Sacajawea Audubon

Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 16-19, 2018

Participating in the GBBC is fun and easy!  To find out how, click HERE



2017 Christmas Bird Count Results

Stephanie Nelson, Beth Madden & Forrest Rowland scan the horizon for birds at Nelson's Spring Creek Ranch during the Livingston CBC. Photo courtesy Lou Ann Harris.

Sacajawea Audubon hosted Christmas Bird Counts in 7 different areas in four different counties: Bozeman, Ennis, Livingston, Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Three Forks & Ruby Valley (Sheridan).  As results are summarized, they will be posted here.  We hope you were able to participate in one of these counts.  You may think birding in December would be a little on the crazy side, but it's amazing what birds are seen!

2017 Livingston CBC

2017 Bozeman CBC

2017 Three Forks CBC


2017 Christmas Bird Counts

2010 Bozeman Christmas Bird Count

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.

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.

Bozeman     Saturday, December 16th

Compiler: John Parker (406) 586-5863

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

West Yellowstone     Sunday, December 17th

Compiler: Brad Barth (406) 640-2628

Meet at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center West Yellowstone at 8:30 AM

Livingston     Sunday, December 17th

Compiler: George Kelly (406) 220-0282

Meet at Pinky’s, on Main Street, in Livingston between 7:30-8 AM

Yellowstone  Sunday, December 17th

Compiler: Woody Martyn (406) 224-1476

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

Ennis  Wednesday, December 20th

Compiler: Robin Wolcott (406) 581-5418 email preferred

Meet at Yesterday’s Café in the Ennis Pharmacy, by 7:30 AM or sooner for breakfast

Three Forks  Tuesday, December 26th

Compiler: Tom Forwood (406) 570-6432 email preferred

Meet at Wheat Montana on US 287 at exit 274 at 7:45 AM or by 7:15 for breakfast

Ruby Valley  Thursday, January 4th

Compiler: Tom Forwood (406) 570-6432  email preferred

Meet at Fritt’s Dream Bean Cafe, in Sheridan, at 7:45-8:15 AM

Please let Tom know if you plan to eat breakfast at the cafe.

Note: cross country skiers are needed for some sections


Bridger Mountains Hawk Watch Featured on Yellowstone Public Radio

Bridger Hawk Watch - 2016


Hawk counters Bret Davis and Adam Bradley were recently featured in a story on Yellowstone Public Radio.  Click HERE  to listen to the story.



October 14th- Madison Valley IBA Survey

Ennis Lake (Photo by Beth Johns)

The birds are on the move again with Ennis Lake serving as an important stopover for large numbers of migrating waterfowl, loons, grebes, and, of course, thousands of coots. Last year's fall survey found 96 Common Loons on the lake, almost 300 Western Grebes, hundreds of Ruddy Ducks, and a variety of raptors and passerines in the valley. On October 14th (Saturday) we will conduct one last survey of the Madison Valley IBA and its always a fun day out birding as we add to our data base for this Important Bird Area.

If you can help, email Paulette at or call 580-6186. We will meet at the Ennis Pharmacy Café in Ennis by 7:45 am. Come early if you would like to eat breakfast there. We should be finished by early afternoon.



Madison Valley IBA Bird Count – June 28th

Madison Valley IBA Bird Survey – June 28th (Wednesday)
Its time for a thorough survey of the breeding birds using our IBA.  The great numbers of waterfowl will be gone and instead we will be challenged to count up all the warblers, flycatchers, swallows, orioles, grosbeaks, raptors, and Sandhill Cranes (101 seen on one year's June count).  This count will take place on Wednesday, June 28th, 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 and be ready to head out for the survey at 7 am   I believe the Café opens at 6:30 if you want a quick breakfast there.
If you can help, please email Paulette at or call 580-6186.
Also, keep in mind that there will be a survey of the Headwaters IBA on Sunday, June 18th.  Contact Martha Collins to get involved in that count.

