Sacajawea Audubon
11Jul/17Off

2017 SAS Birdathon Award Winners Announced

Rockin' Red Rocks Team

The winners of our 2017 Birdathon Awards were recently given out at our awards party on June 29th.  This was one of our most successful birdathons over the past 5 years, raising close to $9,000!  6 different teams participated, including:

The Wingnuts on the Fly: Paulette Epple (leader), Steve Hoffman, Martha Collins, Hobart Collins

The Wrenegades: Lou Ann Harris (leader), Stephanie Nelson, Adele Pittendrigh, Judy Tolliver

The Executives:  Paulette Epple, Lou Ann Harris, Loreene Reid, Evelyn Acton, Janne Hayward

The Oblivious Sage Hens: Sharon Hanton (leader), Loreene Reid, Sharon Tholt, Emily Sieger

Rockin' Red Rocks: Loreene Reid (leader), Steve Hoffman, Leo Freeman, John Edwards, The Sauerwein Family, Steph Nelson, Martha & Hobart Collins, Emily Sieger, Adele & Sandy Pittendrigh, Lou Ann Harris

The Brewer's Sparrows: Chris Nixon (leader), Dillon Potter, Carol Anderson, Bob Swinth, Loreene Reid, Julie Thill, Travis Kidd & Hailey, Sharon Hanton, Angie K., Lou Ann Harris.  This team used only pedal power on a Pub Bike!

 

The Birdathon Awards are as follows:

Most Species Seen:  Wingnuts on the Fly - 138

Most Species in an IBA:  Rockin Red Rocks - 105

Most Raptors Seen:  Wingnuts on the Fly - 121

Most Magpies Seen:  Oblivious Sage Hens - 257

Most Pledges:  Evelyn Acton - 28

Most Money Raised, Individual:  Lou Ann Harris - $1,827     Team: Wrenegades $4,872

Carbon Neutral Award:  Brewer's Sparrows - 10 miles pedaled, 30 bird species seen

Rookie Award:  Judy Tolliver

Mentor Award:  Lou Ann Harris

Best Bird Award:  The Wrenegades - Bobolink

 

We'd like to thank all of the people who donated to this fundraising effort, and also a big thank you to our special guest Jeff Marks for being our impartial judge!

Filed under: Chapter News No Comments
20Jun/17Off

COME CELEBRATE THE NEW TRIDENT PEREGRINE TRAIL!

Peregrine Falcon (photo by Kate Davis)

THE TRIDENT-PEREGRINE TRAIL GRAND OPENING

Missouri Headwaters State Park

Designated an “Important BirdArea” by the National Audubon Society

Saturday, July 8th

9:00 am to 12:30 pm

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  June 27, 2017

Contact:  Dave Andrus, (406) 285-3610

Grand Opening of the Trident-Peregrine Trail at Missouri Headwaters State Park –Saturday July 8 at 9:00 a.m.-

(Three Forks, MT) – Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) invites members of the public to join us and our partners for the dedication of the new Trident-Peregrine Birding Trail in Missouri Headwaters State Park.  Through a collaborative partnership, this new interpretive trail travels through a designated Important Birding Area (IBA) and will be an integral component to interpret the incredible bird activity Missouri River Headwaters State Park.

This trail provides the best viewing area of peregrine and prairie falcons who utilize the towering limestone cliffs across the river from Missouri Headwaters State Park.  Many other bird species also use the area which has a unique combination of cliffs, rivers, shoreline vegetation and nesting areas.  Birders from throughout the country, and internationally, use the area to view and study birds.  Local schools will also benefit from the trail as it provides an excellent outdoor classroom that is easy and safe for school groups access.  Trailside interpretive panels and a unique shelter and benches, designed by local architect Ken VanDeWalle, add to the educational opportunities offered from this project.

Events planned for Saturday include the a 9:00 a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony at Trident-Peregrine Trailhead adjacent to the park’s boat launch.  Plant tours of CRH- Trident cement plant at 9:30 and 10:30 am.  Cliff bird viewing all day long and guided bird walks with local birding experts.  Kids will also have a chance to build and fly kites, make bird clay sculptures and try their hand at gold panning.  Lunch will be provided at 11:30 at the park’s picnic area.

Our partners on this unique project include the following:

  • CRH-Trident, the local cement plant for providing labor and materials to construct the trail.
  • Sacajawea Chapter of the Audubon Society; for providing technical assistance regarding birding and habitat as well as ongoing interpretation and financial assistance.
  • Northwestern Energy River Fund; for providing the funding for trial side amenities.
  • Montana State University Landscape Design Capstone Service Learning for providing project ideas and concepts and graphic work for trail side signs.
  • Architect Ken VanDeWalle for creating a unique shelter inspired by a bird in flight and benches.
  • Montana State Parks for construction designs, assisting Trident with trail construction, interpretive design, and ongoing maintenance of the trail.

