Sacajawea Audubon
27Jan/17Off

Spring Birding at Ennis Lake – April 1st

 

 

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.   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 April 1st.  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 539-8251 to reserve a spot.

 

18Jan/17Off

February 18th – The Great Backyard Bird Count

 

"The guided hike will be lead by Assistant Park Manager Tom Forwood for those who are new to bird identification. The hike will leave at 9:30am and will go for approximately 3 hours. Guests are welcome to download the E-bird app for their phones so that they can record they species they see on the walk! Also as a reminder, the cave is not open until May and the gate to the top visitors center is currently closed, but guests are welcome to stay following the hike to wander about the trails and look for birds themselves."

22Sep/16Off

Middle Madison Valley Trumpeter Swan Restoration Project

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The goal of this project, started in 2011, is to establish 5 nesting pairs of Trumpeter Swans in the restoration area within a 5 -10 year time frame. On occasion 30 to 50 swans (marked and unmarked) have been observed near O'Dell Creek in the Madison Valley during winter and approximately 10 in early summer; no nesting to date, but birds have been seen in pairs in the spring. On August 1st, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks  released 5 cygnets on O'Dell Creek.  Sacajawea Audubon has been a partner in this restoration project for a number of years.

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Photos courtesy John Parker

17Sep/16Off

2016 Bridger Raptor Festival – Oct. 7th-9th

RaptorBannerLogoNoDateIt's time for the 20th Annual Bridger Raptor Festival, October 7th, 8th & 9th at Bridger Bowl! Sacajawea Audubon is again co-hosting and will be offering several fun children's activities.

Friday night kicks off at the Museum of the Rockies with keynote speaker, Marco Restani of Montana Audubon, who will present a talk on Avian Migration. 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 Blitz, Face Painting, Nature Journaling, Sketch a Bird, Raptor ID with Steve Hoffman, interpretive walks with MOSS, and live raptor presentations. 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!

**We need VOLUNTEERS!  If you would like to help out at this year's raptor festival, please contact Loreene Reid at (406) 600-6666.

For more information and festival schedule, go to: www.bridgerraptorfest.org/current_events

 

2016-raptorposter

6Sep/16Off

October 1st – Ennis Lake Waterfowl Field Trip

Redheads (photo courtesy Ed Harper)

Redheads (photo courtesy Ed Harper)

 

Ennis Lake Waterfowl

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Trip Leader: Mike Vivion, 406-210-8071 michael.vivion@gmail.com

Meet at 7:45 am at the Museum of the Rockies. Carpool and leave at 8 am.

This date should catch early migrant waterfowl and an assortment of other birds, including migrating raptors and passerines. Ennis Lake is one of the premiere staging areas for waterfowl in southwest Montana. Some birds will still be in alternate plumage, offering some interesting identification challenges. Large numbers of waterfowl should be present. Bring a lunch, since we’ll be out till at least mid-afternoon. Weather can be a challenge, so bring warm clothes and rain gear in case.

Participants limited to 16

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

4Sep/16Off

Sept. 10th – Headwaters – Three Forks Field Trip

Headwaters-Three Forks

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Leader: Robin Wolcott, 406-581-5418 pajaros@wewolcotts.com

Meet at 7:45 am at the Museum of the Rockies. Carpool and leave at 8 am.

Early 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.

Participants limited to 14

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

2Aug/16Off

Ennis Raptor ID Workshop with Steve Hoffman – August 20th

Juvenile Swainson's Hawk (photo by J. Harris)

Juvenile Swainson's Hawk (photo by J. Harris)

WHAT: Raptor (hawks, eagles, falcons, harriers, etc.) Identification Workshop (for all skill levels).

WHEN: Saturday, August 20th (8:15 AM – 5:00 PM); includes 90-minute classroom instruction, followed by field excursion to the Gravelly Mountains (NO hiking involved; carpooling will be required to minimize the number of vehicles on this fairly narrow gravel road).

WHERE: We will meet at Pronghorn Meadows Clubhouse (3 miles SW of Ennis on the highway to Virginia City) @8:15 AM.  At the conclusion of the classroom session we will arrange carpooling and then drive to the crest of the Gravelly Range, where we will search for soaring raptors that use the abundant updrafts along this high ridgeline.

WHY: This exciting late-summer period is ideal for viewing a diversity and abundance of pre-migratory, staging raptors that often congregate atop the Gravellys to hunt ground squirrels, pocket gophers, voles, grasshoppers & crickets. (Species likely to be encountered: American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, Red-tailed Hawks, Swainson’s Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, Northern Harriers, Golden & Bald Eagles & Ospreys).

WHO: Steve Hoffman, Executive Director of Montana Audubon (since 2006), began his career as a Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Arizona (1978-1980).  He later worked as an Endangered Species Specialist for the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Albuquerque (1980-1987). In 1986 Steve founded HawkWatch International (HWI), a not-for-profit working to monitor and protect raptors.  In 2000 Steve returned to his birth state of Pennsylvania to become Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Pennsylvania.  In 2004 Steve moved to Bozeman to serve as Director of Keystone Conservation.  Steve has authored more than 35 scientific papers on raptors and other wildlife-related topics, and has given hundreds of presentations on raptors to audiences across the U.S. & abroad. Steve has an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Utah State University (1979).

