Sacajawea Audubon

Warblers Birding Workshop – Room Still Available

American Redstart (photo by Lou Ann Harris)


These are the perfect classes 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 for specific bird families or groups. Choose as many courses as you like!

This course 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.



What is better than yellow feathers?! We’ll learn to identify differences between these wonderfully little flashy, fidgety birds and sort them out with plumage, song/call, and habitat clues.

Classroom Session: Thurs, June 15th 6:30-8pm; Field Trip: Sat, June 17th 7-10am



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Story Mill Community Park Bird Walks

Calling all Bird Lovers!!

This spring Sacajawea Audubon Society and The Trust for Public Land will be offering guided bird walks to the developing Story Mill Community Park.  Come learn about the planned park development, view the award winning wetlands restoration, and see the many bird species that call the Story Mill area their home.


Dates are:  Thursday mornings May 11, May 18, May 25, June 1, and June 8.

Time is 8-9:30 am


We will meet on Story Mill Rd south of the Mill Elevator, at the trailhead of the Story Mill Spur Trail.  Please contact Terra to sign up: or call 406-582-6245.   Bring your binoculars, your eyes and your ears for a unique birding experience.  Space is limited!




Mark Your Calendar: 2017 Montana Audubon’s Bird Festival

Wings Across the Big Sky

June 9-11, 2017 Great Falls, Montana




Time to begin making those summer plans! Montana Audubon’s Wings Across the Big Sky Festival, co-hosted by Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon , will be held June 9-11, 2017 in Great Falls. We invite you to spread the news and enthusiasm so we can all enjoy a fantastic celebration of 40 Years of Montana Audubon. Included in this year’s activities are amazing field trips scheduled both Saturday and Sunday. These include excursions to the Rocky Mountain Front, Benton Lake, Kevin Rim, the Highwood and First Peoples State Park, among others, with the anticipation of seeing a varied array of species and habitats, as well as some education on surveys and conservation issues.

Festival headquarters will be located at the Best Western Heritage Inn. This venue will provide excellent opportunities to display our 40 years of history, Saturday afternoon presentations by Montana Audubon past and present programs, an outdoor barbeque to kickstart the anniversary celebration and this year’s festival, our keynote speaker, and a Saturday evening banquet dinner.

Each month we will continue to feature developing news on the 2017 Bird Festival. Registration will begin in March. Stay tuned!

For more information contact Montana Audubon’s Bird Festival Coordinator, Cathie Erickson:


SAS 50th Anniversary Field Trip – Red Rock Lakes NWR, June 2-4

Lower Lake - Red Rocks NWR

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Trip   **TRIP IS FULL**

June 2- 4, 2017

Join us as we celebrate Sacajawea Audubon Society’s 50th anniversary with a 3-day 2-night trip to the world-renowned Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.  This is a wonderful guided trip for beginner to advance birders.

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is located in the scenic and isolated Centennial Valley of southwestern Montana, approximately 40 miles west of Yellowstone National Park. The refuge has a vast array of habitat, ranging from high elevation wetland and prairie at 6,600 feet, to the harsh alpine habitat of the Centennial Mountains at 9,400 feet above sea level. It is this diverse, marsh-prairie-sagebrush-montane environment that gives Red Rock Lakes its unique character.

Birds are special residents at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge’s rich wetlands and nearby forests makes ideal habitat for breeding and feeding birds in early June.  Red Rock Lakes is best known as the primary location for the efforts to save the Trumpeter Swan from extinction.  In addition to the beautiful trumpeter swan, there are a minimum of 232 other species of birds that have been recorded within the refuge.  Some of the many species we hope to see are: Long-billed Curlew, Sandhill Crane, Sage Thrasher, Brewer’s & Vesper Sparrow, White-faced Ibis, American Avocet, Willet, Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Harrier, Prairie Falcon, Golden Eagle, Swainson’s Hawk, Short-eared Owl, and various ducks, flycatchers, kinglets, warblers, vireos, tanagers, thrushes, woodpeckers, and if we’re lucky, Sage Grouse.

