Birding Observer by wuyunqing


									January, 2006

              Birding Observer
Five Valleys Audubon Society                              A Chapter of the National Audubon Society

Board Meeting

* Monday, January 2nd, 7pm: The host is Suzann Stickney. Board directors, officers, committee chairs, &
all interested members are invited. *There will be an election for Directors and Officers of FVAS at this
meeting. Please come and vote.


* Monday, January 9, 2006: Biologist, Jennifer Woolf will talk about the effects that thinning and
prescribed burning of our forests has on wildlife at FVAS’s January meeting.
* Saturday, January 14, 2006: Afternoon field trip to Smurfit-Stone. Meet in the middle of the UM field
house parking lot at 12:30 PM or at the pulp mill at 1:00 PM.
* February 17-20, 2006: Ninth Annual Great Backyard Bird Count. See article for details.
* Saturday, February 18, 2006: Field trip to Tower St. open space, end of 7th St., Kelly Island access off
Spurgin, and Sleven Island. Meet in the middle of the UM field house parking lot at 10:00 AM.

                                       The Burning Question:
                 What effect does thinning and prescribed burning have on wildlife?

On Monday January 9th, biologist Jennifer Woolf will offer a presentation
on the impact thinning and prescribed burning of forests has on wildlife. The
presentation will be at the January Audubon meeting at UM's Gallagher
Business Building, Room L14 at 7:30 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Historically, frequent low-intensity fires in western Montana’s forests created
open forest conditions that enhanced the growth of various forest species
including ponderosa pine. The frequent fires also prevented the build up of
large quantities of highly flammable plant material that is associated with
hotter and longer burning fires. In recent years land management agencies
have used forest thinning and prescribed burning to improve growing
conditions for desirable plant species such as ponderosa pine and to prevent
high-intensity fires that put human settled areas in danger. The effect that
thinning and prescribed burning has on wildlife is not yet well understood.
Jennifer Woolf will describe her research into the impact on wildlife of forest
management regimes that combine thinning followed by prescribed burning.

Jennifer is a PhD candidate in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana.
She is currently doing research that involves collecting genetic information to
determine dispersal patterns of fire dependent bird species. She completed
her M.S. at the University of Montana in 2003.              She received her
undergraduate degree in Wildlife Science at Oregon State University.
A special thanks goes to Rocky Healey for submitting an application to The Wal-
Mart Foundation to support the Chapter’s education program called Audubon
Adventures. The Chapter has issued Audubon Adventure kits to 39 teachers in
the local area (see article in the December 2005 newsletter). The Wal-Mart
Foundation has sent the Chapter a check for $500 which will be used to pay for
12 of the kits. Rocky and his wife Suzi both work for Wal-Mart’s Supercenter on
Mullan Road. Thanks again to Rocky and The Wal-Mart Foundation.

                                         Some Views from the Veep
                                               By Bill Gabriel

We often hear that people live in western Montana to enjoy the open spaces, scenery, and wildlife. Some stay
here for the fishing, hunting, and birding even though higher salaries beckon from other locations. Maybe that
is why there are over 400 members on the rolls of Five Valleys Audubon Society and why we schedule more
activities than many other Audubon chapters. We offer 10 general meeting programs per year featuring
experts speaking on wildlife, habitats, and other natural resources. Coming up in 2006 will be programs on
bird flu and similar current topics. The programs attract 20 to 50 people each month.

FVAS offers some 20 field trips each year to find birds, butterflies, and wildflowers. Most take one-half to two-
thirds of a day, but we also take several three-day trips to more distant points. For 2006 we have 10 trips
scheduled for January through May, and more will follow. From 15 to 40 people join us for these outings.

In the summer we conduct a Bird-a-thon and in winter there is the Christmas Bird Count.

FVAS has an active education program involving a Community Naturalist who takes programs to the schools,
the Audubon Adventures program for teachers to use in their classes, and our adult education classes in
Beginning Birding and Intermediate Birding.