COST: $50 for each participant (tax-deductible donation; lunch & snacks will be provided). Make checks payable to:  Montana Audubon, PO Box 595, Helena, MT 59624, or pay online by going to: www.mtaudubon.org (designate “Ennis Raptor Workshop” in “Notes” section).

QUESTIONS: Call 443.3949, or email mtaudubon@mtaudubon.org – space is limited and pre-registration is required – register TODAY!  (This field trip will be limited to 20 participants.)

 

Complete and clip this form, and mail to:  Montana Audubon, PO Box 595, Helena, MT 59624.

Name:  ___________________________________________ Phone:  _____________________________

Address (city/zip):  _____________________________________________________________________

Email:  __________________________________________ Are you a MT Audubon member?  ________

Are you willing to drive on the field trip? ____________   If so, how many total passengers can you accommodate? __________

19Sep/15Off

Bridger Raptor Fest – Oct. 2-4, 2015

RaptorBannerLogoNoDateIt's time for the 19th Annual Bridger Raptor Festival, October 2nd, 3rd & 4th at Bridger Bowl!  Sacajawea Audubon is again co-hosting and will be offering several fun children's activities.

Friday night kicks off at the Museum of the Rockies with keynote speaker, Kate Davis, founder of Raptors of the Rockies. Kate's presentation will feature four live birds including a Golden Eagle named Nigel!  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 Blitz, Face Painting, Nature Journaling, Sketch a Bird, Raptor ID with Steve Hoffman, Wildlife Olympics, interpretive walks with MOSS, and live raptor presentations.   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: www.bridgerraptorfest.org/current_events

Kids enjoy building their own nest box with help from Jeff Safford.

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6Jun/15Off

Madison Valley IBA Bird Survey – June 24th

Madison Valley IBA Bird Survey – June 24th (Wednesday)

The birds are all back now so its time to survey our IBAs and document the breeding birds in the area. The great numbers of waterfowl will be gone and instead we will be challenged to count up all the warblers, flycatchers, swallows, orioles, grosbeaks and Sandhill Cranes (101 seen on last year's June count). This count will take place on a Wednesday, June 24th, to avoid the weekend recreationists on Ennis Lake. Since daylight comes early now we will be meeting earlier too. We will meet at the Ennis Pharmacy Café in Ennis and be ready to head out for the survey at 7 am.

If you can help, email Paulette at bigskyepples@msn.com or call 580-6186.

10Dec/14Off

2014 Christmas Bird Count Schedule

Rusty Blackbird (L. Harris)

2013 Bozeman CBC Rusty Blackbird (L. Harris)

Come join the fun on one of our area’s Christmas Bird Counts. The Christmas counts, started in 1900, are an opportunity for beginning and expert birders to get together and enjoy this holiday tradition.

West Yellowstone           Sunday, December 14th

Compiler: Brad Barth (406) 640-2628

barth.brad@gmail.com

Meet at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

West Yellowstone at 8:30 AM

 

Livingston                       Sunday, December 14th

Compiler: Sally MacDonald (406) 223-9167

smacbirder@msn.com

Meet at The Other Café, in Livingston

between 7:00-7:30 AM

 

Ennis                                Wednesday, December 17th

2013 Bozeman CBC Virginia Rail (L. Harris)

2013 Bozeman CBC Virginia Rail (L. Harris)

Compiler: Robin Wolcott (406) 581-5418

pajaros@wewocotts.com

Meet at Yesterday’s Café in the Ennis Pharmacy,

By 7:30 AM or sooner for breakfast

 

Bozeman                      Saturday, December 20th

Compiler: John Parker (406) 586-5863

conundrumjp@gmail.com

Meet at Perkins Restaurant, 2505 West Main, in Bozeman,

between 7-7:30 AM

 

Yellowstone              Sunday, December 21st

Compiler: Woody Martyn  (406)224-1476

woodymartyn@hotmail.com

Meet at the Best Western in Gardiner at 7:00 a.m.

 

Three Forks              Friday, December 26th

Compiler: Tom Forwood (406) 570-6432

tjfishing75@gmail.com

Meet at Wheat Montana at exit 274

at 8:00 AM or by 7:30 for breakfast

For more information, contact the count compilers. Please Contact the area compiler before the count, as this will give them the opportunity to plan and organize the count before the count day.  Participation in all counts is free.

Some background on the Christmas Bird Count:

The first CBC was done on Christmas Day of 1900 as an alternative activity to an event called the “side hunt” where people chose sides, then went out and shot as many birds as they could. The group that came in with the largest number of dead birds won the event. Frank Chapman, a famed ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History and the editor of Bird-Lore (which became the publication of the National Association of Audubon Societies when that organization formed in 1905) recognized that declining bird populations could not withstand wanton over-hunting, and proposed to count birds on Christmas Day rather than shoot them.

Audubon's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world. The CBC is an early-winter bird census, where volunteers count every bird they see or hear during one day in a designated 15-mile diameter circle. Count volunteers follow specified routes within the circle. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. If observers live within a CBC circle, they may arrange in advance to count the birds at their feeders and submit those data to their compiler. All individual CBC’s are conducted in the period from December 14 to January 5 (inclusive dates) each season, and each count is conducted in one calendar day

These counts have proven incredibly valuable for what they tell scientists -- and all of us -- about our changing world.