Details for this special Red Rock Wildlife Refuge trip:

  • Departs from Bozeman at 3:00 PM on Friday, June 2, returning to Bozeman by 5:00 PM on Sunday, June 4.
  • Limited to 12 participants
  • Guided by Wildlife Biologist & Endangered Species Specialist, Steve Hoffman,  past director of Montana Audubon and Hawkwatch International
  • Cost $450 (includes transportation to-and-from Bozeman, lodging & all meals at Elk Lake Lodge and Steve Hoffman’s professional guiding)

For more information, a full itinerary or to register contact Loreene Reid at or 406 600-6666.




Photography Workshop with Tom Murphy – May 12th & 13th, 2017



Mt. Ellis Field Trip – May 27th

Vesper Sparrow (L. Harris)

 May 27 Saturday: Mount Ellis

Leader: Audrey Evers 218-742-7885

(4 -5-hour trip; moderately strenuous walking 3 miles) This slow-paced hike of approximately 3 miles, will explore a number of habitats on State and Forest Service lands, including grassland, aspen meadow, and conifer forest edge. At this time of year many of the nesting birds, such as Calliope Hummingbirds, Red-naped Sapsuckers, Dusky Flycatchers, Orange-crowned Warblers, and a wide variety of sparrows will have arrived on their territories. Along with terrific views of the Gallatin Valley, the wildflowers on this walk will likely distract you from the diversity of birds. 12 person limit.


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. Bring any food or beverages that you will need during the course of the trips, and some of the longer trips might require that you pack a lunch. 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 all skill levels of birders to participate. Come have a good time and learn something new.


Sweet & Savory Potluck & Program – May 8th

"The Pantanal of Brazil" with Forrest Rowland​

May 8th, 2017

6 p.m. Potluck, 7 p.m. Meeting/Program

Hope Lutheran Church

The Pantanal of Brazil, for those who have heard of it, conjures images of vast swamplands, impenetrable forests, and pristine waterways spanning beyond the horizon. To those who have been there, the reality is even more impressive than the fantasy! Spanning the borders of three countries, the mixed riparian forests, grassy plains, and rich waters of the Pantanal encompass an area of nearly 80,000 square miles. It covers roughly the land area of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey combined, and then some. Within this mosaic of mixed habitats more than 450 species of birds reside and flourish, alongside the most impressive array of megafauna (large mammals) in the Western Hemisphere. This program is a photo essay of some of the most charismatic creatures that inhabit this vast wildnerness, with a sampling of nearby areas often visited in conjunction with a trip down the famed Transpantaneira Road.

Forrest Rowland’s first birding trip, at the tender age of 9-years-old, was to the beautiful island nation of Trinidad, and the world-renowned Asa Wright Nature Center. Among the riot of Toucans, Trogons, Hummingbirds, and tropical foliage, he found his calling. 28 years later, Forrest still spends much of the year guiding tours, conducting research, and traveling the World for the sake of birds and birding.

Not restricted to the Western Hemisphere, Forrest has lived and worked in the Sultanate of Oman, and birded in some 34 countries. While Rowland’s birding expertise is centered in the North Andean countries of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, he has published articles on various aspects of birds and birding in the United States. Rowland has participated in research projects and led trips from the hottest deserts of Arizona, to the wet Northwest forests of Oregon, across the nation to Ohio and the Appalachian Mountains. Currently, Rowland works full-time as New World Product Director for Rockjumper Birding Adventures, leading a variety of tours across the globe, and organizing new itineraries from his home office in Livingston, Montana.

This is the final program of the season, and will be proceeded by a Sweet & Savory potluck and a short business meeting, beginning at 6 p.m.  The public is welcome to attend.  Please bring a dish to share.


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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.