Your FVAS is involved in habitat protection and restoration programs in cooperation with the Five Valleys Land
Trust and other organizations. FVAS is also active in conservation advocacy. Just last week I signed letters
prepared by that committee in support of progressive management activities on the Lee Metcalf National
Wildlife Refuge.
                                              All these activities in support of birds and birding require time
                                             and effort by the people who plan, organize, and execute them.
                                             Look at the list of Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairs to
                                             see how few of us provide those services for over 400 of you. We
                                             enjoy our work, and believe some of you would too. As the old
                                             sayings go, “the more the merrier” and “many hands make light
                                             work.” We will be happy to have your help.

                                               Notice that there are several vacancies listed on the back page of
                                               this newsletter. In addition, some of the committee chairs could
                                               use some more hands and heads in carrying out their duties. In
                                               January we will elect several Directors and Officers for terms of
                                               one, two, or three years. So come, volunteer, and vote.

      Many Thanks to Jeanette at the Birdwatchers’ Country Store ! She is the sponsor of the Birding Hotline.

            BIRDWATCHER’S COUNTRY STORE is Located at 202 East Main Street, Missoula, 549-3221.

                   BIRDING HOTLINE: If you would like to report an unusual bird or if you need
                       advice and information, please call the hotline number: 721-9799.
                                          Field Trip by Larry Weeks

December 3, 2005: The December field trip was to the Mission Valley and was led by Jim Brown. Denver
Holt met the group at the Ninepipes Lodge and joined the field trip for the first 2 hours. As Denver was
leading the group to the Pablo area to look for a snowy owl, he spotted a merlin flying across the road in
Ronan and landing in tree with prey. He turned around and relocated the merlin which was busy consuming a
dark-eyed junco. We then proceeded to an area west of Pablo to search for the snowy owl but we didn’t have
any success. However, there were red-tailed and rough-legged hawks in every direction we looked. During
the course of the day, we must have seen over 50 red-tailed hawks and nearly 50 rough-legged hawks. Jim
spotted a prairie falcon but it was flushed by a buteo and could not be relocated. We drove to the base of
Kerr Dam and found a Steller’s jay that was visiting some feeders. Other birds seen near Kerr Dam included a
Townsend’s solitaire and several black-capped chickadees and dark-eyed juncos. At the Polson sewage
treatment ponds, we found common and Barrow’s goldeneyes, bufflehead, lesser scaup, and mallards.

We found a surprising                    large number of gray partridge.            In one field, we counted
approximately  100                     partridge which were sitting in the snow in several small groups. Many
of the birds                        were nearly buried in the snow. Jim also spotted a small flock of snow
                                   buntings in flight but we were not able to relocate them. Other good
                                  sightings included a large flock of horned larks, an immatune northern
                                  shrike eating a vole that it had wedged between 2 wires, 3 great horned
                               owls, many Brewer’s blackbirds, and a few tree sparrows. Sixteen people
                              participated in the field trip and 45 bird species were recorded.

                      The return trip to Missoula was delayed by a two-car accident about 2 miles south of
                        the Sheep Ranch Inn on highway 93. The sight of the charred wreckage was very

                                        Bird Notes By Jeanette Davis

Some Bohemian Waxwings came around Thanksgiving to feast on our Mountain Ash berries. This bird is larger
and grayer than a Cedar Waxwing, but the best clue is the chestnut color under the tail of the Bohemian.
We’ve been watching an immature Dipper down by the creek in these frigid temperatures. Curiously enough it
appeared to be picking something off a bush.

When December arrived and we had not seen a bear or any bear sign for several days, we decided they must
have denned for a long winter’s nap. We put some millet out in our covered platform for the juncos. No sooner
said and done, Norm saw three deer with their noses and mouths in the feeder.

We turned on our outside light and happened to look overhead at the peanut feeder. Glaucomys sabrinus had
its patagium (long flaps of skin) wrapped around the feeder. This Northern Flying Squirrel was hanging upside
down and fit the feeder like a glove. He even let us watch him for several minutes until he dashed up on the
roof and glided to a tree 20 feet away. While we were watching the squirrel all the time, it’s trip was so fast
that you only saw it on the roof, then snow bouncing off the tree.

National Geographic’s Complete Birds of North America (hardcover $35) just came off the press. It covers 962
species of birds, including migrants rarely seen in North America. There are more than 25 of the best bird
artists and bird authorities in the country who contributed to this book. It appears to be a valuable research
tool for any of us.

