abruptly moves into dry greasewood/sage scrubland habitat. Birds along this section will range from Dusky Flycatchers and Bullock’s Orioles, to Sage Thrashers and Brewer’s Sparrows. The route then cuts through the arid limestone cliffs of Milligan Canyon. Canyon Wrens, Rock Wrens, and Spotted Towhees frequent this dry landscape. Golden Eagles and Pinyon Jays are also a possibility along this portion of the trip. 15 person limit

➢May 23: Triple Tree Trail
Leader: Loreene Reid 600-6666
pres@sacajaweaaudubon.org
(5 hour trip; moderately strenuous climbing 500 ft, 4 miles)
As this trail climbs the hillside it passes through a number of habitats, and transitional edges between them. At the bottom of the mountain, grassland quickly gives way to brushy deciduous habitat as the trail crosses Limestone Creek, where Ruffed Grouse, Calliope Hummingbirds, and Lazuli Buntings are some of the birds to expect. The trail then ascends through Douglas fir and lodgepole pine forests with a wide variety of nesting birds, including Cassin’s Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, and Western Tanager. This trip features perhaps the greatest diversity of any short hike in the Gallatin Valley. 12 person limit

➢May 23: Sweetgrass County Prairie Bird Tour
Leader: Beth Madden 406-224-1012 bethmadden64@gmail.com
(The 5-6 hour driving tour should wrap up by early- afternoon)
We will follow an approximately 40-mile long driving route through prairie and agricultural landscapes north of Big Timber. Past trips have yielded Long-billed Curlews, Sandhill Cranes, raptors, and prairie songbirds from Bobolinks to longspurs. Stops at wetlands will yield water birds. (Big Timber is 63 miles east of Bozeman on Interstate 90). Meet in Big Timber at the Town Pump located at I-90 Exit 367 at 8:00 AM for car- pooling

➢ ➢May 30: Mount Ellis
Leader: Audrey Evers 218-742-7885 or
218-742-4335 alynnbirds@yahoo.com
(4 -5-hour trip; moderately strenuous walking 3 miles)
This slow-paced hike will explore a number of habitats on State and Forest Service lands, including grassland, aspen meadow, and conifer forest edge. At this time of year all of the nesting birds, such as Calliope Hummingbirds, Red-naped Sapsuckers, Dusky Flycatchers, Orange-crowned Warblers, and a wide variety of sparrows will have arrived on their territories. Along with terrific views of the Gallatin Valley, the wildflowers on this walk will likely distract you from the diversity of birds. 12 person limit.

➢May 30: Paradise Valley Driving Tour
Leader: Mitch Hurt 406-223-4919 wildbirdhunting@gmail.com
(Options for half- to almost full day)
Visit Paradise Valley birding hotspots with local guides – spring creeks, Yellowstone River, prairies/hillsides, and Dailey Lake. The diversity of habitat covered on the trip, along with it being the peak of songbird migration should yield a huge variety of birds. Meet at Livingston Albertson’s parking lot, northeast corner at 7:30 AM for car- pooling.

➢June 5-7: Please join us at the 2015 Montana Audubon Bird Festival in Helena, MT.
Contact Montana Audubon at (406) 443-3949 or go to www.mtaudubon.org. Come join the fun.

➢ June 13: Kelly Canyon and Battle Ridge
Leaders: Ron and Cheryl Farmer 586-3987 songbird@wispwest.net
(1/2 day trip; 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. Mountain Bluebirds, Spotted Towhees, Calliope Hummingbirds, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and Western Tanagers are just a few of the species that we should see along this route. After Kelly Canyon, this trip will continue up Bridger Canyon to Battle Ridge. At this higher elevation a new suite of breeding birds makes this area home. Williamson’s Sapsuckers, Brown Creepers, Swainson’s Thrushes are a few of the nesting species in this area. Four car limit

➢June 19: Montana's Nightjars at Lewis & Clark Caverns
Leader: Tom Forwood at 406-570-6432 fwptforwood@gmail.com
Check out Montana's two species of Nightjar, the Common Nighthawk and the more elusive Common Poorwill. The park is known for some of its interesting breeding bird species and the Poorwill is one of the more unusual. We will walk up the park road for a mile or so at dusk to check out some of the arid country daytime species such as Mountain Bluebirds, Spotted Towhees and Rock Wrens. Once it gets dark we will look for high flying Nighthawks and low lying Poorwills with the possibility for some owls and several bat species as well. We will meet at the park's campground parking area at 8:30 PM for a 90 minute to 2 hour walk. Insect repellent, good walking shoes and layering clothing for changing conditions are recommended. 15 person limit

