Birds in the Spotlight Archives

Festival Awards for Local Members

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 … Continue reading

Bird Festival in Missoula June 3rd thru 5th

The Montana Audubon bird festival “wings across the big sky” will be held in Missoula June 3rd thru 5th 2016. We have a number of art events at the festival – both at the hotel and in galleries downtown. For more information see our festival page.
    Avian Art for Audubon




On our 2015 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 … Continue reading

Tricky Finch Identification

With the Christmas Bird Count coming up one of the things on your mind will no doubt be how to tell those pesky finches apart – you know, the ones that all kinda look the same. The folks at eBird have put together a handy guide that goes into the details to help you separate a House Finch from a Purple Finch from a Cassin’s Finch. You can download their 6-page pdf by clicking on the image below…

eBird finches

Montana eBird Challenge

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the montanachallenge2015! Five Valleys Audubon is excited for the possibilities (and the birds) that this fun challenge will reveal. The main goal is to promote eBird use across the state of Montana. There are many birders in our great state submitting their observations to eBird, but we can do better. eBird is a great tool to help our conservation efforts. Currently, there are large gaps in the state lacking bird observations. We hope prizes at the end of the year for the most species and most counties (with complete checklists) will help people get out and explore some of these under-reported areas.

We will also announce some seasonal or monthly challenges intended for target species or habitats of interest. For example, our first challenge is focused on eagles. We want to know how eagles use Montana in the winter, and where they are. So, until the end of March get out there and find some eagles (and keep submitting checklists even if they don’t include eagles)! Not a bad way to spend your time!

We will periodically send out emails detailing everyone’s submissions. All you have to do is follow these simple instructions, below.

1. Create an eBird account. It is free, private, and easy. Register at Spend a little time exploring the website and the associated email they will send you about getting started. It takes a little effort to familiarize yourself with eBird, but once you’ve done so we think you’ll be hooked (like we are). It is an amazing tool that is revolutionizing citizen science and bird data.

2. Once you’ve created an account, go birding and submit a checklist.

3. Please include your eBird username (make sure it is spelled correctly and is case-sensitive) in the comments section during step 2, within the date and effort page.

In the example below, I typed my user name (kerrplunck) in the comments section. Feel free to add other comments, just make sure your user name is first.a2e83f

4. Then, after you complete your list and submit it on step 3, you will see the following page. On the right is an option to share with others in your party.

5. Once you click “Share w/ Others in Your Party” you will see this page. a2e87d

6. Type in montanachallenge2015 just like you see it above in the “To” box, and then click Share Checklist. 

7. And that’s it. You’ve just submitted a checklist for yourself and shared it with montanachallenge2015 (we’ll do the rest).

Thank you so much for your interest in birds and eBird! We hope this will be fun and easy to do. Remember – submit your observations, type your user name in comments, then share.

Good birding!

2014 Christmas Bird Count

Five Valleys Audubon will conduct the Missoula Christmas Bird Count on Saturday Dec 20th, 2014. If you would like to participate in the field count, contact Larry Weeks at 406-549-5632 (406-540-3064 cell) or moc.liamgnull@aenegswb. If you are interested in being … Continue reading