Headwaters IBA Bird Survey – June 18th

Our next Headwater IBA survey is Sunday June 18th at 7:30 am. We will meet at Headwaters State Park at the Entrance Kiosk. The survey takes approximately 4 hours. We are usually done around noon. This is the second and last survey of the year and we will be counting mostly the nesting and summer visiting species. Hopefully we will see or hear our elusive Yellow-breasted Chat.

Would any of you be available to help?

Write or call me at 406 579 0506


Headwaters IBA Survey – May 4th

Western Meadowlark (Photo by Lou Ann Harris)

Headwaters IBA (Important Bird Area) Survey Carpool at Albertsons Grocery in Belgrade at 7:10 am

Please join us for a walking Spring IBA Survey at Headwaters State Park, Three Forks, MT, on Thursday, May 4th. We will meet at 7:30 am at the State Park kiosk at the entrance across from the Camp Ground. With 3 survey groups we hope to catch early nesting species as well as a few migrants. There is usually lots of activity on the cliffs when we all meet at 11 to survey the Boat Launch site.

Bring your eyes, ears and good ID skills on May 4th.

Contact: Martha Collins at 579-0506


Madison Valley IBA Bird Survey – April 30th

Photo by Lou Ann Harris

Spring migration is on and the next Madison Valley IBA survey is scheduled for Sunday, April 30th. This count usually yields a good diversity of 75 to 80 species and is a fun opportunity to get out and see some of our favorite birds back in the valley. We should be seeing curlews, avocets, loons, grebes, pelicans, swallows, sapsuckers, wrens, sandhill cranes, and ospreys by that time.

Let me know if you would like to help. Email me at or call 580-6186. We will meet at the Ennis Pharmacy Café in Ennis by 7:45 am. Come early if you would like to eat breakfast there. We should be finished by early afternoon.



2016 Christmas Bird Counts – Summaries


2016 Christmas Bird Counts


On Saturday 17 December, Bozeman conducted its Christmas Bird Count. It was cold, with a temperature range of -27 to -5; the good news was that it was a sunny and calm day. 32 people took part in the count, with another 8 feeder watchers.


Amazingly after 78 CBC’s in Bozeman, three new species were added to the cumulative species total. New to the count this year were Northern Shoveler, Eared Grebe, and Long-eared Owl. Other notable birds were Lesser Scaup seen for only the fifth time and American Coot seen for the seventh time. During count week Virginia Rail and Pacific Wren were seen, which have only been seen on count day once and twice, respectively. The big miss of the count was Brown Creeper, which could be chalked-up to everyone keeping their ears warm.


New high counts included Ruffed Grouse-10, Red-tailed Hawk-81, Northern Pygmy Owl-2, Black-billed Magpie-1184, Common Raven-194, and Bohemian Waxwing-5578.


The Ennis Christmas Bird Count took place on December 14th. The conditions for the Ennis count were considerably milder then the Bozeman count, with temperatures ranging from 6 to 25 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. 21 people participated on the count, plus 3 feeder watchers.


The 54 species seen on the count was somewhat lower than has been seen in recent years. We had new high counts for Canada Goose-2050, Great Blue Heron-5, Eurasian Collard-Dove-159 and 2 Mourning Doves which tied a previous record. This was the fifth sighting of Rusty Blackbird and Virginia Rail. Five goldeneyes remained undifferentiated. Mallard, Common Goldeneye, Bald Eagle, Black-billed Magpie, Black-capped Chickadee and House Sparrow are the only species that have been observed on all 57 counts.


20 people spotted 56 species and over 15,000 individual birds on the Three Forks count, during a day with temperatures ranging from -8 to 28 degrees.


Two species, Cackling Goose and Hooded Merganser, were seen for the first time on the Ennis count. Remarkably, new high counts were achieved for 15 species of birds on the count. Some of the notable new high counts were Northern Harrier-22, Rough-legged Hawk-86, and Canyon Wren-5. It was only the sixth time Short-eared Owls have been observed on the Three Forks count.