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."
Sandhill Cranes in field Photo Credit: Dick Walker

Fall migrations... are you excited yet?!

As the days grow shorter and the weather cools, migrants from the north are working their way to their winter homes. Now is a great time to get out and see these seasonal passengers. One way that we watch them is through our Hawk Watch program up on Jewel Basin. Keep tabs on what the daily counts are in real time at the Dunkadoo site for Jewel Basin!

Have you put up a clever solution for feeding birds?

We're always on the lookout for new and clever ways to feed our birds. If you have something to share, head over to our Feeder Ideas page and submit! Submissions may be featured in future FAS presentations and newsletters.

Our monthly meetings are back up and running.

Whether or not you're a member of Flathead Audubon, come join us for our monthly meetings on the second Monday of every month from September through May. Hear wonderful presentations, learn new info, and see what we are up to. Check the Activities and Field Trips page for the latest on our meetings, field trips, and other events.

Special thanks to Whitefish Credit Union!

Flathead Audubon is proud to announce Whitefish Credit Union as a sponsor for the 2018 Birds of Prey Festival. Join us at our Birds of Prey Festival this September 15th for face painting, raptor presentations, Hawk Watch training and more! Also make sure to thank Whitefish Credit Union next time you swing into one of their branches across the Flathead Valley.

It's time to renew

Our wonderful educational programs and conservation efforts are funded by your memberships. Now is the time to head on over to our Join/Donate page and renew your membership or join us for the first time!

The new version 6.0 of "Bird Songs of Western Montana" has landed!

Bruce Tannehill has been hard at work updating the wonderful Bird Songs of Western Montana. Birds have local "dialects" so this is an invaluable resource for those working on birding by ear in our local habitats. You can pick one up here in our online shop!

Catch all of the Latest News here!!

Conservation Educator’s Niche – September 2018

The Value of “Place” in Education by Denny Olson In Montana, we are lucky in that education has always had a tradition of local control. Unfortunately, it has seldom had a tradition of local emphasis. In fact, the primary key to living well politically, economically, ecologically, spiritually and as a community member (on all levels) may well be "place education". Whether we recognize it or not, most of us need...

2018 OSNA Work Day

The long-awaited 2018 annual workday for the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area is scheduled for Saturday, 29 September. We’ll gather at the Montessori School on Willow Glen Drive at 9 AM. We’ll carpool to OSNA from Montessori and should be done by noon or a little after. There are a few of the usual projects that need to be tackled –some trails cleared and mowed,  and, of course, as always weeds...

Renew your 2018 Membership today!

by Mike Fanning Please renew your membership in Flathead Audubon as soon as possible. For those who don’t renew by October 18, this will be the last issue of the Pileated Post they will receive. Don’t miss an issue of our very interesting newsletter! The FAS Board proposed and the membership voted last May to raise the membership dues a bit to cover increased expenses. The dues now are $25...

2018 Bird Festival Success!

by Kay Mitchell The 2018 Wings Across the Big Sky Bird Festival is in our rear-view mirror – hurray! For Flathead Audubon, the festival involved a lot of work, since we were the host chapter. There were equal amounts of bird chatter, catching up with old friends and serious talk about everything from politics and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to Montana Audubon’s projects. And three of our own flock...

Major Endangered Species Act Revisions Proposed

by Lewis Young, Conservation Committee If you value endangered species you should be aware that significant revisions to the 1973 Endangered Species Act have been proposed. Nine bills in the House, 1 in the Senate, and a series of regulatory proposals recently released by the Trump administration would all serve to undermine sound science, habitat protections, and the ability of everyday citizens to enforce the Endangered Species Act. The U.S....

September 2018 Chirps and Squawks

Highlights from May 7, 2018 Board Meeting Gail Linne presented the “Trunk Ambassadors” program to the Board. Lana and Joe Batts donated a projector to FAS. The Board adopted the FAS budget for July 2018 – June 2019. West Valley Bird Viewing Area—Grand Opening Grand opening of the West Valley bird viewing area: Saturday, October 6 from 5-7:30 PM sponsored by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Flathead Land Trust; and...

September 2018 Program

Applied Research in Glacier National Park presented by Tabitha Graves Join us Monday, September 10 , 7-9 PM at the Gateway West Community Room, US Highway 2 West, Kalispell, for an informative and entertaining program presented by Tabitha Graves. Tabitha will talk about how wildlife biology, landscape ecology, and statistics all come together in her research projects. Although Tabitha works for the US Geological Survey she is stationed in Glacier...


by Ben Long Count yourself lucky if you ever see a gyrfalcon, one of the most striking and remarkable birds of prey in the world. Almost 20 years ago, Karen and I were on a routine drive to Missoula. For kicks, we drove down a farm road in the Mission Valley and, by chance, spied a Gyrfalcon on a telephone pole. I don’t remember anything else about that day, beyond...

President’s Column – September 2018

by Kay Mitchell, President Why do we make a big deal out of New Year’s Eve? We wear party hats, drink certain beverages, act like children and pay homage to a large ball that drops down 3,000 miles away. All because the year number changes by 1.  Wouldn’t it be more useful to celebrate September 1? After all, that’s the kickoff for a whole exciting phenomenon we call migration, for...

Birds of Prey Festival 2018

by Denny Olson It's that time of year again, to invite you to bring your families and friends to the 2018 Birds of Prey Festival! We'll be at our co-sponsors, Lone Pine State Park, again on Saturday September 15th, with the family hours from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Fancy Face Design will be turning kid’s faces into giant raptors. We will have more live hawks and owls than ever...

Public Invited to Participate in Glacier Raptor Migration Study

Training Session on August 23 In celebration of the Year of the Bird, Glacier National Park is launching a new Hawk Watch Program where park biologists will teach volunteers how to count migrating raptors. A training will be held at the Apgar Education Center in Apgar Village on Thursday, August 23, 2018 from 9 am to 12 pm to learn more about this opportunity. Volunteers can choose specific dates in...

Biologists Use Wing Prints To Identify Bats

Wing prints may identify bats as reliably as fingerprints do humans, researchers recently reported. In a study published in the Journal of Mammalogy, U.S. Forest Service biologists showed how biometrics can identify bats witout the need to band them. Studying little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), and tricolored bats (Perimyotis subflavus), the team found collagen-elastin bundles, which crisscross bat wings to...