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April 2017 Chirps and Squawks

Highlights from March 2017 Board Meeting

  • Heard that the $10,000 fundraising goal has been exceeded for the West Valley Wetlands Project.
  • Heard request from Flathead River Commission for financial support for flood modelling and mapping on the Flathead River. Board decided not to contribute money.
  • Heard that the 2018 calendar project is progressing well and it is ready to go to print.
  • Heard report that field trip attendance is up from last year.
  • Held discussion on issue of inability to bird at the landfill now. Decided to postpone further action until BJ Worth returns as he can play a major role in this issue.
  • Decided to do HawkWatch again this fall.
  • Agreed to host the 2018 State Bird Festival as requested by Montana Audubon.

Family Forestry Expo

by Bob Lee

The 28th annual Family Forestry Expo will take place at Stoltze Lumber’s Ron Buntemeyer Educational Forest located to the north of Kalispell along Trumbull Creek on Saturday, 6 May, from 9 AM — 3 PM. This is a free family event that offers hands-on understanding of the role that local forests play in our everyday lives. Expo visitors explore how the different parts of a forest are connected to make up a dynamic system, how people and all parts of the environment are dependent on one another, and how each affects the other.

There is a free “loggers lunch,” demonstrations, exhibits, and a forest walk with many educational stops, including one run by Flathead Audubon Society. FAS has maintained a booth at the Expo for many years and are always looking for volunteers to help engage visitors. If you enjoy being outdoors on a spring day while talking to people of all ages about forests, and especially birds, please contact Denny Olson, the FAS Conservation Educator, at auduboneducator@gmail.com. Or you can grab him at the general meeting. Whether you are a volunteer, participant or just want to enjoy a day in the woods, everyone is welcome to come on out.

CAN YOU HELP?

Volunteer Monitors for Owen Sowerwine are needed

by Linda Winnie

Volunteer Monitors are needed to make monitoring visits to the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area (OSNA) throughout this coming summer.

Monitors record their OSNA observations on the OSNA Volunteer Monitoring form. This can be printed from the FAS website or picked up at an FAS meeting – as well as an OSNA trail map. The completed form is sent to Rick Mace (address on the form).

There are two ways to be a monitor:

1. Take an OSNA Volunteer Monitoring Form with you whenever you visit OSNA.

2. Do a scheduled monitoring visit. Scheduled Volunteer Monitors are needed for May through August. You can sign up for either the first half or the second half of any of these months, then make one monitoring visit to OSNA during that half-month

For more information or to sign up for a scheduled visit, contact me (755-1406 or lindawin@centurytel.net). 

Tax Time Already

Be sure to check the “Watchable Wildlife” box on your Montana tax form to support our feathered friends!

Earth Day!

Visit Flathead Audubon at the

3rd Annual Flathead Earth Day Celebration!

Saturday, April 22, 2017.11 AM – 3 PM

On the lawn at Whitefish Middle School (with the gym as an indoor backup in case of bad weather)

Flathead Earth Day Celebration is sponsored by Citizens for a Better Flathead and Glacier National Park Lodges. Flathead Audubon will be there with a booth and volunteers, some great family-friendly crafts and activities, and some roving bird interpretation by Professor Avian Guano!

May Flathead Audubon Meeting

Monday, May 8th, 2017
Whitefish Community Center
121 Second Street, Whitefish
Program: Eric Greene on Ospreys
Doors Open 5:00 PM, Potluck Dinner 6:00 PM,    Meeting Begins 7:00 PM.

Be sure to arrive early enough to look over and bid on silent auction items! Officers and Board Members will be elected.

Silent Auction

It’s Coming! – The annual Silent Auction at the Flathead Audubon May Potluck. Now’s the perfect time to gather all of the valuable “stuff” that you might be able to live without. Popular items at past Silent Auctions have been bird books, outdoor gear, art work, live bedding plants, homemade pies and cookies and bird houses and feeders of all kinds. This is your opportunity to be a Primo Recycler!

Nominations – Already!!  

At the May potluck, FAS will elect a President, Vice President and some Director positions. It is time to start thinking about the people that you would like to see guide FAS for the near future. The person sitting next to you at the last meeting is a good choice, and the person sitting in your seat is also a good choice! If you know of someone who would be a good leader, please contact Bob Lee (270-0371 or RML3@centurytel.net); someone from the Nominations Committee will talk with them about roles and responsibilities and get them on the ballot. And anyone that would like to serve on the Nominations Committee should also contact Bob.

Wings Across Big Sky

Come join us for Montana Audubon’s Annual Bird Festival, this year co-hosted by the Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon, June 9-11, 2017, at the Best Western Plus Heritage Inn in Great Falls. All festival activities will take place Friday through Sunday at the Heritage Inn, including registration, field trip departures, guest speaker presentations, meals, banquet festivities, our 40th Anniversary barbecue, and much more. The Heritage Inn is easily accessible from any exit to 10th Avenue South and provides easy access to all our birding activities and field trips.

Currently we have rooms blocked for festival-goers Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure to tell them you’re with the Montana Audubon Bird Festival group to get the special rate! If you’re planning to arrive early or late to take in the pre- and post-trips sponsored by the local chapter, the hotel will try to accommodate you at our contracted rate outside the block. We suggest you make your reservations soon by calling 406-761-1900 or 1-800-548-8256.

Our Festival Registration Brochure is scheduled to be mailed early March, with an online registration system active soon after. Use either system to register. The brochure is full of information on the festival events and all the field trips that will be available.  If you are a volunteer or field trip leader with UMBA, contact Nora or Kay to get the special registration form to fill out and mail in or for details.

Here’s a Sneak Peak at Some of our Scheduled Events for the Festival:

Keynote speaker – David Ringer from National Audubon – “Protecting Birds and the Places they Need, Today and Tomorrow.”

Friday evening – Barbecue and celebration of Montana Audubon’s 40 years!

Saturday afternoon – Montana Audubon staff will present information about their programs and work to conserve birds and their habitats, and to educate all ages on the importance of our conservation efforts.

Saturday and Sunday mornings – Educational field trips in and around Great Falls.

Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon has decided that they are unable to manage a Silent Auction this year, so the only items for bid will be the custom tours arranged by Montana Audubon. There will be a BIG raffle this year plus our fun basket raffles. Fun for All!

Stay tuned for more information on other special happenings at or around this festival event.

 

Pre-Festival and Post-Festival Field Trips

 

This year, Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon Chapter (UMBA) is offering two Pre-Trips and one Post-Trip that are designed to extend your stay in Central Montana. As these trips are separate from the Wings Across the Big Sky Bird Festival, you register and pay for the trips directly to the UMBA Chapter. The Chapter will provide transportation from Great Falls and experienced leaders.

 

American Prairie Reserve:  June 7 – 9, 2017

Few places on earth have as intact prairie habitat and ecosystems as the American Prairie Reserve and Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge. On this three day journey, view wildlife in rich environments, while learning about conservation and restoration efforts in the grassland region. Take a guided tour of the American Prairie Reserve. Enjoy a private excursion on Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge. Partake in a delicious dinner prepared on the Reserve.

 

Montana Natural Heritage Program a Wealth of Information

Should you ever want to learn something about virtually any wildlife species in Montana be sure to check out the Montana Natural Heritage Program and their website:  http://mtnhp.org/.  Whether it’s a bird, reptile, amphibian, mammal, butterfly, or snail they have it covered and they also do plants and wetlands. Their database includes information on species ranges, life history, seasonal occurrence, conservation status, and more.

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