Highlights from December 2016 Board Meeting

  • The December Board Meeting was cancelled due to the snowstorm but some business was conducted by email afterward.
  • Voted to approve the minutes from the November Board Meeting.
  • Agreed to send out an appeal letter for donations to the West Valley Wetlands Project.

West Valley Naturalists

Did you know that nationally, 1 in 15 homes has elevated radon levels? In fact, the EPA suggests that there are 21,000 radon attributed lung cancer deaths every year in America. Radon is 3.5 times more deadly than pesticides in food, 7 times more deadly than asbestos, and nearly 50 times more deadly than carbon monoxide. The West Valley area of the Flathead Valley is a known “hotspot” for radon.

Come join the West Valley Naturalists on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the West Valley School for a crash course in radon basics, residential radon measurement, and basic radon mitigation techniques. Information and presentation by Nick Hanson of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, a nationally certified residential radon measurement provider in the Flathead Valley.

Wings Across the Big Sky

Time to begin making those summer plans! Montana Audubon’s Wings Across the Big Sky Festival, co-hosted by Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon , will be held June 9-11, 2017 in Great Falls. We invite you to spread the news and enthusiasm so we can all enjoy a fantastic celebration of 40 Years of Montana Audubon. Invite your out-of-state and nearby friends, birders and non-birders alike, to visit the Missouri River corridor and participate in a myriad of festival activities.

Included in this year’s activities are amazing field trips scheduled both Saturday and Sunday. These include excursions to the Rocky Mountain Front, Benton Lake, Kevin Rim, the Highwood and First Peoples State Park, among others, with the anticipation of seeing a varied array of species and habitats, as well as some education on surveys and conservation issues.

Festival headquarters will be located at the Best Western Heritage Inn.  Each month we will continue to feature developing news on the 2017 Bird Festival. Registration will begin in March. Stay tuned!

For more information contact Montana Audubon’s Bird Festival Coordinator, Cathie Erickson: cerickson@mtaudubon.org.

Great Backyard Bird Count Coming in February

The 20th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will be held Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20, 2017. The GBBC is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and7 report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world. Please visit the official website at birdcount.org for more information.

Songbird Stamps Available

If you would like some nice stamps to use on your letters, a special edition of Songbird stamps are now available. These stamps show four birds: Northern Cardinal, Cedar Waxwing, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Golden-crowned Kinglet. They come in a packet of 100 stamps and cost $47 at the Post Office, $46.75 at COSTCO or $9.40 for 20 stamps.