Sacajawea Audubon

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: (designate “Ennis Raptor Workshop” in “Notes” section).

QUESTIONS: Call 443.3949, or email – 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? __________


Jan. 19th- SAS Book Group- “What the Robin Knows”

51atMIjHbBL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_On January 19th, the SAS Book Group will discuss What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World by Jon Young. The book promises to teach us how robins and other birds use a universal bird language that communicates about what is going on in the environment. Everyone is welcome to participate in the book group, which meets every 6 weeks from 5:30-6:45 in the Hope Lutheran Church.

If this is your first time attending one of the discussions, please send email to Adele Pittendrigh at



2016 Spring Birding Classes with Ashley Martens

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)



Birds inspire curiosity and a sense of wonder.  Ever wonder who exactly is whistling “Hey Sweetie!” outside your window in the wee hours of the morning?  Or how to identify a bird based on a flash of yellow feathers? Or what the little brown bird in the woodpile is called?  Or why she’s there in the first place?  To help you answer all of these questions and more, Sacajawea Audubon Society is offering a BEGINNING BIRDING WORKSHOP and -- *new this year* -- an INTERMEDIATE BIRDING WORKSHOP, as well as the return of the INTRO TO BIRD LANGUAGE workshop.

All courses will be taught by Ashley Martens, an experienced birder, naturalist, and outdoor educator.  Ashley’s approach to teaching birding engages all of your senses to tune in to what you see, hear, and love about the wild birds around us.  Contact Ashley at or 208-883-4998 for more information and to register for all classes detailed below.



Participants will be introduced to the basics of birding through 3 evening classroom sessions and 3 field trips to a variety of habitats in the valley.  We will cover bird families, common birds in our region, and what to look and listen for when seeking out the identity of a bird.

Classroom Sessions: Thurs eves April 28, May 19, and June 9       6:30-8pm        Hope Lutheran Church

Field Trips: Saturday mornings April 30, May 21, and June 11      7-10am            Various Locations

Cost:  $95 for Sacajawea Audubon members; $115 for non-members. Please make checks payable to “Sacajawea Audubon Society” and mail to Ashley Martens at 42 Hitching Post Rd., Bozeman, MT 59715.

Maximum 8 students.  Supply lists will be provided upon registration.




This is the perfect class for birders who want to boost their birding skills up a notch and start studying more details of plumage, bird behaviors, and more sight and sound identification tips.  We will spend some extra time on common families of birds in our region that can be challenging to identify such as warblers and sparrows.  We’ll meet 2 evenings in the classroom and take 2 field trips to hone our skills.

Classroom Sessions: Thurs eves June 2 and 16         6:30-8pm        Bozeman Public Library

Field Trips: Saturday mornings June 4 and 18          7-10am            Various Locations

Cost:  $70 for Sacajawea Audubon members; $90 for non-members. Please make checks payable to “Sacajawea Audubon Society” and mail to Ashley Martens at 42 Hitching Post Rd., Bozeman, MT 59715.

Maximum 8 students.  Supply lists will be provided upon registration.




Birds are the true messengers of the forests. They can tell us if there's a fox hiding in the brush, a person about to run down the trail, a sharp-shinned hawk about to fly through.  Come learn the ancient art of bird language in an introductory class taught by naturalist Ashley Martens. We’ll learn the 5 voices of the birds as well as some alarm patterns.  Then we’ll head out for a short “bird sit” to look and listen for those voices.  Bird language can inform us on a much deeper level what is going on in the forest.  Awareness of bird language also inevitably leads to a deeper awareness of self. (How do birds respond when YOU move through the woods?)

Monday, June 6th  6-8pm at the Sourdough Nature Trail (Gardner Park Trailhead).

Cost:  Free for participants in our other workshops, $5-10 donation for others to support Sacajawea Audubon’s growing educational programs.

Maximum 12 students.  No supplies necessary.