For more information, call the park visitor center at (406) 285-3610.

What:  Grand Opening of the Trident-Peregrine Trail at Missouri Headwaters State Park

When:  Saturday, July 8 at 9:00 am

Where:  North end of Missouri Headwaters State Park at the Missouri River boat ramp,

1585 Trident Road, Three Forks, MT

http://stateparks.mt.gov/missouri-headwaters/

Visit Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and more and discover some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth.

 

-###-

A division of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

stateparks.mt.gov

Contact:

Dave Andrus

Park Manager,

Missouri Headwaters State Park


9:00    

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony  at the Trident-Peregrine Trailhead

9:30  

CRH Cement Plant Tour 1 (Bus leaves at the boat launch)

Cliff Bird Viewing (Trail viewing area)*

10:00  

Bird Kite Making

Gold Panning Starts*

Bird Clay Sculpture Making 1

10:30    

CRH Cement Plant Tour 2

Bird Clay Sculpture Making 2

11:30  

Lunch


Unless indicated, all activities are at the Park’s Picnic Area

* ongoing activities 9:30 to 11:30

13Jun/17Off

Birdathon Awards Party – June 29th, 7 p.m., East Gallatin Rec. Area

Calliope Hummingbird nestlings (L. Harris)

Calliope Hummingbird nestlings (L. Harris)

The annual Birdathon Awards Party will be held Thursday, June 29th at 7:00 p.m. at the East Gallatin Recreation Area picnic shelter.  Drinks, snacks and desserts will be served.  Awards to be handed out include:  Most Species Identified (Full Day & Half Day), Most $$ Raised, Rookie Award, Carbon Neutral Award, Mentor Award, Best Bird Award, Most Pledges Collected, Sacajawea Audubon Award (most raptors seen) and Montana Audubon Award (most magpies seen).

All Birdathon team members and their families are invited, as well as chapter members.

Please come and help us celebrate a successful fundraising effort!

1Apr/17Off

SAS 50th Anniversary Field Trip – Red Rock Lakes NWR, June 2-4

Lower Lake - Red Rocks NWR

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Trip   **TRIP IS FULL**

June 2- 4, 2017

Join us as we celebrate Sacajawea Audubon Society’s 50th anniversary with a 3-day 2-night trip to the world-renowned Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.  This is a wonderful guided trip for beginner to advance birders.

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is located in the scenic and isolated Centennial Valley of southwestern Montana, approximately 40 miles west of Yellowstone National Park. The refuge has a vast array of habitat, ranging from high elevation wetland and prairie at 6,600 feet, to the harsh alpine habitat of the Centennial Mountains at 9,400 feet above sea level. It is this diverse, marsh-prairie-sagebrush-montane environment that gives Red Rock Lakes its unique character.

Birds are special residents at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge’s rich wetlands and nearby forests makes ideal habitat for breeding and feeding birds in early June.  Red Rock Lakes is best known as the primary location for the efforts to save the Trumpeter Swan from extinction.  In addition to the beautiful trumpeter swan, there are a minimum of 232 other species of birds that have been recorded within the refuge.  Some of the many species we hope to see are: Long-billed Curlew, Sandhill Crane, Sage Thrasher, Brewer’s & Vesper Sparrow, White-faced Ibis, American Avocet, Willet, Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Harrier, Prairie Falcon, Golden Eagle, Swainson’s Hawk, Short-eared Owl, and various ducks, flycatchers, kinglets, warblers, vireos, tanagers, thrushes, woodpeckers, and if we’re lucky, Sage Grouse.

Details for this special Red Rock Wildlife Refuge trip:

  • Departs from Bozeman at 3:00 PM on Friday, June 2, returning to Bozeman by 5:00 PM on Sunday, June 4.
  • Limited to 12 participants
  • Guided by Wildlife Biologist & Endangered Species Specialist, Steve Hoffman,  past director of Montana Audubon and Hawkwatch International
  • Cost $450 (includes transportation to-and-from Bozeman, lodging & all meals at Elk Lake Lodge and Steve Hoffman’s professional guiding)

For more information, a full itinerary or to register contact Loreene Reid at pres@sacajaweaaudubon.org or 406 600-6666.

