Field Trip Report: Sandhill Crane Viewing – Fall 2021

by Darcy Thomas A group of 12 bird lovers participated in the Sandhill Crane Viewing at the West Valley ponds just north of Kalispell. Darcy Thomas led the group which saw over 250 Sandhill Cranes. From the Bird and Wildlife Viewing Area a large group of cranes grazed in the agricultural fields very near the…

Read More

Smith Lake Field Trip Report – September 2021

by Darcy Thomas A morning of bird watching at Smith Lake in Kila was very successful September 8 with  eleven birders joining Darcy Thomas around the lake. Two were visiting from out-of-state and the youngest was only 5 years old. It was a bit chilly at 41 degrees when we started but warmed up comfortably…

Read More

Smith Lake Field Trip 9-8-21 Report

by Darcy Thomas A morning of bird watching September 8 at Smith Lake in Kila was very successful. Eleven birders joined leader Darcy Thomas; two were visiting from out-of-state; the youngest was 5 years old. It was a bit chill at 41 degrees when we started but warmed up comfortably later in the morning. A…

Read More

Bigfork CBC 2020 Results

by Craig Hohenberger  The 47th annual Bigfork Christmas Bird Count was held Saturday, December 19, under cloudy skies, periodic light showers, with mild to moderate SW winds throughout the day.  Snow depths were non-existent and/or limited to the higher eastern edges of the count circle; temperatures ranged from 36-46 degrees F. Lakes and ponds were…

Read More

Doug and Don MacCarter receive Conservation Achievement Recognition

Honoring Butch and Buzz, The Osprey Twins by Gael Bissell We were in 9th or 10th grade, says Doug “Butch” MacCarter, the just five-minute older twin brother of Don “Buzz” MacCarter, and we rode our bikes, as we did most every day since Kindergarten, to the rim rocks above Billings.” It was 1958-59. “Our goal…

Read More

Jewel Basin Hawk Watch 2018—a Very Different Season

by Dan Casey After more than ten years of experience monitoring fall migration of raptors in the Jewel Basin, we should typically see about 2,600 raptors (mean, 2,598) on about 45 survey days between the end of August and early November. This year we once again conducted 45 surveys, although our average survey length of…

Read More

Jewel Basin 2017 – Anything but Average

by Dan Casey The 10th annual hawk migration survey at the Jewel Basin got off to a roaring start; we recorded birds at record rates from late August through Sept. 22nd. But just as we hit our usual peak season, the snows started to fall. As much as we welcomed the early season snow following…

Read More

Field Trip Report: Sandhill Crane Tour

By Cory Davis. On Saturday, October 7, twenty-six hardy folks participated in a Sandhill Crane Watching Tour at the West Valley Wetlands just northwest of Kalispell. Denny Olson of Flathead Audubon led the trip that was co-sponsored by Flathead Land Trust, Flathead Audubon and the West Valley Naturalist’s Association. The participants weathered some cold, windy…

Read More

An Unusual, but Successful Season at the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch

As 2016 comes to an end, Flathead Audubon volunteers and our funding partners have conducted nine years of season-long hawk migration surveys at the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch. After recording 60 birds over four surveys during the last week of August, we conducted 22 surveys in September, including a six-day stretch (Sept 25-30) where 1,129…

Read More

Jewel Basin Hawk Watch 2016 – A Great First Half

By Dan Casey This fall season marks the 9th year of full-time surveys at the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch, and the second year with Flathead Audubon as the primary sponsor of the effort. Thursday, Oct. 13th marked the 31st survey of the 2016 season, bringing us to 2,417 birds counted. We were on a record…

Read More