Sacajawea Audubon

October 16th – Big Belt Raptor Field Trip

Golden Eagle (photo L. Harris)

Golden Eagle (photo L. Harris)

Big Belt Raptors

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Trip Leader: Steve Hoffman 406-461-5714

 Meet at 7:45 am at the Museum of the Rockies. Carpool and leave at 8 am.
This is an opportunity to visit Montana’s newest hawkwatch site, with one of the founders of Hawkwatch International. Mid October is the peak period of the Golden Eagle migration through central Montana, and at this location the eagles are flying by at very close range affording stunning views. Many other late season raptor migrants, such as Bald Eagles, Northern Goshawks, and Rough-legged Hawks use this same corridor during migration. This location in the Big Belt Mountains east of Canyon Ferry Reservoir, is worth the trip just for the fabulous views of the reservoir and the mountains of south-central Montana. From Bozeman it is a two hour drive, and then another 1.4 mile (900 ft. elevation gain) hike to the hawkwatch site.

Participants limited to 20

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


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:




Volunteers needed to “Knock out Burdock”!

A Chickadee killed by Burdock

Join Sacajawea Audubon as we continue to work this summer to eradicate burdock from some of our favorite trails.  This nasty introduced plant has Velcro-like seed heads that entrap songbirds, slowly causing their deaths.  You may know burdock from brushing against it and getting the burs caught in your hair, your clothes, or your dog's fur.  Lucky for us this plant is a short-lived biennial. If we can keep a stand of burdock from setting seed by clipping off the seed heads early, it will eventually die out.

Audubon volunteers will be leading work groups to clip the seed heads throughout the summer and WE NEED HELP!  Join us if you can at any of these dates and locations:

  • July 28 - The “M” Trailhead
  • July 30 -   East Gallatin Recreation Area (meet at the beach)
  • August 3 - Drinking Horse Mountain Trailhead
  • August 10 - Story Mill Community Park  (park along Story Mill Road just south of the Story Mill)
  • August 13 -  Sypes Canyon Trailhead
  • August 16 - Gallagator Trail (meet on Garfield Street where it intersects the Gallagator Trail)
  • August 25 - Sourdough Trail in Bozeman **Evening Meeting time: 6 pm ** (meet at Gardner Park trailhead on Gardner Park Drive)

We will meet each morning at 7:30 am. (EXCEPT Sourdough Trail which is a 6 pm evening event!) Bring pruning clippers if you have them and wear gloves, long sleeves and long pants, all of fabrics that burs won’t adhere to.  Plan to work for an hour or two.  Whatever time you can afford.  With your help, we will "Knock out Burdock"!

Contact Paulette Epple at    or   580-6186  for more information.Or contact Janne Hayward at 587-6124 to help her remove burdock from other smaller sites, dates negotiable.

IMG_7239 (1)


Birdathon Awards Party – Time & Location Change

Birdathon Party

Calliope Hummingbird nestlings (L. Harris)

Calliope Hummingbird nestlings (L. Harris)

Time and Location Change

We have changed the time and location of the Sacajawea Audubon Birdathon Awards Party!  We will meet at 5:30 p.m.Thursday, June 30th at MAP Brewing, located at the south shore of the East Gallatin Recreation Area on Manley Road.  We may be upstairs in the mezzanine, or if it's too hot, we will be on the patio.

Please come and help us celebrate a successful fundraising effort and find out which teams won Most Species, Most Magpies, Most Raptors, Most Money Raised and more.  Sacajawea Audubon will buy your 1st beverage!


SAS Book Group: Next Selection “”Of A Feather: A Brief History of American Birding”

Book Group's First Book of the New Year - Jan. 21st, 5:30 p.m.

The Sacajawea Audubon Book Group is reading Scott Weidensaul's Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding in January. It promises to be a fun and informative read by the author of Living on the Wind. The discussion begins at 5:30 in Hope Lutheran Church on January 21, 2016. All are welcome, but please let Adele Pittendrigh know if you are planning to attend for the first time. (

Filed under: Chapter News No Comments

2015 Christmas Bird Count Schedule

ChristmasBirdCount_OnlineGraphic_2015-16 (1)



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.







2014 Ennis CBC

Wednesday, December 16th

Compiler: Robin Wolcott (406) 581-5418

Meet at Yesterday’s Café in the Ennis Pharmacy,

By 7:30 AM or sooner for breakfast



Saturday, December 19th

Compiler: John Parker (406) 586-5863

Meet at Perkins Restaurant, 2505 West Main, in Bozeman, between 7-7:30 AM


West Yellowstone

Sunday, December 20th

Compiler: Brad Barth (406) 640-2628

Meet at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

West Yellowstone at 8:30 AM



Sunday, December 20th

Compiler: Sally MacDonald (406) 223-9167

Meet at the Northern Pacific Beanery, in Livingston, between 7:00-7:30 AM



Sunday, December 20th

Compiler: Woody Martyn (406) 224-1476

Meet at the Yellowstone Grill, in Gardiner, at 7:00 AM


Three Forks

Monday, December 28th

Compiler: Tom Forwood (406) 570-6432

Meet at Wheat Montana at exit 274 at 8:30 AM, or by 8:00 for breakfast


For more information, contact the area 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.