Ashley Martens True Nature Education

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Raptor ID Workshop & Field Trip with Steve Hoffman

Raptor Identification Workshop and Field Trip March 11th and 12th 


(Presented by: Steve Hoffman, Executive Director, MT Audubon and founder of HawkWatch International)

Have you ever wanted to sharpen your raptor identification skills?  If so, this is the workshop for you! On Friday evening Steve will provide a detailed discussion of the identification and natural history of all raptor (e.g., hawks, eagles, falcons, etc.) species wintering in the Gallatin Valley. Steve’s illustrated talk will include a description of the many plumage variations (including subspecies and color forms, as well as age and sex variations) of the more common and observable species. Helpful behavioral clues will also be incorporated. Eagles, falcons and the “buteo” hawks (such as Red-tailed Hawks) will be emphasized. Participants will then go into the field (north of Bozeman) on Saturday to practice their newly-developed skills. Steve’s presentation will be especially valuable for “intermediate” and “advanced” raptor watching enthusiasts, although beginners will also find this workshop quite helpful.

The Friday night presentation will start at 7 PM and last till 9 PM, in the Bozeman Public Library’s small conference room.

Saturday morning’s field trip will meet at the Museum of the Rockies at 8:30 am, and leave at 8:45.  Be sure to dress for the weather and bring any necessary drinks or snacks for this 4-5 hour trip.  If you have a spotting scope that you can bring, that would be helpful.

There is a $35 fee for Sacajawea Audubon members, $15 for participants under age 25, or $55 for non-members (the $55 includes a $20 Sacajawea Audubon membership).  There is a 20 person limit for the workshop and field trip.  Advance reservation and payment is required.  For more information and to make reservations please call John Parker at 586-5863 or e-mail

Northern Goshawk (photo by Lou Ann Harris)

Northern Goshawk (photo by Lou Ann Harris)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (photo by L. Harris)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (photo by L. Harris)


Audubon Bird Guide App – Now available for FREE


The Audubon Bird Guide is the must-have app for anyone interested in birds. This award-winning app instantly turns your mobile device into the most trusted field guide in North America.

  • 821 in-depth species profiles
  • More than 3,200 bird photos
  • Quick bird IDs with filters by shape, region and color
  • Thousands of bird calls, differentiated by region and season
  • Seasonal and migratory range maps
  • Recent local bird sightings through eBird
  • Sightings posted by Audubon NatureShare friends and followers

So what are you waiting for? Download the Audubon Bird Guide and get birding!

Five easy tips for getting the most out of your Audubon Bird Guide app

1. What birds are in your area?

Traditional field guides can help you find birds based on habitat, but the Audubon Bird Guide finds them through real-time reports from thousands of people. Simply select your location in the “Find Birds with eBird” section. The most recent species observations in your area will be at your fingertips.

2. How can I figure out what that bird outside my window is?

Under “Explore Birds,” the Advanced Search option is the best way to identify a completely unknown bird. And it sure beats flipping through every page of a paper field guide. Select your location and month, then fill in whatever other details you have on size, shape, color, habitat, etc.. The app will present you with a list of the most likely birds matching your description.

3. Want to dive deep into your favorite species?

Apps manage to pack more information into every part of the field guide experience. The species description section in the Audubon Bird Guide app is no exception. Explore detailed information on habitat, behavior, and nesting that can not only help you find birds more easily, but also better appreciate them and understand their behavior.

4. What's that sound?

Bird songs and calls vary regionally and the Audubon Bird Guide provides recordings to show you the regional and individual variations of bird vocalizations. With thousands to listen to, you can become an expert in the nuanced bird calls all around you.

5. Who else spotted that amazing bird? 

Audubon’s NatureShare feature allows you to share your wildlife observations with others straight from the Audubon Bird Guide. Select a location, upload a photo, and add your comments to share with your friends. Also browse their posts to enjoy the natural world from the comfort of your home, or to get ideas where to explore next.

Share Your Love of Birds

Now that you have discovered the many awesome features that the Audubon Bird Guide has to offer, there is no better time to share your love of birds by telling others about the app.

The must-have field guide for FREE? Your friends will thank you, trust us.

Share the Audubon Bird Guide: Facebook or Twitter

Birding from home with your Audubon app [can link to other articles on your website]
We’re sure your birdwatching experiences have been improved by your new Audubon Bird Guide app. But why stop there? Here are more tips and activities for the bird lover in you.

Attract more birds to your home

Sometimes the easiest way to see birds is the best way. Your home has the potential to welcome all kinds of feathered friends and with these simple steps, it can.