➢June 20: The Kelly Ranch on the Gallatin River
Leader: Andrew Guttenberg 451-5427 afgutte@hotmail.com
(4-5 hour easy walking)
This trip will explore the Kelly Ranch along the Gallatin River which has been fully protected under a conservation easement with The Montana Land Reliance, Montana’s statewide land trust. The ranch includes wet meadow, cottonwood gallery forest, and dry juniper habitats. It will be at the peak of breeding season, so you can expect a wide variety of the local breeding birds to be in full song, and busy tending to their nests and young. Some of the birds that breed on the property are Sandhill Crane, Wilson’s Snipe, Gray Catbird, American Redstart, and Rock Wren. Kathryn Kelly, ranch owner and Greater Yellowstone Manager for the Montana Land Reliance will join the group to discuss a bit of history of the ranch, and the process and benefits of creating conservation easements, one of the most powerful tools to accomplish habitat protection, for birds and other wildlife. 15 person limit

➢June 27: Mission Creek
Leader: Robin Wolcott 581-5418 pajaros@wewolcotts.com
(mostly driving with light walking on roads)
(Until mid-afternoon; bring a lunch)
After leaving Bozeman, we will meet at Albertson’s parking lot in Livingston at 7:30 AM and then leave from there at 7:45 AM Car-pooling is essential.
In the rolling prairie just east of Livingston we will seek McCown’s Longspur and Long-billed Curlew. Along Little Mission Creek we will watch for riparian species, then search for residents of the spruce/fir forest. On our return along Mission Creek we could find a Cordilleran Flycatcher or a Golden Eagle. Over 130 species have been seen along this route including Sprague’s Pipit, Upland Sandpiper, Green-tailed Towhee. Spectacular views, abundant wild flowers, and wildlife make the trip through the northern foothills of the Absaroka Mountains a trip to remember. 18 person limit

➢June 28 and 29: Rocky Mountain Road Bluebird Trail
Leaders: Janne Hayward 587-6124 jannehayward@juno.com , and Lou Ann Harris 600-3585 monlou311@gmail.com
(1/2 day)
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 these field trips to 8 participants.

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1May/150

GVLT Discovery Walks offers June Bird Watching & Identification

Song Sparrow  (Photo by Lou Ann Harris)

Song Sparrow (Photo by Lou Ann Harris)

Saturday, June 6th  &  Saturday, June 11th – Bird Watching and Identification
9:00am @ Sourdough Trail (Meet at Tuckerman Park parking lot off of Goldenstein Lane.

If you’re new to birding or want to discover the “open secrets” of  Sourdough Trail, join some experienced birders for what is considered by many to be the best birding walk in the Gallatin Valley. Quiet, curious walkers will be rewarded with a handful of species sightings, a nesting site or two, and glorious birdsong within the hour. Map and bird list provided. Bring  binoculars if you have them!

  • All walks are about 1 hour long and are free.
  • You do not need to RSVP. Please arrive in a timely manner to the meeting spots listed.
  • Sorry, these walks do not allow dogs. 

 

 

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30Apr/150

Annual Sweet & Savory Social – May 11th

Annual Meeting and Sweet & Savory Social

Come join the annual Sacajawea Audubon Society Sweet & Savory social and Annual Meeting. Everyone is welcome to join SAS and share their interest in birding and conservation. The meeting will include the Sweet and Savory social and potluck, and features a program by Eli Kutsch on "Operation Osprey". Fourteen year old Eli took his love of raptors to a new level by completing a project to install an osprey nesting platform at East Gallatin Recreation Area. Please bring a sweet or savory dish to share. For more info, contact Diane Gresham, Hospitality Chair at 406-600-4801 or email dgresham@bresnan.net.

The social and potluck will start at 6 p.m. with a short meeting followed by the program at 7 p.m.

The 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.

