Highlights from the March 7, 2022 

Board of Directors Meeting

  • In prior months, the Board had received information, and had a chance to ask questions, about establishing an endowment account with Whitefish Community Foundation. The decision was made to proceed with creating a WCF endowment using $50,000 of investment funds.
  • Jake Bramante was approved to Chair the Membership Committee. Linda Winnie is stepping down as the Chair of the Newsletter Committee. We are seeking nominations for new Board members.
  • OSNA update: A new Management Plan and Memorandum of Understanding are being written, we are planning several spring work days in the next few weeks to clear invasive Buckthorn, and the Biennial Report was prepared and submitted to DNRC.
  • Denny Olson met with local school Principals and several have are interested in participating in the education programs we offer. Denny has once again been busy doing classroom and public presentations.

Of Birds and Bears–Finding a Balance

We have had the enormous pleasure all winter of enjoying birds at our feeders and the birds have benefited. Now is the time to consider taking the feeders down. If you live in bear country, out of respect for our furry, hungry neighbors, it is essential. Besides helping to keep bears out of trouble, taking your feeders down also encourages birds to go for their natural food sources of insects, especially caterpillars. Over 90% of our birds (even hummingbirds!) eat insects, a source of protein and nutrients vital to their health and more importantly essential for raising baby birds. It has been observed that it can take 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars to raise a brood of chickadees (average brood 5-10). Perhaps we would start seeing fewer insects in the landscape, creating less need for toxic insecticides and helping nature to find its own balance. Taking feeders down during the summer can be a win-win for bears, birds and the environment! – by Kathy Ross

Nongame Wildlife Tax Check-off

When filling out your Montana tax form this year, think “wildlife” by donating to the Nongame Wildlife Program, found on Form 2, page 11, under Contributions. If your taxes are prepared, tell your accountant that you want to donate to wildlife! Your contributions are tax deductible on next year’s return. Montana has more than 500 species of “nongame” animals that benefit from public support each year at tax time. Since 1983, the check-off has contributed over $27,000 annually to this important wildlife program.

Flathead Forestry Expo

Flathead Audubon will be part of the annual Family Forestry Expo’s Family Day on Saturday, May 7th. Our exhibit will be located near the Wildlife station along with the live raptors from Wild Wings Rescue. The Expo is a week-long event for Flathead Valley 5th-graders, But on the last day,  families are invited to participate. This year, Audubon will be concentrating on activities about one of our most common and most amazing families of birds, our four kinds of Chickadees — and the amazing value of birds to human beings. The expo is located just over two miles north of the Highways 2 and 40 intersection, just off of Halfmoon Road on Tamarack Lane. It’s a great (and free!) all-day event.

Montana Native Plant Society April Program

The April program in the Montana Native Plant Society series MNPS Presents! will be Native Plant Landscaping in Montana, April 27, 7 PM, via Zoom. A panel of landscaping experts from around the state will provide tips on the topic and answer your questions. Advanced registration is required; this can be done when the date gets closer on the MNPS facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MTNativePlantSociety 

Tribute Gifts Feb 19 – March 18, 2022

Caroll Farrar in memory of June Ash