SAS Book Group: Next Selection – “Rosalie Edge: Hawk of Mercy”

41jg1BNNH-LSAS Book Group’s Next Book: Rosalie Edge: Hawk of Mercy, the Activist Who Saved Conservation from the Conservationists

It’s time to start thinking about our next book, a biography of Rosalie Edge, described as “the first American woman to achieve national renown as a conservationist.”  Among her other accomplishments, she established the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, the first preserve for birds of prey, and the Emergency Conservation Committee, described by the author Dyana Z. Furmansky, as the “most militant nature advocacy organization of its time.” I had not heard about Rosalie Edge before a Montana birder suggested her biography as a “must read” book.  I am looking forward to reading and discussing the story of her life, times, and influence.

We will discuss Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy, on December 3, so it’s not too early to plan your reading. If you want to attend the book group discussion and are not yet on the book group mailing list, please let me know.

Adele Pittendrigh: (

Filed under: Chapter News No Comments

Skiing for the Raptors Raffle


Golden Eagle (photo by Lou Ann Harris)


Support the Bridger Mountains Raptor Count (now in it's 25th year), which records the largest concentration of autumnal migrant Golden Eagles known in the lower 48.  Help Sacajawea Audubon and Montana Audubon continue this important research project in our very own Bridger Mountains by purchasing a raffle ticket, and be one of two winners of a Bridger Bowl Season Ski Pass (2015-2016). Raffle tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50. Drawing Date: November 9, 2015 at the SAS November meeting, Hope Lutheran Church. To purchase a ticket, email or call Leo Freeman at (414)403-7943. Tickets will also be available at our October 12th and November 9th meetings.


Sacajawea Audubon Book Group Meeting Scheduled

imageThe SAS Book Group will meet on September 14 at 6:30, right before the SAS program, to discuss the book group’s plans for 2015-16. We hope to accommodate a core group of participants as well as folks who want to attend discussions occasionally.
The proposed schedule and reading list includes six books, with discussions roughly six weeks apart on 1st or 3rd Thursdays from 5:30-6:45:

(Oct. 15) Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere With Migratory Birds. Scott Weidensaul. This will be our second discussion of Living on the Wind, with emphasis on the last two-thirds of the book.
(Dec. 3) Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy: The Activist Who Saved Nature from the Conservationists. Dyana Z. Furmansky.
(Jan. 21) Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding. Scott Weidensaul.
(Mar. 3) Life List: A Woman’s Quest for the World’s Most Amazing Birds. Olivia Gentile.
(Apr 21) Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and other Wildlife. John Marzluff.
(June 2) Adventures in the Anthropocene, A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made. Gaia Vince.

We are excited about reading and discussing these books and invite everyone to get involved. The location will be announced in September. Please contact members of the steering committee for more information and to express interest and ideas for the book group. Adele Pittendrigh, 406-587-7710; Karin Jennings, 406-600-6563; Karin Utzinger 406-586-1604,

Filed under: Chapter News No Comments

“The Sagebrush Sea” Screening & Panel Discussion

imageThe Sagebrush Sea, Movie Screening & Panel Discussion

 When: Tuesday, Sept. 15th at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Emerson Crawford Theater

It’s been called “The Big Empty” – an immense sea of sagebrush that once stretched 500,000 square miles across North America, yet it’s far from empty, as those who look closely will discover. The new nature documentary by the acclaimed Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Sagebrush Sea, follows the Greater Sage-grouse -- an increasingly rare bird with an otherworldly mating display -- through a year on the steppe. This stunning movie captures the rich and complicated interactions between species amongst the sagebrush.

Witness rarely observed moments in the lives of some of the West’s most iconic wildlife - including Golden Eagles, mule deer, pronghorn, badgers, and hawks. This documentary comes at a pivotal time as our state and nation determine the future of this landscape and the wildlife that are dependent on it.

Having recently premiered on the award-winning PBS NATURE series, the public is invited to enjoy this nature documentary on the big screen. Afterwards, take part in a conversation about our iconic Western landscape and hear from people on the forefront of what The New York Times is calling, “One of the great conservation efforts of this century.”

Panelists include:

▪️Marc Dantzker – Former Biologist/Producer of The Sagebrush Sea, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

▪️Dr. Steve Knick – Researcher, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

▪️Dave Chadwick - Executive Director, Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF)

▪️Janet Ellis - Senior Director of Public Policy, Montana Audubon

The social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with free beverages and snacks.  The film starts at 6:40 p.m. with the panel discussion following.