Paul Rossi Observes Ferruginous Hawk - Photo Credit: Jake Bramante
Paul Rossi Observes Ferruginous Hawk – Photo Credit: Jake Bramante

Saturday, June 18th started with a beautiful sunrise, periodic rain showers and blue skies that resulted in a wonderful birding day for Flathead Audubon’s fourth annual Birdathon. Members of Jake’s Jays and Tannehill’s Tanagers searched the countryside from the Mission Valley to Freezout Lake and East Glacier to Tally Lake. All had a good time and the birds were cooperative, many coming out to sing after a rain shower.

The Jays carried the day with 164 species while the Tanagers found 154 species. The Jays are also slightly ahead in the amount raised by their pledges. But the day wasn’t just about being in the natural environment and searching for bird species.

Flathead Audubon’s fund raising goal for the bird-a-thon is two-fold. To help us pay the lease and expenses associated with the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area and to continue our commitment to conservation education in the valley. OSNA is 442 acres of State Trust Land cooperatively managed by Flathead and Montana Audubon. It is Montana’s only designated Natural Area. The area preserves pristine riparian habitat that supports many species of wildlife. OSNA is open to the public, so go enjoy. Directions to the site are available on the FAS website. Our new half-time conservation educator, Denny Olson, directs Flathead Audubon’s conservation education programs. He is indispensable in accomplishing our conservation education goals. Money we raise helps fund his position so we can continue to educate the public at large, young people of all ages, and disadvantaged populations about the beauty of birds and the importance of conserving our natural environment.

A special thank you to all who participated in this year’s Birdathon as well as donors who helped raise $4,600.