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!!

Lower Lost Prairie Road Bluebird Trail

by Mitch Linne, and Gail Linne In late March, 2018 I took the initial steps toward establishing a bluebird trail at Lost Prairie, west of Marion, Montana. I built seven bluebird-specific boxes from a design provided by Dennis Olson. The original design came from Marty Fregerio. The houses were mounted on existing posts along the Lower Lost Prairie road which runs basically north - south. I attempted to orient each...

New West Valley Bird Viewing Area is Open!

About 150 people gathered Saturday evening, October 6, to celebrate the completion of Flathead Land Trust’s West Valley Wetlands Conservation Project, and the Grand Opening of the Project’s new West Valley Bird Viewing Area. The Project has placed conservation easements on 400 acres in the West Valley Ponds Complex, which is a critical staging area for migrating Sandhill Cranes. Each fall hundreds of Sandhill Cranes gather here to prepare for...

Access to Owen Sowerwine Natural Area Is Now Year-round

by Denny Olson, Conservation Educator In years past, there has been a conundrum regarding the field trip access to OSNA. The best birding is always in May and June, and that’s when flooding keeps everyone except the ducks, frogs and fish out. When combined with the parking access limited to about 2 cars, school field trips have been nearly impossible in the spring. No more! Civic-minded Terry Welder and his...

Conservation Educator’s Niche – October 2018

by Denny Olson Well, it appears that the Birds of Prey Festival is getting to be a “thing”. It’s an odd colloquialism, because I always thought that things were, well, things. But, as I understand it, the modern meaning has an implied “significant” adjective before the word itself. (Don’t get me started on the erosion of literacy in favor of sound-bites.) This year, our number of participants at the Festival...

October 2018 Chirps and Squawks

The September 4 board meeting was held on Bob Lopp’s deck. Kathy Ross, Bob Lee, Mike Fanning, Bob Lopp, Gail Linne, and Gael Bissell were all approved for one year terms. Sadly, Barb Summer has resigned from the board but will continue to be involved. Currently Flathead Audubon has about 400 members.  The upcoming Birds of Prey Festival and Hawk Watch training were discussed. Flathead Audubon received a $500 grant...

Laura Katzman Flathead – Flathead Land Trust – receives Conservation Achievement Recognition

by Gael Bissell For years, I have been hearing from birders about the West Valley ponds, located about five miles northwest of Kalispell, which consist of a variety of pothole wetlands that support an amazing diversity of shorebirds, waterfowl, and other bird species. Thirty years ago, they were identified as potential mitigation wetlands for Kerr Dam. A decade ago, people started reporting and photographing hundreds of Sandhill Cranes congregating in...

Public Invited to Participate in Glacier Park Fall Raptor Migration Study

In celebration of the Year of the Bird, Glacier National Park has launched a new Hawk Watch Program. Volunteers can choose specific dates in September and October to hike approximately 4.5 miles up the Mount Brown trail (roughly 4,000 feet in elevation gain) to collect data from 10 AM to 4 PM. A second site near Lake McDonald Lodge is accessible by road and will focus on counts of migrating...

West Valley Bird Viewing Area—Grand Opening

Join Flathead Land Trust, Montana FWP, and Flathead Audubon to celebrate the completion of the West Valley Wetlands conservation project and grand opening of the bird viewing area for the public. Saturday, Oct. 6 from 5-7:30 PM. The celebration will include food, a program to thank supporters, and viewing of the sandhill cranes as they fly in to roost at sunset. Participants will be shuttled from West Valley School to...

Cordilleran Flycatcher

by Gail Cleveland Oh, no! The Bird of the Month is one of those small, gray-green flycatchers that no one can tell apart but the experts. Yes, it is one of the genus Empidonax, Empidonax occidentalis to be specific, but read on. You may be able to find the joy in identifying a Cordilleran Flycatcher next spring after reading about and listening to these little flycatchers that inhabit northwestern Montana....

September 2018 Program

Backyard Bird Feeder Success! Presented by Jake Bramante Join us Monday, October 8, 7-9 PM at the Gateway West Community Room, US Highway 2 West, Kalispell to hear Flathead Audubon board member Jake Bramante discuss strategies to increase your backyard birds. While getting out into nature to discover birds is extremely rewarding (and healthy), sometimes we want to observe birds from the comfort of our homes and patios. With a...

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...