Sacajawea Audubon

February 13th SAS Program

American Bison (photo courtesy Tom Murphy)

Wildlife and Their Wild Land Homes Around the World

Speaker: Tom Murphy

Monday February 13th, 2016 at 7pm

Hope Lutheran Church
2152 W. Graf Street in Bozeman

Wildlife, especially the particularly sensitive birds, can not live without healthy secure wild land. Protecting and conserving wild land habitat is the first requirement for the continued survival of all creatures. SAS welcomes Tom Murphy for a presentation and slide show of his wild land and wildlife photography from around the world over the last 30 years showing the beauty and truth of our wild earth.

Tom Murphy was raised on a 7500 acre cattle ranch in western South Dakota and graduated with honors from Montana State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology.

Tom’s interest in photography began in 1972 and in 1978 he established a professional career in photography when he moved to Livingston, Montana and built a studio there. Through Wilderness Photography Expeditions, which he established in 1986, Tom built an internationally respected photography seminar series teaching natural history photography primarily in Yellowstone Park. His photographs have been used, both editorially and commercially, in numerous regional, national, and international publications including Life, Architectural Digest, National Geographic, Audubon, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Esquire and others. He was Cameron Diaz’s guide in Yellowstone for an MTV project and for Martha Stewart for her television show. He photographed for Meredith Brokaw’s cookbook, Big Sky Cooking.

His first book Silence and Solitude: Yellowstone’s Winter Wilderness won a 2002 Montana Book Award, and the accompanying video, produced by Montana PBS, earned an Emmy nomination. In July 2010, he completed a set of books named The Seasons of Yellowstone that includes four volumes: The Light of Spring, The Abundance of Summer , The Comfort of Autumn, and The Spirit of Winter (Crystal Creek Press). He is featured in “Landscape Photography: American Master Photographers on Their Art” published July 2015.

PBS Nature’s show “Christmas in Yellowstone”, airs nationally and internationally and features Tom’s winter photography and some of his backcountry skiing stories.

Tom’s latest film “The Four Seasons of Yellowstone” will be aired on PBS March 13th, 2017.


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


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.


January 9th Program

Veracruz River of Raptors Project

Monday January 9th, 2016 at 7pm

Hope Lutheran Church

2152 W. Graf Street in Bozeman

Steve Hoffman recently retired as Executive Director of Montana Audubon, serving in this capacity for more than decade (2006-2016). He has devoted his entire 38- year career to wildlife conservation. After 10 years of government service (mostly as an Endangered Species Biologist for the US Fish & Wildlife Service in the American Southwest), Steve founded HawkWatch International, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to monitoring and conserving hawks, eagles and other raptors across the American West (he launched the Bridger Raptor Migration Project in 1991). Steve moved to Bozeman more than 12 years ago from his birth state of Pennsylvania. He has authored more than 35 scientific papers on raptor migration ecology & conservation, and endangered species management. Steve has given dozens of presentations on the identification, migration and conservation of raptors to diverse audiences throughout the US and abroad. He earned his M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology from Utah State University (Logan, UT) in 1979.

Steve will present an overview of the Veracruz River of Raptors Project (VRR), located near the Gulf Coast in eastern Mexico. This project was developed to monitor the largest raptor migration on Earth (4-6 million raptors of >20 species are tallied each autumn). As co-founder of the project, Steve will summarize how VRR was launched, and will provide an overview of key findings from this remarkable 25-year raptor population monitoring effort. Steve will also highlight his upcoming fall 2017 birding tour to Veracruz (through Merlin Birding Tours), including opportunities to view this absolutely stunning raptor migration spectacle; participants will also enjoy many other diverse birding experiences in central and southern Veracruz - over 300 bird species may be observed on this trip!

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.

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December 12th Program


Conservation Easements:

The Work of the Montana Land Reliance

Monday December 12th, 2016 at 7pm
Hope Lutheran Church
2152 W. Graf Street in Bozeman

Conservation easements are one of the most powerful tools to accomplish habitat protection for birds and other wildlife. Join Sacajawea Audubon in welcoming Kathryn Kelly of The Montana Land Reliance and learn about the basic process and benefits of creating conservation easements, the work of The Montana Land Reliance (MLR), and projects that are protecting various habitats for raptors, sage grouse and other birds.

We’ll explore the many intersections between the missions and work of Sacajawea Audubon and The Montana Land Reliance and discuss ways in which we can work together to increase conservation and protect more bird habitat lands.

Sacajawea Audubon members have already had connections with MLR through field trips to the Woodson Ranch/Ruby Habitat Foundation in the Ruby Valley and the Granger Ranches in the Madison Valley; both MLR protected properties.

Kathryn Kelly is the Greater Yellowstone Manager with The Montana Land Reliance (MLR), Montana’s statewide land trust. She works with landowners to create conservation easements on private lands in the Greater Yellowstone region of Montana. Her additional duties include education and outreach

programs, building support for the organization and private land conservation, donor development and fundraising. Kathryn was raised on a ranch on the banks of the Gallatin River outside Bozeman. She lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for several years and is an alumni of the University of Alaska where she majored in biology. Kathryn had a successful career in real estate, title insurance, escrow administration, management, and teaching in California’s Bay Area before returning home to Montana. She’s been a longtime activist addressing the increasing development pressure in the Gallatin Valley, protecting the Gallatin River system and agricultural water rights. Before joining the Reliance in 2014, Kathryn was involved with MLR for many years as a supporter and education and outreach volunteer. She and her parents donated conservation easements on the family ranch to MLR in 2001 and 2007. The Kelly Ranch has been the site of two Sacajawea Audubon field trips in 2015 and 2016.


