Missoula Birding

Festival Awards for Local Members

larry weeks

Larry Weeks

Longtime Chapter member Larry Weeks was recognized as Environmental Educator of the Year, for his outstanding commitment as our Community Naturalist for the past 13 years.  Larry is a retired pulp and paper technology engineer, who worked at the Smurfit-Stone Mill in Missoula.

  • Larry has conducted over 460 education programs for schools and other community groups, reaching a cumulative total of over 7,000 children and 3,000 adults.
  • Larry’s programs cover everything from basic bird identification to ecology. His fire ecology workshop at St. Joseph School includes three classroom sessions and a field trip to a nearby recent forested burn.
  • Larry has also organized numerous beginning and advanced birding workshops, which are open to the public. The workshops combine classroom talks with field trips to give participants a chance to hone their birding skills.

We are lucky to have such a dedicated and energetic educator in our midst.


Bev Orth Geoghegen

Bev Orth Geoghegen

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors a long-time, dedicated chapter volunteer—our newsletter editor Bev Orth Geoghegan.

Bev’s involvement with Audubon started when she was hired by the National Audubon Society in their Missoula office. Although at the time birding was new to her, she quickly became interested in ‘all things birds’—including Five Valleys Audubon.

In 2001 Bev became the newsletter editor for the chapter. Volunteer newsletter editors are not often recognized—or appreciated. But producing 10 newsletters per year, for 15 years, rain-or-shine, vacations or not, regular job notwithstanding, and family obligations juggled, means a lot of work: each newsletter requires 10-12 hours of work, meaning Bev has volunteered for the chapter a minimum 100 to 120 hours per year or 1,500 to 1,800 hours since she started.

In addition, there’s an interesting twist to Bev’s commitment: a few years ago she moved to New York City—yet, she continues to faithfully get out the chapter’s monthly newsletter!

Five Valleys Chapter and Montana Audubon are both pleased to recognize Bev’s long-term dedication and commitment as an outstanding volunteer.


From left to right: Dan Casey, Paul Hendricks and Jeff Marks

From left to right: Dan Casey, Paul Hendricks and Jeff Marks

The Chapter and Montana Audubon were proud to recognize the co-authors of the newly released reference book, Birds of Montana, with a 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award to Jeff Marks, Dan Casey, and Paul Hendricks.

The Authors:

  • Completed a badly needed reference book for the state of Montana that summarizes information on the status, distribution, biology, conservation, and historical aspects of the bird species known to occur in the state.
  • Devoted an incredible amount of time, energy, and elbow grease to see this book through to completion—including researching, writing, revising, fundraising, and seeing the book through to publication.
  • Provided the state with a resource that documents population trends through time, rare birds and their needs, declining habitats, and the outlook for common birds.
  • Produced a book that will surely inspire further conservation actions for rare and important habitats, as well as species throughout the state.

We are grateful to this trio for their hard-work and dedication to develop this “must-have” reference “for anyone who cares about the birdlife of Montana” (Quote from Buteo Books website).

birds in the spotlight archives

Recent Field Activities


Forrest Rowland fieldfare

On our Christmas Bird Count, on December 19th, Jim Brown found a Fieldfare a few miles west of Missoula. This is the first record of the species in Montana. This picture of the bird is from Forrest Rowland’s facebook page. … Continue reading

Great Gray Owl at Maclay Flat

great gray owl

Sixteen hardy bird-seekers navigated the icy trails and the trees at Maclay Flat today in wet weather but not the heavy rain and high winds forecast – they arrived about an hour after we were done. The highlight of the … Continue reading

Lee Metcalf NWR Field Trip

marsh wren
photo by Pat Little

by Terry McEneaney… On March 30, 2013, a group of over two dozen participants traveling in two waves descended on Lee Metcalf Refuge to shake off the winter cobwebs. Collectively we tallied slightly over or near 66 species of birds. … Continue reading

recent field activities archives

Other Bird Happenings Around Missoula

2015 Phil Wright Research Awards

The Philip L Wright Memorial Research Awards are offered to encourage student-initiated research in wildlife-related subjects, and to support what might be their initial effort at field research. In 2015 the awards committee received proposals from ten University of Montana … Continue reading

“Pledge To Fledge”


Hey, you birders out there… From April 25th to April 29th, birders across six continents will inspire a broader public appreciation for birds by bringing friends and other non-birders out to truly see and enjoy birds for the first time.  These birders will share their efforts with … Continue reading

Hellgate Osprey Chicks 2012


Here’s a set of mug shots of the three chicks on the Hellgate nest this year. This Osprey nest is at the mouth of the spectacular Hellgate Canyon at the edge of Missoula, Montana. It’s in a very busy location, … Continue reading

other bird happenings around Missoula archives