Best and warmest wishes for a rewarding 2006.
                                Montana Audubon Offers Grants for Wildlife

Montana Audubon will be offering grants totaling approximately $1,000 to fund projects that benefit wildlife.
Preference will be given to research and education projects benefiting non-game wildlife and their habitats.
The funds can be used for mileage, supplies, equipment, printing, and communications.

                                                   Applications must be postmarked on or before Wednesday,
                                                   February 1, 2006. Grant recipients will be announced by
                                                   February 28, 2006. Project guidelines should be requested
                                                   from: Audubon Wildlife Fund, P.O. Box 595, Helena, MT
                                                   59624;     by   phone:   (406)    443-3949;   by   email:
                                         ; or on the Montana Audubon
                                                   website: <>.

                                                         The Great Backyard Bird Count Returns for
                                                         its Ninth Season February 17-20, 2006

                                                New York, NY & Ithaca, NY, December 2, 2005 - The
                                               Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a joint project of Audubon
                                               and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, returns for its ninth season
February 17-20, 2006. Bird enthusiasts of all ages can share their love of birds with a friend, a child, a scout
troop, a class, or a co-worker - opening new eyes to the joy of birding and the fun of creating a unique
snapshot of winter bird abundance and distribution across the continent.

 “The level of energy created each February by Great Backyard Bird counters is phenomenal,” said Dr. Paul
Green, director of Citizen Science for Audubon. “What always amazes me are the new discoveries made by
people across North America. Some bird watchers even send digital photos to back up their reports. Last year
participants sent in more than 1,000 photos and many are now part of the GBBC web site gallery.”

Everyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to seasoned experts. During the count, bird watchers
can tally up birds for as little as 15 minutes, or for as long as they like, keeping track of the highest number of
each bird species they see together at one time. People are encouraged to report birds from public lands and
local parks, as well as from their own backyards. Participants enter their numbers online at
<> and can explore sightings maps, lists, and charts as the count progresses.

 For more information contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at <> or (800) 843-2473
if in the United States; (607) 254-2473 if calling internationally; or contact Audubon at
<>; (215) 355-9588 Ext. 16.

                            Birding Observer Is Now Available Through Email

Five Valleys Audubon Society is now offering our monthly newsletter electronically. If you would like to receive the
newsletter via e-mail, please send your request to Please state in your email, your
name, as it appears on your newsletter, as well as your e-mail address.

We promise to keep your e-mail address private. We will not give or sell your e-mail addresses. We may from time to
time, send –email announcements of news items and events that are important to FVAS.

If you have any questions before you decide, feel free to write:
Welcome To Our New Members

Sharyl Ackley                                 Nanette Ault, DDS
Will Butler                                   Caroline Carrier                                                 Important Note
Elaine Caton                                  Gerrie Jeske                                                     To Our Valued
Maureen Loewenwarte                           James McKown                                                     Members: Please
                                                                                                               note the expiration
Mardia Parker                                 Cathy & Carl Seielstad
                                                                                                               date of your
Lois Unacks                                                                                                    membership on the
                                                                                                               address label of this
                                                                                                               newsletter. We
Thank You To Our Returning Members                                                                             wouldn’t want your
                                                                                                               membership to
Vick Applegate                         Joy Earls                       SFC Gail Engler                         expire. We would
Catherine Everingham                   Rich & Jeane Fevold             Eric Fevold                             miss you! A renewal
Juliet Gordon                          Dick Hutto                      Gerhard Knudsen                         form is on the last
Anita Kurtz-Magee                      Johnnie Moore                   Louise Norwood                          page of every
                                                                                                               newsletter for your
Susan Reel                             Thomas Robinson                 Paul & Robin Silverstein
                                                                                                               convenience. Please
Sara Simkowitz                         Terry & Carole Toppins          Rita Wolfe                              renew your
                                                                                                               membership so that
                                                                                                               you don’t miss any
                                                                                                               newsletters or any of
From All Of Us At Five Valleys Audubon Society                                                                 the upcoming events
                                                                                                               of the Five Valleys
                                                                                                               Audubon Society.

                                                ~ Happy New Year!

                                                The deadline for the February edition of the Birding Observer is
                                                Monday, January 16th. Please send articles to editor, Beverly Orth
                                                Geoghegan at <>.


