Sacajawea Audubon

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

Filed under: Program No Comments

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.

Filed under: Program No Comments

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

Filed under: Program No Comments

April 11th Program – “Osprey: Ecology, Behavior & Conservation”

Marco Restani

Marco Restani, Montana Audubon

John James Audubon wrote of Ospreys: “The habits of this famed bird differ so materially from those of almost all others of its genus, that an accurate description of them cannot fail to be highly interesting to the student of nature.”  His words still apply today.  Watching an Osprey dive feet first into the water, sometimes submerging completely, before rising from the surface with a struggling fish leaves a lasting impression for birder and non-birder alike.  Ospreys are one of Montana’s most recognizable and charismatic raptors, nesting throughout the western third of the state and along large rivers in the prairies.

The Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society in Billings has monitored Osprey nests along the Yellowstone River since 2009.  YVAS focuses conservation efforts on Ospreys because the population is increasing, most pairs are building nests on power poles and thereby coming into conflict with utility companies, and nestling mortality from entanglement in baling twine is evident.  In 2009 three volunteers located 22 nests while today 30 volunteers hustle along 300 miles of river during summer to monitor over 85 nests.  Marco Restani, Director of Conservation for Montana Audubon, directs the research components of the YVAS Osprey project.  His presentation will review population ecology, behavior, and conservation of this widespread, unique raptor.

Dr. Marco Restani joined Montana Audubon in December 2015 to serve as Director of Conservation. Originally an ‘Army Brat’, Marco has lived and worked throughout Montana since 1983. He received a BS from the University of Montana, MS from Montana State, and PhD from Utah State studying Bald Eagles along the Missouri River near Helena. Following post-doctoral research at the University of Washington, Marco was a Professor for 15 years at Rocky Mountain College in Billings and at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. He spent seven summers in Greenland studying Peregrine Falcons and Common Ravens, two summers in Australia studying Tasmanian Devils, and four winters guiding ecotourists to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. Since 2012 Marco has been collaborating with Yellowstone Valley Audubon to monitor nesting Ospreys along the Yellowstone River. He is an ‘Elective Member’ of the American Ornithologists’ Union and a ‘Certified Wildlife Biologist’ with The Wildlife Society.

 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.

Filed under: Program No Comments

March 14th Program – African Adventure Travel with Wes Krause

Sacajawea Audubon takes you on an African Adventure at their March 14th program with Wes Krause, founder of African Environments and Mountain Madness adventure travel.  Wes will share with us some of the highlights of walking in Arusha National Park, elephant watching in Tarangire, soda lake ecosystems of the Great Rift Valley, walking in the vast wilderness zones of Serengeti National Park and game viewing in the famous caldera of Ngorongoro Crater.

He will share insights into the Maasai pastoralist and Hadza Bushman way of life.  Wes has been an avifauna enthusiast for decades and will stir your curiosity for some of the  “must see” birds of Tanzania such as: Silvery Cheeked Hornbill, Hartlaub’s Turaco, African Jacana and Lilac Breasted Roller, Little Bee Eater & Crowned Crane.

Crowned Cranes (photo courtesy Wes Krause)

Wes Krause has been living in Tanzania and organizing adventures for over 30 years.
As a youngster growing up in Colorado, Wes constantly dreamed of being in the wilderness. In his 20’s Wes climbed and adventured in Alaska, New Zealand, Kenya, Uganda, Russia, Tajikistan and Nepal. Wes later directed branch schools for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Washington State, Alaska and Kenya. In 1983 Wes and his climbing partner Scott Fischer started Mountain Madness, operating trips all over the world. By 1991 adventures to Tanzania had become so popular Wes started African Environments with two Tanzanian partners.

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.

Photo courtesy Wes Krause

Photo courtesy Wes Krause

Filed under: Program No Comments

February 8th Program – “Avian Roles, From Behaviors to Similarities”

GREY HERON (courtesy Carol Polich)

GREY HERON (courtesy Carol Polich)













Join Sacajawea Audubon for our February 8th program that will feature nature photographer, Carol Polich. Well published throughout the west, locally, & internationally with her photos and adventure travel stories, she will present an exciting, visual and musical lecture on bird behavior and similarities between birds spanning a variety of continents.

Polich’s photos are also exhibited in 2 published books: “Portrait of Paradise” which covers the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem took 14 years of film work and published  through Farcountry Press (Helena, 2007); with her many travels throughout southern Africa from 1987-2010, a mammal survival behaviour book idea was accepted by Random Struik Publishing, Capetown with the result being “Wildlife of Southern Africa” (2010). The photos cover 21 years of diligent photography.

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.

Which heron is this_MG_4451

Which heron is this? (courtesy Carol Polich)

Filed under: Program No Comments

January 11th Program – Visit To The Antarctic with Bob Martinka

Photo courtesy Bob Martinka

Photo Courtesy Bob Martinka

Sacajawea Audubon invites you to learn about one of the least visited places on Earth. The Antarctic Peninsula and associated islands are arguably the most remote, spectacular and wildlife diverse regions remaining on earth. Bob Martinka will highlight a 19-day cruise he and his wife Cathy took to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula in January 2014. They followed parts of a route that Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and his men traversed on their disastrous 1914-1917 expedition. Bob's presentation will highlight the history, scenery and amazing wildlife of the region.