 

 

1Apr/17Off

Photography Workshop with Tom Murphy – May 12th & 13th, 2017

tom-murphy-flyer-final

3Jan/17Off

March 13th Program – An Evening With Wildlife Filmmaker Bob Landis

**NOTE:  WE ARE NOT MEETING AT HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH FOR THIS PROGRAM**

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Sacajawea Audubon presents a special evening with wildlife cinematographer Bob Landis.

Bob Landis will present his lectured video, Y to A: 2016 High Lights, on Monday, March 13th at the Ellen Theatre in downtown Bozeman.  The program is a summary of the best sequences filmed in Yellowstone and Denali this past year by Landis.  It includes the usual cast of characters; wolves, coyotes, foxes, bears and a variety of birds, with emphasis on interesting behavior.  A few sequences have already been incorporated into current projects; most are waiting in line for future programs.  Outstanding sequence goes to the golden eagle attacking a coyote in an attempt to steal its food.  The program is suitable for all audiences with kill sequences left on the cutting room floor.  A review of a just-completed program about the Hayden and Canyon wolf packs is included as a trailer.
 
Bob starting filming wildlife with his father in 1960 as a rank amateur.  His father took extensive big hunting trips in northern British Columbia.  These were documented in 16mm film.  On these hunts, Bob was told to go "shoot".  It was left to him to decide to shoot with camera or gun.  Landis has long put the gun aside, but continues to "shoot" with a camera, full-time professionally since 1993.  He was lucky to be on the scene and fully equipped when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone.  In the succeeding 21 years, Bob co-produced eight one hour programs for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and NATURE.  His favorites are IN THE VALLEY OF THE WOLVES for NATURE on PBS, and THE RISE OF BLACK WOLF for the National Geographic Channel.  Bob considers himself semi-retired, mostly tired, and has gone back to his roots of producing, with a partner, his own programs.  The most recent being:  WHITE WOLF OF THE HAYDEN PACK, and WHITE WOLF OF THE CANYON PACK.
 
The program begins at 7 p.m. with a social starting at 6:30.  Beer, wine & coffee will be available for purchase. There is a suggested donation of $5.00 to help support Sacajawea Audubon conservation programs.

1Jan/17Off

Bird Photography Classes for DSLR with Carol Polich

Photo by Carol Polich

Photo by Carol Polich

Bird Photography - Level I for DSLR cameras only

This class is for those of you who want to get out of Program or Auto modes and learn how to shoot wildlife/birdlife in Aperture Priority mode. Learning where your functions  lie within the menu and on the camera plus understanding the relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed, and F stops & reading the histogram  are key ingredients in this level.

The class instruction includes:

 3 lectures of 2.5 hours each with” hands on” in class instruction  & possible outside shooting(weather permitting) plus a combined lecture and 4-5 hour field trip

Minimum: 4 people, maximum 10 people at $115 each (SAS Member), $140 each (non-member)

DATE: FEBRUARY 23, 24 and MARCH 2 and 4

TIMES:  THUR (both dates), FRI  5:30-8pm; SAT 10-2pm

DEADLINE FOR SIGNING UP WITH THIS CLASS ISMONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2017

 When you sign up you MUST have your own camera & mention your camera “Brand” and the Model such as Canon T3i plus which lenses you have. NO POINT AND SHOOT CAMERAS ARE ALLOWED.

**To sign-up, please contact Stephanie Nelson via email (preferred) at s.n.mayfly@gmail.com, or call (406) 587-3052. Payment will be required prior to the class.

************************************************************************

Bird Photography - Level II for DSLR cameras only 

This class is for those with DSLR cameras who shoot in Manual or Aperture Priority & understand the relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed, and F stops. This workshop stresses how to get correct EXPOSURE and working with LIGHT QUALITY & your position to your subject.

 The class instruction includes:

 3  lectures of 2.5 hours each with” hands on” in class instruction  & possible outside shooting (weather permitting) plus a combined lecture/field trip of 4-5 hours.

 Minimum: 4 people, maximum 10 people at $115 each (SAS Member), $140 each (non-member)

DATE: MARCH 8, 9, 10, 11

TIMES: WED, THUR, FRI -5:30-8pm; SAT 10-2pm

 DEADLINE FOR SIGNING UP WITH THIS CLASS ISMONDAY, MARCH 6, 2017

 When you sign up you MUST have your own camera & mention your camera “Brand” and the Model such as Canon T3i plus which lenses you have. NO POINT AND SHOOT CAMERAS ARE ALLOWED.

**To sign-up, please contact Stephanie Nelson via email (preferred) at s.n.mayfly@gmail.com, or call (406) 587-3052. Payment will be required prior to the class.