Please enroll me as a member of the National Audubon Society              Please enroll me as a Chapter member of Five Valleys Audubon
and my local Chapter. I will receive the Audubon magazine and             Society. I will receive the Birding Observer and may participate
the Birding Observer, as well as participate in all local Chapter         in all local Chapter activities. I understand that my dues remain
activities. I understand that my dues are shared between NAS              locally.
and my local Chapter.

NAME:                                                                     NAME:

ADDRESS:                                                                  ADDRESS:

CITY:                      STATE:                   ZIP:                  CITY:                       STATE:               ZIP:

          $20 for individual or family
          $15 for students and seniors                                            $15 is enclosed for Chapter membership

Please make check payable to Nat’l Audubon Society & mail to:             Please make check payable to Five Valleys Audubon Society &
NAS, Membership Data Center, PO Box 51001, Boulder, CO                    mail to: Five Valleys Audubon Society,
80323-1003. N53 7XCH                                                      PO Box 8425, Missoula, MT 59807.
President                      Vacant
Vice-President                 Bill Gabriel         PO Box 520, Florence, MT 59833            273 - 6880     N/A
Secretary                      Vacant
Treasurer                      Alex Taft            439 Connell Ave,Missoula, 59801           549 - 2805

Board Director                 Nancy Volle          3918 Lincoln Rd, Missoula, MT 59802       542 – 5014
Board Director                 Suzann Stickney      2312 Duncan Dr, Missoula, MT 59802        549 - 0063
Board Director                 Judith B. Smith      3585 S Pointe Dr, Missoula, MT 59803      251 – 4740
Board Director                 Carole Toppins       1210 Tower, Missoula, MT 59804            549 – 6027
Board Director                 Vacant
Board Director                 Vacant

Member Records                 Clare Kelly          2909 Highwood Dr, Missoula, MT 59803      251 – 7207
Membership Promotion           Anita Kurtz-Magee    1650 Madeline Ave, Missoula, MT 59801     728 – 6464
Program                        Nancy Volle          3918 Lincoln Rd, Missoula, MT 59802       542 – 5014
Conservation Advocacy          Vic Applegate        303 Rimrock Way, Missoula, MT 59803       549 – 0027
Habitat Protection & Restore   Jim Brown            1504 Woods Gulch Rd, Missoula, MT 59802   549 – 8052
Field Activities               Larry Weeks          2428 W Kent Ave, Missoula, MT 59801       549 – 5632
Publicity                      Elizabeth Johnston   1784 Elison Lane, Missoula, MT 59802      327 – 1525
Education                      Larry Weeks          2428 W Kent Ave, Missoula, MT 59801       549 – 5632
PL Wright Endowment            Bill Gabriel         PO Box 520, Florence, MT 59833            273 – 6880
PL Wright Awards               Sid Frissell         PO Box 1012, Emigrant, MT 59027           333 – 4143
PL Wright Awards               Dan Pletscher        509 Arbor Dr, Missoula, MT 59802          543 – 4865

Newsletter Editor              Bev Orth Geoghegan 4231 Huckleberry Dr, Great Falls 59404      761 – 6047
Newsletter Circulation         Judith B. Smith    3585 S. Pointe Dr, Missoula, MT 59803       251 – 4740
Web Site                       Clare Kelly        2909 Highwood Dr, Missoula, MT 59803        251 – 7207
Archivist                      Shirley Holden     2319 Valley Dr, Missoula, MT 59802          549 – 5706
Audubon Adventures             Barbara Ross       215 E. Florence St, Missoula, MT 59801      721 - 7847
Christmas Bird Count           Larry Weeks        2428 W Kent Ave, Missoula, MT 59801         549 – 5632
Bird Hotline                   Terry Toppins      1210 Tower, Missoula, MT 59804              721 – 9799
Bird Atlas                     Jock Young         1501 Washburn, Missoula, MT 59801           721 – 3972

Five Valleys Audubon Society                                                                                       NON-PROFIT ORG.
PO Box 8425, Missoula, MT 59807                                                                                      US POSTAGE
                                                                                                                         PAID                                                                    MISSOULA, MT
                                                                                                                    PERMIT NO. 490


                               Note To Members: Please Check The Mailing Label For Expiration Of Your Membership.

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