Welcome to Flathead Audubon

We strive to be your Northwest Montana Bird Headquarters. Feel free to return to this site many times for everything "Birdy."
Sea of Snow Geese heads Photo Credit: Dick Walker

Flathead Audubon Cancels April 13th Public Meeting and Field Trips Through March and April 2020

from FAS President Gael Bissell

Flathead Audubon is cancelling our April 13 public meeting at the United Way and all scheduled March and April field trips. The coronavirus, Covid-19, is a major public health concern and scientists and health officials across Montana and the U.S. along with the National Audubon Society are recommending organizations cancel all public events with 10 or more people. Your health and safety are our greatest concern and we hope that these actions will help limit the spread of this disease in northwest Montana.

The program scheduled for the April 13 meeting, Birding with Alpacas presented by Dan Kotter, will be rescheduled for next year. We will let you know the status of our May and other future meetings and field trips through the Pileated Post, here on our website, news and social media, and possibly email.

It is still a great time of year to get outside and go birding on your own. Our FAS website has a list of excellent locations around the valley for observing spring migration on our Birding Hotspots page. Breathe some fresh air and challenge yourself to learn new birds! If you have exciting bird sightings that you want to share or amazing bird photos, let us know by dropping us a line on our Contact Us page.

If you do get outdoors safely to enjoy our spring migration of waterfowl and songbirds, we suggest that you do not carpool, share binoculars or scopes with any other people, and, that you respect others’ space, even when outside.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding and we look forward to getting back together as soon as we can do so safely.

(The FAS Board of Directors Meeting for April, will be held digitally Monday, April 6, 2020. 6 PM. If you were planning on attending please contact Gael Bissell at gael@flatheadaudubon.org.)

Stay updated with the Flathead Audubon Fly-by!

In addition to our monthly Pileated Post, we also have a short email we send out called the Flathead Audubon Fly-by. It contains a brief reminder of events, any last minute announcements, and a splash of birdiness to your inbox. It's even more important over the summer when our meetings take a break and we have a slew of field trips!

It's densely packed like peanut butter suet and can be yours by signing up below*.

* You'll only be signing up for Flathead Audubon communications. We don't give/sell/distribute your email address to anyone else.

Catch all of the Latest News here!!

April 2020 Chirps and Squawks

Highlights from the March 2nd board meeting Rod Wallette, Treasurer, reported that Flathead Electric Coop donated $500 for new display materials to use at the many FAS events. Denny Olson is working with FAS member Susie Waldron to design the new display.Kay Mitchell reported on the progress made to keep FAS managing Owen Sowerwine for public and educational use. DNRC has issued a special recreational use permit rather than a...

March and April 2020 Field Trips Cancelled Until Further Notice

The coronavirus is a major public health concern and scientists and health officials across Montana and the U.S. along with the National Audubon Society are recommending organizations cancel most public events. Although field trips are outdoors and participants are separated in vehicles, FAS believes any group activity involves some level of health risk at this time. Therefore we are cancelling our previously announced field trips for both March and April...

Conservation Educator’s Niche – March 2020

By Denny Olson Learning About Where We Live Place-learning has built-in relevance. Local politics affects us at a much greater rate and intensity than state, national or global politics. Local air, water and food conditions affect us much more than those on larger scales. Local people are the ones with which we must have relationships. Local land and wildlife are what we see, feel, hear, smell, and taste when we...

Why You Should Buy a “Duck Stamp”

by Dave Manuwal The Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Act was passed by Congress on March 16, 1934 in response to the nation-wide drought and reduction in waterfowl populations. This legislation requires each waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older to possess a valid Federal hunting stamp (“duck stamp”) along with a state hunting license. In later years, each state required hunters to purchase a state-issued duck stamp to...

2020 Spring Birding Extravaganza in Central Montana!

Join us for a four day, three night birding blitz to central Montana, May 22-25, 2020. We’ll be visiting some of the premier birding hotspots in central Montana including Bowdoin and Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuges, Tiber Reservoir, Giant Falls, Freezout Lake, plus many “specialty” locations known through the birding community. We hope to see about 130+ Montana species and we’ll be trying for some of these specialties:Eastern Screech Owl,...

Linda de Kort Receives Conservation Achievement Recognition

by Rosemary McKinnon and Linda Winnie Linda de Kort was presented Flathead Audubon’s Lifetime Conservation Achievement Recognition at the March 9 FAS meeting. Linda is an extraordinary science educator who has instilled in thousands of students and adults in this Valley, and far beyond, an understanding and appreciation of the natural world, and inspired in many of them a commitment to the conservation of this natural world – and especially to...

Drive Protection of Bird Habitat with your Purchasing Power

by Kathy Ross Did you know that the products you buy affect more than just your household and health? Your choice of materials and the practices of manufacturers and growers impact birds, animals, plants, water, and the air we all share. Growing methods, like growing coffee and cocoa in native plant shade, preserve natural forest and plant diversity, providing homes for birds and other wildlife. Livestock grazed sustainably can preserve...

Treasurer Changes

by Joe Batts The role of the Treasurer has expanded over the last 5 years that I have served as FAS Treasurer. Duties that were once spread among other board members are now more consolidated under the Treasurer. In addition, as the organization grows, greater accountability and reporting is needed. The Treasurer has always maintained the primary responsibility of managing all income and expenses and logging those accurately into Quickbooks...

Hermit Thrush

Catharus guttatus  by Gail Cleveland Northwest Montana is blessed with a number of species from the family of Turdidae or Thrushes. These include the Western and Mountain Bluebird, Townsend’s Solitaire, American Robin, Varied Thrush as well three species of the genus Catharus: the Swainson’s Thrush, Veery, and the subject of this article: the Hermit Thrush. The Western and Mountain Bluebird are known for their distinctive coloring. The others are not...

2020 Freezout Lake and the Great Snow Geese Migration

There is nothing like Snow Geese and the Rocky Mountains at the same time and place. The place is Freezout Lake WMA near Choteau; the time is the annual Flathead Audubon Society field trip to Freezout. The Snow Geese are moving from their wintering grounds to their arctic nesting areas along with thousands of other waterfowl. Folks from FAS will meet at the old KMart parking lot at 10 AM...

March 2020 Chirps and Squawks

Highlights from the February 3rd board meeting Tom and Cindy Roberts were voted onto the Board of Directors for a 1-year term.  They also joined the Education Committee and will assume the role of Co-Chairs. Welcome!Jake Bramante presented info about the characteristics, benefits, and issues related to using Google for Nonprofits for communicating, storing and sharing documents, and scheduling meetings and events.Joe Batts stepped down as the Treasurer for FAS. ...

Flathead Valley Bird Report – March 2020

by Joshua Covill Rare and Notables – February 2020 01/20 - Rusty Blackbird feeding in the cow pasture on Fox Farm Road (Cory D.)01/20 - Northern Saw-whet Owl heard tooting from private residence south of Col. Falls (Chris H.)01/24 - Iceland Gull (Thayer’s subspecies) spotted at the Flathead Co Landfill (Zack S.)01/30 - Prairie Falcon along Highway 2 north of Kalispell (Jake B.)02/05 - Prairie Falcon south of Kalispell along...