Sacajawea Audubon

Jan. 30th – “KEEP IT PUBLIC” Rally in Helena, and Petition

Gallatin Range

Legislation has again been introduced to transfer ownership of national public lands to Montana.  Montana Audubon Society is one of the organizations opposing this legislation.  A "Keep it Public" rally has been scheduled for January 30th at noon in Helena at the Capitol Rotunda.   Go to for more information about the rally or to complete the online petition against the transfer of these lands.


February 18th – The Great Backyard Bird Count


"The guided hike will be lead by Assistant Park Manager Tom Forwood for those who are new to bird identification. The hike will leave at 9:30am and will go for approximately 3 hours. Guests are welcome to download the E-bird app for their phones so that they can record they species they see on the walk! Also as a reminder, the cave is not open until May and the gate to the top visitors center is currently closed, but guests are welcome to stay following the hike to wander about the trails and look for birds themselves."


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.


March 9th- SAS Book Group: Grass, Sky, Song


The next book group meeting will be March 9, 2017. The discussion will be about Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds by Trevor Herriot, an award winning author who lives in Regina, Saskatchewan. One commentator describes the book: “As beautifully rendered as the land it celebrates. The writing, the illustrations [drawn by the author], and the design all rise to the level or art.”


Book group meetings go from 5:30-6:45 PM at Hope Lutheran Church. If you are new to the book group and plan to attend for the first time, please contact Adele Pittendrigh so you can be added to the mailing list.



Bird Photography Classes for DSLR with Carol Polich

Photo by Carol Polich

Photo by Carol Polich

Bird Photography - Level I for DSLR cameras only

This class is for those of you who want to get out of Program or Auto modes and learn how to shoot wildlife/birdlife in Aperture Priority mode. Learning where your functions  lie within the menu and on the camera plus understanding the relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed, and F stops & reading the histogram  are key ingredients in this level.

The class instruction includes:

 3 lectures of 2.5 hours each with” hands on” in class instruction  & possible outside shooting(weather permitting) plus a combined lecture and 4-5 hour field trip

Minimum: 4 people, maximum 10 people at $115 each (SAS Member), $140 each (non-member)

DATE: FEBRUARY 23, 24 and MARCH 2 and 4

TIMES:  THUR (both dates), FRI  5:30-8pm; SAT 10-2pm


 When you sign up you MUST have your own camera & mention your camera “Brand” and the Model such as Canon T3i plus which lenses you have. NO POINT AND SHOOT CAMERAS ARE ALLOWED.

**To sign-up, please contact Stephanie Nelson via email (preferred) at, or call (406) 587-3052. Payment will be required prior to the class.


Bird Photography - Level II for DSLR cameras only 

This class is for those with DSLR cameras who shoot in Manual or Aperture Priority & understand the relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed, and F stops. This workshop stresses how to get correct EXPOSURE and working with LIGHT QUALITY & your position to your subject.

 The class instruction includes:

 3  lectures of 2.5 hours each with” hands on” in class instruction  & possible outside shooting (weather permitting) plus a combined lecture/field trip of 4-5 hours.

 Minimum: 4 people, maximum 10 people at $115 each (SAS Member), $140 each (non-member)

DATE: MARCH 8, 9, 10, 11

TIMES: WED, THUR, FRI -5:30-8pm; SAT 10-2pm


 When you sign up you MUST have your own camera & mention your camera “Brand” and the Model such as Canon T3i plus which lenses you have. NO POINT AND SHOOT CAMERAS ARE ALLOWED.

**To sign-up, please contact Stephanie Nelson via email (preferred) at, or call (406) 587-3052. Payment will be required prior to the class.

Carol Polich has been widely published in the USA and internationally with her photos and travel adventure stories since the early 1990’s. She not only continues to travel and work with a variety of publishers but she also leads several photo workshops in the western USA. During the year, Polich currently teaches a variety of highly successful photography classes through the Bozeman Adult Community Education program. A list of her accomplishments can be viewed by googling her name and checking out her website.

Photo by Carol Polich

Photo by Carol Polich


SAS Board Letter to the EPA Regarding the Berkeley Pit

Snow Geese at Freezeout Lake (L. Harris photo)


The Sacajawea Audubon Board of Directors recently drafted a letter to the EPA Superfund Manager regarding the recent death of thousands of snow geese on the Berkeley Pit.  This letter was also sent to several newspapers around the state and has been published in 3 so far.  Please click on the link below to read the letter.

SAS Letter to EPA


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Raptor Identification Workshop and Field Trip – March 1st & 4th

 Raptor Identification Workshop and Field Trip

March 1st and 4th  

Red-tailed Hawk (Lou Ann Harris)

Presented by: Steve Hoffman,

founder of HawkWatch International

Have you ever wanted to sharpen your raptor identification skills? If so, this is the workshop for you! On Wednesday 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 Wednesday night presentation will start at 6:30 PM and last till 8:45 PM, in the Bozeman Public Library’s small conference room.

Saturday morning’s field trip will meet at the Museum of the Rockies at 8:15 am, and leave at 8:30. 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 you can bring, that would be helpful.

There is a $40 fee for current Sacajawea Audubon members, and just $15 for participants under age 25, or $60 for non-members (the $60 includes a $25 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



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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Support SAS this Holiday Season through Amazon Smile

If you do your holiday shopping online and use Amazon, you can support our chapter by using the Amazon Smile website.  Your purchases will generate donations for Sacajawea Audubon.

Holiday shopping is easy with Amazon's Holiday Gift Guides. #StartWithaSmile at for your holiday gifts and Amazon donates to Sacajawea Audubon Society.

Gift Guide Link:

Give it a try and support bird conservation in Southwest Montana!


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2016 Christmas Bird Count Schedule

2014 Ennis CBC

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.


Wednesday, December 14th

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


Saturday, December 17th

Compiler: John Parker (406) 586-5863

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

West Yellowstone

Sunday, December 18th

Compiler: Brad Barth (406) 640-2628

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


Sunday, December 18th

Compiler: Sally MacDonald (406) 223-9167

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


Sunday, December 18th

Compiler: Woody Martyn (406) 224-1476

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


Three Forks

Monday, December 26th

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

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


Ruby Valley

Wednesday, January 4th

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

Meet at 8:30 location to be announced

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