Sweet&Savory

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30Apr/150

May 16th Field Trip – Old Town Rd. & Milligan Canyon

➢May 16: Old Town Road and Milligan Canyon
Leader: Tom Forwood 570-6432 fwptforwood@gmail.com
(1/2 day trip; mostly driving with light walking on roads)
This trip begins along the cottonwood bottomlands of the Jefferson River, and then abruptly moves into dry greasewood/sage scrubland habitat. Birds along this section will range from Dusky Flycatchers and Bullock’s Orioles, to Sage Thrashers and Brewer’s Sparrows. The route then cuts through the arid limestone cliffs of Milligan Canyon. Canyon Wrens, Rock Wrens, and Spotted Towhees frequent this dry landscape. Golden Eagles and Pinyon Jays are also a possibility along this portion of the trip. 15 person limit

 Participants in all trips will meet at the front parking lot of the Museum of the Rockies at 6:45 AM and depart at 7:00 AM unless otherwise noted. Car pools will be arranged at the museum; an offer to help with gas to the person driving 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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30Apr/150

Mid-Spring Field Trip – May 2nd

Yellow-headed Blackbird  (L. Harris)

Yellow-headed Blackbird (L. Harris)

Contact John Parker 586-5863 birdsightings@sacajaweaaudubon.org
Meet at the Museum of the Rockies at 7:30 AM, for this full day trip.

The location and direction will be determined at the time of the trip. We will visit one of this area’s larger reservoirs as the primary destination of the day. This date is between the peak of the waterfowl and songbird migrations, so the focus of the trip will be on both water birds and early passerines. Bring lunch, snacks, drinks, and bring appropriate clothing as this will be an all day adventure. Limit 12 people.

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10Apr/15Off

April 13th Program – “Hawkwatching Around The World”

Bearded Vulture (Nepal) - Photo by Sergio Seipke

Bearded Vulture (Nepal) - Photo by Sergio Seipke

Join worldclass raptor specialist, Sergio Seipke, for his presentation 'Hawkwatching Around The World'. He will share photographs and insights about raptors, their ecology and conservation gained during his recent (2012-2015) raptor tours to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Nepal, Spain, Thailand, and South Africa. Enjoy a vicarious world birding tour with the BEST!

Sergio Seipke is from Argentina. He became fascinated with raptors in 1993 and has traveled extensively ever since to watch, study, and photograph birds of prey in 15 countries. He owns the company Raptours through which he leads international tours to view raptors. His book Raptors of South America will soon be published. Copies of Raptours 2015/2016 will be available.

Sacajawea Audubon Society meets every 2nd Monday of the month, Sept. through May at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 West Graf.  Meetings start at 7:00 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Black Baza (Thailand) - Photo by Sergio Seipke

Black Baza (Thailand) - Photo by Sergio Seipke

Cinerous Harrier (Argentina) - Photo by Sergio Seipke

Cinerous Harrier (Argentina) - Photo by Sergio Seipke

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16Mar/15Off

Kestrel Nest Box Reminder

Kestrel Nest Box  (P. Epple photo)

Kestrel Nest Box (P. Epple photo)

TIME TO CLEAN THAT KESTREL BOX!

American Kestrels will be winging their way back soon, looking for nest sites and beginning to use the boxes we have put up around the valley.   If you have a kestrel nest box out now is the time to check it and clean it before the birds are back.  Remove any old dirty nesting materials.  Often boxes are used by house wrens, tree swallows, and other species, even if a kestrel hasn’t  taken advantage of the box.  Throw out old nests and scrape out debris and whitewash.  Then add 2 inches of clean softwood shavings for bedding (pine or aspen are good).  Avoid cedar shavings as they are too strongly aromatic.   Sacajawea Audubon will have bags of clean wood shavings available for free at the March 9th program.  We will also have a few kestrel boxes available for sale if you are interested in installing one.

15Mar/15Off

Spring Birding at Ennis Lake – March 28th

EnnisLakeFT

Birding at Clute's Landing, Ennis Lake

A sure cure for spring fever is lots of early spring birds! The primary focus of this trip will be the migrating waterfowl at Ennis Lake. At this time of year the ducks will be at their dazzling best in full breeding plumage, and usually in great abundance. This is also near the peak of migration for some of the larger waterfowl, such as Tundra Swans and Snow Geese. Along with the waterfowl, this trip will provide a good opportunity for finding other early migrants such as Sandhill Cranes, Tree Swallows, and Mountain Bluebirds. It is spring in Montana so be sure to be prepared for the weather, with plenty of warm layers of clothing for a day out in the elements. We will return to the museum mid afternoon, so bring a lunch and snacks.

This trip will meet at the Museum of the Rockies parking lot at 8 AM Saturday March, 28th. After arranging for carpooling, we will head for Ennis Lake at 8:15. There is a 15 person limit for the trip, so sign up early. Contact Vic Fesolowitz at 587-0221 or 539-8251 to reserve a spot.

 

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