President Kay Mitchell at 2016 Potluck – Photo Credit: Linda Winnie

My, how time doesn’t fly when you have a winter like we’ve just had! We are being rewarded for our enforced patience now with the return of our birds of every size, color and song. And after a siege like we’ve gone through, we can even begrudgingly appreciate the ones who peck holes in the house, poop on the deck and build messy nests on the lights over the outside door. They make us forget the huge drifts of snow, the slippery roads, the sore backs from shoveling.

On one of those days with about a half hour of daylight, I realized that in the winter, our world gets smaller. I found myself really looking forward to Audubon meetings, seeing smiling faces, hearing laughter, and learning about everything from the peaks of Yellowstone Park to the rats of the southern Pacific islands. And no matter how bad the weather is, we always have a tough, committed bunch of members who show up for our meetings. Hats off to you intrepid folks!

The other thing I look forward to when the weather closes in is receiving each month’s new Pileated Post. I always hope to find out what’s been happening with other groups, which field trips are coming up soon, who got an award, why the Yellow-Rumped Warbler may actually be 3 separate species, even how to make homemade suet for birds. What do you expect from your newsletter? Do you get it? Flathead Audubon has by far the best Audubon newsletter in the state of Montana. We try to include the usual and the unexpected. Lewis Young, with help from Linda Winnie and John Hughes, produces our Pileated Post, reliably and always on time. When you see these folks, give them a big Thank You!

So now we head into spring and summer. Soon you will be hearing about the FAS Tally Lake campout, the FAS Birdathon, Hawk Watch, Birds of Prey Festival. These are all annual activities, and they are run by the energy of your board members and conservation educator. You have elected very good people to the FAS Board of Directors and it’s because of their enthusiasm that we enjoy such a wide variety of bird activities each year.

Thanks for joining us for another exciting, diverse season of Flathead Audubon. We value you, every member, for your friendship and your understanding that birds and conservation make the world go round. We hope to see lots of you over the summer, sharing the sky, looking for wings!

Kay Mitchell, FAS President