Need an excuse to chase alpine birds?
If so, consider this opportunity to look for Rosy-finches! Montana Audubon is partnering with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks throughout western Montana to understand where Rosy-finches are active and breeding. Rosy-finches are best surveyed in high-alpine areas of SW Montana (Fish, Wildlife & Parks Regions 2, 3, 4, 5) during the months of June and July. Black Rosy-Finches are generally found nesting in cliff crevices, rock slides and talus among glaciers and snowfields above timberline, typically nesting on north or north-east facing slopes.
In summer, these birds are commonly associated with the edges of tundra snow fields which they use to forage windblown insects and seeds deposited on the surface. They will also use wet soil, or newly exposed tundra from receding snow fields for feeding as well. Surveys require a walk below north-facing cliffs, above tree line where there is an abundance of tundra, boulder and late season snowpack. The toe of boulder fields are also good survey sites. Walking transects are used to survey this species.
If you’d like to participate in this project please decide what region in Montana you’d like to visit. Visit the FWP regional map for reference. Surveys will be conducted in Regions 2, 3, 4, and 5, and your contact for the project will vary by region.
For Region 2 please contact Amy Seaman with Montana Audubon: [email protected]
For Regions 3 and 4 please contact Claire Gower, FWP Wildlife Biologist: [email protected] or (406) 994 – 5953.
For Region 5 please contact Megan O’Reilly, FWP Wildlife Biologist: [email protected] or (406) 234 – 0948
Protocols for Rosy Finch surveys in Montana: High Alpine Survey Methodology_2017_FINAL
If you’d like to participate in this project or have further questions about the volunteer survey aspect, please contact Amy [email protected] or 406.210.9449