Sacajawea Audubon

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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