by Kay Mitchell, President

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

Why do we make a big deal out of New Year’s Eve? We wear party hats, drink certain beverages, act like children and pay homage to a large ball that drops down 3,000 miles away. All because the year number changes by 1. 

Wouldn’t it be more useful to celebrate September 1? After all, that’s the kickoff for a whole exciting phenomenon we call migration, for the launch of a brand new Audubon year, the start of a new school year, changing to a new season, and more. It’s by far the best time of year to make resolutions, like:

  • attend the first Flathead Audubon meeting of the year (September 10), 
  • visit Lone Pine State Park for the Birds of Prey Festival (September 15), 
  • help get Owen Sowerwine Natural Area in shape for fall (September 29), 
  • do a Hawk Watch Hike to really get “into” migration, and 
  • renew membership in Flathead Audubon!

Birds and conservation are our reasons for being. Some chapters simply go birdwatching together. Flathead Audubon provides lots of opportunities for group birdwatching, but we also believe we should give information and support to others (kids, especially) so they can better enjoy and understand birds and their habitats. We are also committed to supporting scientifically accurate decision-making at all levels of government.

Flathead Audubon runs on your memberships, donations, and grants. Our greatest asset is our people – active, generous, hard-working, passionate. Every person in Flathead Audubon contributes, whether financially, volunteering time, baking a cake, driving a friend to meetings, or helping at one of our education events.

This year, we will be operating on a very tight budget. Due to time conflict with the state bird festival, we were not able to do our usual Birdathon in June or produce a phenology calendar for 2019. We are writing as many grant proposals as we can, but of course there is a lot of competition for those awards. So this year we are extra grateful for every membership renewal, every dollar you can donate and every year-end gift you make. Thank you everyone on behalf of the birds!

I look forward to renewing friendships with each of you soon. Meanwhile, skip the party hats – HAPPY NEW YEAR!