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Archive | Activities and Field Trips


Come see live owls and hawks courtesy of Kari Gabriel, the Montana Bird Lady.  Professor Avian Guano will be on hand to provide interesting bird facts and stories. The new Glacier Country Phenology Calendars will be on sale.  They make a great Christmas gift and provide important funds for the Flathead Audubon Education Program.

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Steller's Jay - Photo Credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service

2017 Birdathon Recap

by Bruce Tannehill On June 3, Flathead Audubon members participated in their fifth fundraising Birdathon, with two teams attempting to identify as many bird species as possible on a single day. Participants pursued pledges for one of the teams by phone and in person.  Thanks to the generosity of Flathead Audubon members, friends and family, […]

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November Program Features OSNA Study by Flathead High School Students

Owen Sowerwine Natural Area (OSNA), a 442 acre river bottom managed by Flathead Audubon for educational purposes, appears to have high percentage of very old black cottonwood trees and very little recruitment of new cottonwoods in the “micro-upland” areas. Flathead High School students volunteered, through their Community Action Service Program, to get some hard data supporting the casual observations. 

The Flathead Conservation District generously granted Flathead Audubon just over $2000 for the purchase of the tools needed for their study. For the last few months, FHS International Baccalaureate students Conrad Hedinger, Molly Adams, Sarah Randolph and Brandon Pyron have been coring and aging trees in a grid pattern throughout the mainland portion of OSNA, and aging all the cottonwood trees. Their next step will be to correlate the ages of the old trees to past major flood events, which have been shown to stimulate new growth. 

Through this study, we hope to get a true picture of the present state of black cottonwood age diversity as a baseline for future studies on the effects of (1) micro-elevation changes of just a few feet, (2) the effects of browsing by white-tailed deer, (3) the effects of upstream changes on the historical frequency of flood events, (4) the plant succession patterns going on under the old cottonwoods, and (5) the effects of invasive plant species on those succession patterns.  

Since bird species diversity in riparian zones has been shown to correlate with cottonwood age classes diversity, it will be important for FAS to examine possible management options to increase both cottonwood age diversity and bird diversity. 


Join Flathead Audubon Society on Monday, November 13, 7:00 PM at the United Way Community Room in Kalispell for a look at their ongoing study. 

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Four Conservation Issues Where Montana Audubon is Making a Difference

Join Montana Audubon’s Senior Director of Public Policy, Janet Ellis, on Monday, October 9 at 7 pm at the United Way Gateway West Meeting Room.  Janet will talk about four issues that Montana’s Audubon’s policy program is working on: the Montana Legislature: upcoming issues and hot topics; the state’s sage-grouse conservation program; wind farms, siting and birds—assessing the impacts; and an update on the proposal by the Lake County Conservation District to have the state of Montana take over management of 60,000 acres of the Flathead National Forest. Four stories, each told in 10 minutes. Questions will be welcome! The meeting is free and open to the public.  For more information, go to www.flatheadaudubon.org.

Janet Ellis has coordinated Montana Audubon’s public policy and legislative work on behalf of Montana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat since 1983.  She became Montana Audubon’s first staff person when its office opened in 1989.  Janet has received several awards for her work, including “Conservationist of the Year” from the Montana Environmental Information Center, Montana Wildlife Federation, and Montana Audubon; a 2016 “Lifetime Award for Conservation and Clean Energy Achievement” from the National Wildlife Federation; and a “Special Achievement Award” from the Montana Native Plant Society.  She holds a degree in biology from the University of Montana. In 2014, Janet began a new adventure by running for elected office: she now serves in the Montana Legislature as a Representative of HD 81 during legislative sessions

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