Carol Polich has been widely published in the USA and internationally with her photos and travel adventure stories since the early 1990’s. She not only continues to travel and work with a variety of publishers but she also leads several photo workshops in the western USA. During the year, Polich currently teaches a variety of highly successful photography classes through the Bozeman Adult Community Education program. A list of her accomplishments can be viewed by googling her name and checking out her website.

www.wildnaturetrails.com

Photo by Carol Polich

Photo by Carol Polich

21Dec/16Off

SAS Board Letter to the EPA Regarding the Berkeley Pit

Snow Geese at Freezeout Lake (L. Harris photo)

 

The Sacajawea Audubon Board of Directors recently drafted a letter to the EPA Superfund Manager regarding the recent death of thousands of snow geese on the Berkeley Pit.  This letter was also sent to several newspapers around the state and has been published in 3 so far.  Please click on the link below to read the letter.

SAS Letter to EPA

 

Filed under: Chapter News No Comments
11Nov/16Off

2016 SAS Mountain Bluebird Trail Summary

Photo courtesy Lou Ann Harris

Photos courtesy Lou Ann Harris

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Sacajawea Audubon 2016 Bluebird Trail Summary

Overall, 2016 was a productive year for Mountain Bluebirds.  A total of 676 bluebirds fledged from nest boxes on our 6 monitored trails.  181 boxes were used out of 272 available.  The remainder were used by tree swallows and house wrens.

Because of a relatively mild spring, the bluebirds began laying eggs over a week earlier than usual.  Even a mid-May snowstorm didn’t slow them down.  The Rocky Mountain Road trail had it’s earliest-ever nestling, found on May 4th.

On the Pass Creek Rd./Rocky Mountain Rd. trails, we banded a total of 310 birds, 268 nestlings and 42 adult females.  We also recaptured 8 females, a couple of which had been banded as nestlings the previous year.  It’s nice to know they are coming back to nest in their natal area.

Predation of nests was up from previous years.  The Rocky Mountain Rd. trail had a total of 24 predated nests (up from 18 last year).  The Pass Creek trail had 34 nests predated (up from 32 last year).  The causes were varied: snakes, raccoons, weasels, kestrels & house sparrows.  In fact one box was found to have a complete house sparrow nest built on top of a dead female bluebird.

One of the most interesting events of the nesting season was an epic battle between a resident male bluebird (whose mate and nestlings had died), and another bluebird pair for the occupancy of Box 70 on Rocky Mountain Road.  The three birds were so engrossed in their fight that they were oblivious to our presence and even slammed into my car on two occasions.  In the end, the new pair won out and successfully raised six fledglings.  And we thought bluebirds were such gentle creatures!

We took a total of 22 people out on the bluebird trails this summer, including 10 on the June 12th field trip.  Everyone loves to see those little bluebird nestlings and hold one in their hands.

The bluebird nest box sponsorship program was a great success, and we plan to do it again for 2017.  Following is a complete report of the success (or failure) of each box, along with its sponsor.  Please click on the link below for the full report.

Lou Ann Harris

2016 SAS Bluebird Trail Report

9Nov/16Off

November 14th Program – Nonnative Species: Changing the rules for native animals

Artwork courtesy Nancy Seiler

Artwork courtesy Nancy Seiler

Join Sacajawea Audubon on November 14th for a talk by Andrea Litt on the effect nonnative plants has on animals.  Nonnative plants have established in nearly all ecosystems. Although many studies have documented major changes in the plant community when a nonnative plant invades, we know less about the effects on animals. Further, sometimes these changes are not predictable, as nonnative plants change the rules we have come to understand. Andrea will share some of the research that she and her students have pursued in Arizona, Texas, and Montana to better understand these complex responses.

Andrea is originally from southeastern Wisconsin and received a Bachelor's degree in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She completed a Master's degree at the University of Florida, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. She worked for The Nature Conservancy in northwest Florida for two years before beginning a Ph.D. program in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona. Andrea also earned a minor in Statistics. She was a faculty member with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University - Kingsville before joining the Ecology department at MSU in January 2011.

Andrea and her students examine changes to wildlife resulting from various human activities including invasive plants, altered disturbance regimes, and changes in land use. They work on a diversity of taxa, based on the ecological question of interest.

When not working, Andrea enjoys road biking, hiking, and otherwise enjoying the natural beauty of Montana and beyond.

Sacajawea Audubon meets every 2nd Monday of the month, September through May. Our meetings are held at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf (off of S. 19th). Come for the social, beginning at 6:30 p.m. A short chapter meeting starts at 7 p.m. with the program following after. Our programs are free and open to the public.