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 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 5th : Headwaters State Park
Leader: Annie Sisk, 285-6596 (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 12th: East Gallatin Recreation Area
Leader: Andrew Guttenberg 406-451-5427 (4 hour trip; easy walking)
This trip covers several habitats in a relatively small area. In the wet riparian areas bordering the East Gallatin River are many early spring migrants including warblers. The grasslands, brushy areas and lake will provide many opportunities for sparrows, swallows and water birds. At this location, nearly anything is possible. 15 person limit.
May 19th: Fish Technology Center
Leader: Lou Ann Harris 406-600-3585 (4 hour trip; easy walking)
Situated where Bridger Creek flows past the base of Drinking Horse Mountain, this small area is a prime birding spot. Several species of warblers, hummingbirds, flycatchers nest in the willows and dogwood along the stream, and the drier slopes of the adjoining hillsides. This is also one of the best places around to look for American Dippers. 15 person limit.
May 26th: Mount Ellis
Leader: John Parker 586-5863 (4-5 hour trip; moderately strenuous walking)
We will explore a variety of habitats including grassland, aspen meadow and conifer forest edge, while we look for late spring migrants. Some of the nesting species include Red-naped Sapsucker, Orange-crowned Warblers, White-crowned Sparrow, among others. 15 person limit.
June 2nd: Sourdough Nature Trail
Leader: Angie Kociolek 406-209-2570 (3-4 hour trip; easy walking)
After leaving the MOR parking lot, this trip will begin at the Goldenstein Lane entrance. The trail is an easy, level stroll following Sourdough Creek. This trip is at the peak of spring migration so we should see and hear a variety of flycatchers, thrushes and warblers. Some of the neotropic birds nesting here are Northern Waterthrush, American Redstart, and Black-headed Grosbeak. 12 person limit.
June 3rd: Rocky Mountain Road Bluebird Trail
Leader: Lou Ann Harris 600-3585 (1/2 day, mostly driving along gravel roads)
Get up close and personal with Mountain Bluebirds. Join bluebirders Lou Ann Harris, Diane Gresham and Janne Hayward 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. If there is enough interest, a second trip will be added Monday, June 4th. (June 3rd trip is FULL. June 4th trip has been added)
June 8-10th: Please join us at the 2012 Montana Audubon Bird Festival in Kalispell, MT.
Contact Montana Audubon at (406) 443-3949 or go to www.mtaudubon.org. This year features pre-festival workshops, Keynote speaker Peter Sherrington, and over 25 field trips, including Glacier National Park. Come join the fun.
June 9th: Lewis and Clark Caverns
Leader: Tom Forwood 406-287-3541
Meet at 8 a.m. at the main (lower) visitor's center for a walk around the grounds of the caverns. 50 species of birds have been seen on this five-hour trip and some interesting ones have turned up! Contact the leader for more information.
June 16th: Mission Creek
Leader: Robin Wolcott 581-5418 (Until mid-afternoon; bring a lunch)
After leaving Bozeman, we will meet at Albertson's parking lot in Livingston at 7:30 a.m. and then leave from there at 7:45 a.m. Carpooling is essential.
In the rolling prairie we may find McCown's Longspur, Long-billed Curlew, and raptors. In the Mission Creek Valley we will watch for residents of the spruce forest. On the return trip we may see Lark Buntings. We have seen over 110 species along this route, including Sprague's Pipit, Upland Sandpiper, and Broad-winged Hawk.
June 23rd: Kelly Canyon
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.
** This summer, check the Sacajawea Audubon website for leader's choice field trips in late July and August. **