  • Hang a bird feeder, or many, with a diverse mix of seeds to attract the greatest variety of birds. Placement is key; table-like feeders can attract ground-feeding birds, while tube and suet feeders are best for shrub and tree eaters. Locating feeders within three feet of windows can protect birds from collisions and set you up for up-close viewing.
  • Grow a few bird-friendly plants—plants that naturally grow in your area are great for birds and other wildlife. Even one native tree can create a more attractive and healthy sanctuary for birds, both resident and migratory.
  • Add water to your backyard habitat so that birds can drink, bathe, and preen to their hearts’ content. The sound of moving water is a bird magnet so try to incorporate some kind of fountain or drip.

Take easy and beautiful bird photos

Whether it soars into your bird-friendly yard or perches high atop a tree in your favorite birding spot, spotting a beautiful bird is a remarkable feeling. Photography is the perfect way to capture this moment. You already have your phone out and, with these tips, you can snap some great bird shots straight from your device.

  • First and foremost, clean your lens. Phones are sometimes put through the ringer, particularly on outdoor birding trips. A quick swipe with a lens cleaner or even your t-shirt can eliminate dreaded photo blemishes.
  • Prepare for action. Birds in flight are difficult but worthwhile photo opportunities. Capture the action using burst mode by holding down the shutter.
  • Don’t forget to check exposure. Whether due to outdoor lighting or birds moving from light to dark backgrounds, testing exposure regularly is key to your shot. On the iPhone, tapping on the screen and adjusting the slider to brighten or darken is an easy fix.

Joining Citizen Science Programs

With the Audubon Bird Guide app, you’re already finding birds, and maybe even sharing your sightings through Audubon's NatureShare. It doesn’t take much more than that to join in Audubon’s crowdsourced science projects.

For more than a century, we have relied upon tens of thousands of passionate birders such as yourself to participate in our annual bird counting programs. By simply adding your bird sightings to eBird, you can be a part of shaping our conservation efforts.

Join Audubon’s crowdsourced science projects.

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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:

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

RaptorFestTalk2014 (1)


“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.


Reel In & Recycle – Monofilament Recycling Program Event, July 26th



Rocky Mountain Rd. Bluebird Trail Field Trip – June 28th & 29th

Mt Bluebird pair  (L. Harris)

Mt Bluebird pair (L. Harris)

➢June 28 and 29: Rocky Mountain Road Bluebird Trail

Leaders: Janne Hayward 587-6124 , and Lou Ann Harris 600-3585
(1/2 day)

Get up close and personal with Mountain Bluebirds. Join bluebirders Janne Hayward and Lou Ann Harris, as they check bluebird nest boxes and band adults and nestlings along Rocky Mountain Road. This is a rare opportunity to get an inside look at the lives of these amazing birds, including nest building, egg laying and raising young. Due to the sensitive nature of the work, we are limiting these field trips to 8 participants.

Participants in all trips will meet at the front parking lot of the Museum of the Rockies at 6:45 AM and depart at 7:00 AM unless otherwise noted. Car pools will be arranged at the museum; an offer to help with gas to the person driving is always appreciated but not mandatory. Dress for the weather; good footwear is a must as field trip conditions are not always dry. Turn off your cell phones and keep unnecessary conversations to a minimum. Some field trips are limited to a certain number of participants. Contact the trip leader for more details about any trip, and to sign up for the trip. We encourage beginning birders to participate. Come have a good time and learn something new.


Beginning Birding By Ear – with Ashley Martens

Western Meadowlark   (by L. Harris)

Western Meadowlark (by L. Harris)


A singing bird inspires you. Sometimes it’s enough to simply enjoy the song, and sometimes you’d like to learn more. Who’s singing? Why? It is a “call” instead of a “song?” What’s the difference? In addition to the who and why, birds can tell us if there's a fox hiding in the brush, a person about to run down the trail, a sharp-shinned hawk about to fly through. Come learn to identify some common local birds by song and call, and learn the 5 voices of the birds as well as some alarm patterns. !

Thurs, June 25th 6-8pm Hope Lutheran Church
Saturday, June 27th 7-10am Field trip
Cost: $35 for Sacajawea Audubon members; $45 for non-members.

Please make checks payable to “Sacajawea Audubon Society” and mail to Sacajawea Audubon, P.O. Box 1711, Bozeman, MT 59771-1711. Contact Ashley at or 208-883-4998 for more information and to register. Maximum 10 students. Supply lists will be provided upon registration.

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