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.

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.


October 10th Program – Natural History of the Yellowstone Grizzly

Photo by Jim Stewart

Photo by Jim Stewart

Join Sacajawea Audubon on October 10th for a a talk on the natural history of Yellowstone’s grizzly bears with Dr. David Mattson. Dr. Mattson will tell us what makes grizzly bears unique; how and when they got to North America and the Yellowstone region, and the following process of extirpation during 1800-1950; what makes Yellowstone's grizzlies unique, especially when it comes to diet and foods; and, in light of that, why Yellowstone's grizzly bears are severely threatened by on- going losses of food and other environmental deterioration.

Dr. Mattson has more than 35 years of professional training and experience focusing on the ecology and management of grizzly bears and mountain lions as well as the role of science in natural resources policy. He holds degrees in Forest Resource Management and Forest Ecology, and a doctorate in Wildlife Resource Management.

Prior to his retirement in 2013, Dr. Mattson was Research Wildlife Biologist, Leader of the Colorado Plateau Research Station, and Western Field Director of the MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative, all with US Geological Survey. He is currently Lecturer and Senior Visiting Scientist at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Research Associate with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, and Adjunct Faculty with Northern Arizona University.

Dr. Mattson’s research on the habitat and behavior of Yellowstone’s grizzly bears dates back to 1979. From 1984-1993, he held primary responsibility for investigating grizzly bear diet, habitat use, and relationships with humans as a member of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. He has authored numerous publications on the ecology and demography of Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population.

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.

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Sept. 12th Program – Raptors of South America: A Field Guide

Join Sacajawea Audubon for a special presentation on the raptors of South America.


Raptors of South America: A Field Guide

Presented by Sergio Seipke

When: Monday, September 12th at 7 pm

Where: Hope Luthern Church, 2152 W. Graf Street in Bozeman

Join worldclass raptor specialist, Sergio Seipke, for his presentation Raptors of South America: A Field Guide.  Sergio will be showcasing the large and diverse assemblage of raptor species that inhabit the South American continent. Sergio has studied this fascinating group of birds for much of his life; he will describe the natural history and conservation of these birds, with notes about the plumage variation of this peculiar raptor fauna.

Sergio started watching and learning about raptors in 1993. He was a Hawk Mountain trainee twice: first in 2005 and again in 2006. In February 2013, he formed Raptours, L.L.C. and has since designed, organized, and led or co-led raptor tours in eight countries in four continents. He is currently writing Raptors of South America, the first field guide for the subcontinent. He has authored and co-authored 16 articles dealing with raptor biology, migration, taxonomy, and field identification of Neotropical raptors.

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.

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Missouri Headwaters State Park’s program

July 30th Saturday, 7:00pm

Summer Speaker Series - Free

Amy Seaman: Bird Conservation Associate with Montana Audubon Society“Why Missouri Headwaters State Park is classified as an Important Birding Area

Missouri Headwaters State Park, behind park office.

Bring a chair! Marshmallow roast to follow.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

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May 24th – Whooping Cranes: America’s Symbol of Survival and Hope

Join Sacajawea Audubon for a special presentation on the Whooping Crane.

WHCR jan 2015 territory dispute KE


Whooping Cranes: America's Symbol of Survival and Hope

 Presented by Elizabeth H. Smith, Ph.D.

Director, Texas Whooping Crane Program

International Crane Foundation


When:  Tuesday, May 24th at 7 pm

Where: Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf Street in Bozeman


How does a species, reduced to a mere 21 birds in 1941, recover to over 600 today? Learn how this endangered species has faced unnatural hazards with natural instincts to survive. Become part of the world that we and cranes hope to coexist and thrive in.


Liz Smith is the Director of the International Crane Foundation’s Texas Whooping Crane Program, and has been conducting important research on cranes and their habitat in coastal Texas for over 20 years. Liz continues to expand her research on sea-level rise and storm surge effects on coastal habitat change, and promoting community advocacy for conservation planning and coastal protection.  These efforts are being undertaken with the specific goal of ensuring quality wintering habitat for the Whooping Crane as its’ populations continue to increase.


Most of Liz’s career has been focused on coastal Texas, and she has been nationally recognized in receiving the Coastal America Partnership Award for Restoration at Bahia Grande and Protection at Shamrock Island, EPA Award for Environmental Excellence in Wetlands, as well as regionally recognized in receiving the Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Award for Higher Education and Pathways to Success in Science Programs.

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Annual Sweet & Savory Social – May 9th




Come join the annual Sacajawea Audubon Society Sweet & Savory social and Annual Meeting on Monday, May 9th.  The meeting will include the Sweet and Savory social and potluck, and features 4 short presentations by SAS members on some of our conservation programs, followed by board elections. Please bring a sweet or savory dish to share. For more info, contact Lou Ann Harris at 600-3585 or email

The social and potluck will start at 6 p.m. with a short meeting followed by the program at 7 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to join SAS and share their interest in birding and conservation. The Sacajawea Audubon Society meets the second Monday of the month (September through May) at 7:00 p.m., at the Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf Street (off of South 19th) in Bozeman. We invite the public to attend our meetings and participate in our field trips.

Kestrel Nestbox Project

Kestrel Nestbox Project

chickadee and burdock (768x1024)

Burdock Removal Project

Immature Golden Eagle (K. Baughan photo)

Bridger Raptor Count (K. Baughan photo)

Mountain Bluebird (Lou Ann Harris)

Mountain Bluebird Trail Project

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