Sacajawea Audubon
25Mar/14Off

April 14th Program – “Merlin Magic in Helena”

Merlin  (photo by D. Ellison)

Merlin (photo by D. Ellison)

Merlin Magic in Helena

During the spring of 2012 and 2013, Dan Ellison watched merlin pairs nesting on the east side of Helena.  His observations provided photo opportunities of nest preparation, catching and delivering prey, feeding chicks and encounters with a variety of adversaries.  This program will focus on merlin behavior in the urban environment, nesting activities and protection of the nest and chicks.  Dan's presentation is based on observations on 90 consecutive days in 2013 including daily notes and photos.

This program will also feature an educational display with live raptors including merlins, presented by Lisa Rhodin from the Montana Wildlife Center in Helena.

Dan Ellison grew up in the Bitterroot Valley, graduated from the Naval Academy and served on active duty for 26 years as a Navy pilot.  After returning to Montana in 1999 and settling in Helena, he worked in state government including Chief Financial Officer at MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks.  He also served on the executive committee with Montana Trout Unlimited.  In 2009 Ellison was elected to the Helena City Commission.  His personal time is spent fly fishing, bird watching, and photographing wildlife.  He is a life member of Trout Unlimited and belongs to several other natural resource conservation organizations including Audubon, National Wildlife Federation and the Yellowstone Association.

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.

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4Mar/14Off

March 10th Program – American Plains Bison: Rewilding an Icon

Photo by John Harris

Photo by John Harris

Join Sacajawea Audubon on Monday, March 10th for a program on the American Bison.  Jim Bailey is a retired professor of wildlife biology at Colorado State University, and will present excerpts from his recent book, American Plains Bison: Rewilding an Icon.  Dr. Bailey will review the status of wild bison in the USA south of Canada.  He will address three questions: What are wild bison?  What is the status of wild bison in the USA?  What can we do about it?  He will discuss the meaning of wildness, in contract to domestication.  Based on travels and interviews with bison managers, he will summarize the wildness status of 44 conservation herds of plains bison in the U.S.  His conclusions provide useful background for considering ongoing controversial issues of bison conservation in Montana.  Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.

 

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.

 

 

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1Mar/14Off

Raptor ID Workshop & Field Trip – March 7th & 8th

**WORKSHOP & FIELD TRIP IS FULL WITH WAITING LIST** 

Northern Goshawk (imm.) - photo by L. Harris

Northern Goshawk (imm.) - photo by L. Harris

Raptor ID Workshop & Field Trip   Presented by: Steve Hoffman, Executive Director, MT Audubon and founder of HawkWatch International

Have you ever wanted to sharpen your raptor identification skills?  If so, this is the workshop for you! On Friday evening Steve Hoffman will provide a detailed discussion of the identification and natural history of all raptor species wintering in the Gallatin Valley. Steve’s illustrated talk will include a description of the many plumage variations (including subspecies and color forms, as well as age and sex variations) of the more common and observable species. Helpful behavioral clues will also be incorporated. Eagles, falcons and the “buteo” hawks (such as Red-tailed Hawks) will be emphasized. Participants will then go into the field on Saturday to practice their newly-developed skills. Steve’s presentation will be especially valuable for “intermediate” and “advanced” raptor watching enthusiasts, although beginners will also find this workshop quite helpful.

The Friday night presentation will start at 7 PM and last till 9 PM, in the Bozeman Public Library’s small conference room. 

Saturday morning’s field trip will meet at the Museum of the Rockies at 8:30 am, and leave at 8:45.  Be sure to dress for the weather and bring any necessary drinks or snacks for this 4-5 hour trip.  If you have a spotting scope that you can bring, that would be helpful.

There is a $30 fee and 20 person limit for the workshop and field trip.  Advance reservation and payment is required.  For more information and to make reservations please call John Parker at 586-5863 or email him at birdsightings@sacajaweaaudubon.org