Bob obtained degrees in Wildlife Biology and Ecology from Colorado State University, Purdue University and a Ph.D. from Montana State University. He worked for almost 30 years with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. In his retirement years he has become an avid photographer, traveling to numerous locations around the globe to pursue his interest in most wild things, including birds, mammals, dragonflies and flowers.

Sacajawea Audubon programs are free and open to the public.  We meet every 2nd Monday, September through May, at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf (off of S. 19th). Come for the social at 6:30 and share cookies, coffee and conversation. The program starts following a brief chapter meeting at 7 p.m.

Photo courtesy Bob Martinka

Photo courtesy Bob Martinka

Filed under: Program No Comments

Dec. 14th Program – “Eyes On The Skies – Results of the 25th Bridger Raptor Count”

Andrew Eberly & Bridget Bradshaw

Andrew Eberly & Bridget Bradshaw

Presented by: 

Hawkwatch International Founder, Steve Hoffman

Monday December 14th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. (Social begins at 6:30 p.m.)

Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf Street (off of South 19th) in Bozeman

The Bridger Ridge provides viewing one of the largest Golden Eagle migrations known in the lower 48 states. Recent Golden Eagle count totals have varied from 1,000 to 1,400 eagles per season, with up to 200 individuals tallied on peak migration days (usually during the first two weeks of October). Data obtained over the last 25 years has provided scientists with valuable information about trends in Golden Eagles and other raptor populations.

Thanks to the generous support of Sacajawea Audubon Society and others, September 1st marked the start of the 25th consecutive season of raptor migration research along the crest of the Bridger Mountains. Montana Audubon, in partnership with HawkWatch International (HWI), has coordinated this scientific project for the past 7 seasons. HWI initiated these annual counts in 1991.

These majestic birds use the energy-saving updrafts created by strong winds along the crest of the Bridgers to migrate south. The long-term data collected at the Bridger site helps scientists learn about regional and continental raptor population trends. Most importantly, the Bridger project is designed to monitor widespread environmental changes, using these apex predators as valuable barometers of ecological health.

Steve Hoffman, Executive Director of Montana Audubon, emphasizes: “The Bridger Project is the most important migration site in the western United States for monitoring the health and trends of Golden Eagle populations.  The Bridger data are especially important now because there is scientific evidence for long-term declines in Golden Eagle numbers across much of western North America. As a result, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other wildlife conservation agencies are intensifying research efforts to learn more about Golden Eagles and what might be causing this downward trend.”

Owl decoy on the Bridger Ridge

Owl decoy on the Bridger Ridge

Filed under: Program No Comments

Nov. 9th Program – “The Bird of Yellowstone” with Doug Smith

Doug Smith releasing a golden eagle.

Doug Smith releasing a golden eagle.

Join Sacajawea Audubon for “The Birds of Yellowstone” presented by Doug Smith, YNP Senior Wildlife Biologist for the wolf, bird and elk programs. Doug’s talk will highlight two different projects and the issues facing YNP area songbirds, raptors, trumpeter swans, common loons and colonial nesting birds. The program is free and open to the public.  The social begins at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 West Graf (off of S. 19th).

Doug Smith PhD is a Senior Wildlife Biologist in Yellowstone National Park. He supervises the wolf, bird and elk programs – formerly three jobs now combined into one under Doug’s supervision. His original job was the Project Leader for the Yellowstone Wolf Project which involved the reintroduction and restoration of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. He helped establish this project and position. Doug received a B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Idaho in 1985. He has published a wide variety of journal articles and book chapters on beavers, wolves, and birds and co-authored two popular books on wolves (The Wolves of Yellowstone & Decade of the Wolf which won the 2005 Montana book award for best book published in Montana) as well as publishing numerous popular articles. A third book, Wolves on the Hunt, is due out in May 2015.  His professional interests include wolf population dynamics, wolf-prey relationships, restoration of ecological processes, raptor conservation, and beaver population dynamics.  He is a member of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team, the Re-Introduction Specialist Group, and Canid Specialist Group for the IUCN. Besides wolves, birds and beavers, he is an avid canoeist preferring to travel mostly in the remote regions of northern Canada with his wife Christine and their two sons Sawyer and Hawken.

Photo courtesy Yellowstone National Park

Photo courtesy Yellowstone National Park

Filed under: Program No Comments

October 12th Program – “Flights on the Wild Side – The Life & Times of a Wildlife Biologist/Pilot in Alaska”

Mike Husky Sheep

Join Sacajawea Audubon for our October program, “Flights on the Wild Side - The Life and Times of a Wildlife Biologist/Pilot in Alaska”, presented by SAS Board member, Mike Vivion.  Mike will discuss the areas where he worked and flew, as well as some of the changes that took place during his 34 year career with the Fish & Wildlife Refuge Division.

Mike Vivion is a retired Wildlife Biologist/Airplane Pilot who worked on several National Wildlife Refuges over the course of his career.  Twenty nine years of that career were spent in Alaska, where he was stationed on the Izembek, Kodiak and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuges.  Aerial census and research projects took him to all the other refuges in Alaska.  He retired from the FWS in 2005 and taught at the University of Minnesota, Crookston for seven years.  He and his wife Gina, a retired elementary school teacher, moved to Bozeman in 2013 and are happily retired.

Sacajawea Audubon Society meets every 2nd Monday of the month, Sept. through May at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 West Graf.  Social time starts at 6:30 p.m. with the meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. Sacajawea Audubon programs are free and open to the public.


Filed under: Program No Comments