As part of International Hawk Migration Week, Steve Hoffman, raptor expert and former Executive Director of Montana Audubon will teach a field identification class for all skill levels on Friday, September 22nd, and lead a Field Trip to the Golden Eagle Migration Survey (GEMS) study site near Duck Creek Pass in the Big Belt Mountains near Townsend, on Saturday, September 23rd. Participants will practice identifying raptors, with GEMS observers, for several hours on Saturday.
Raptors likely to be encountered: Golden Eagle, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, and American Kestrel. Seventeen species have been observed at this site. Field trip participants can choose either a hike of 1.4 miles, with 900-ft. elevation gain, to our primary observation site or an easy stroll of 150 yards, to our lower observation site.
Friday evening’s class will meet at Montana WILD, 2668 Broadwater Ave. from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Saturday morning we will meet in Helena at 8:00am. Carpooling and high clearance and/or 4WD vehicles are strongly recommended. Home by 5 pm. Dress for hiking and for the often cool, breezy high-mountain weather conditions (8,000ft elevation). Bring lunch, water, snacks, daypack, binoculars, camera, and a walking stick if required.
GEMS is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service, Montana FWP, Montana Audubon, and Last Chance Audubon. All funds raised directly benefit the GEMS project. The workshop will be limited to 30 persons and pre-registration is required – early reservations are advised.
To register online: click the link and select GEMS Raptor ID Workshop from the “Gift Designation” dropdown menu. Please also include the name, email and phone number of the workshop participant in the “gift notes” section. Register here.
For mail registration, please send your non-refundable $50 check, payable to “Montana Audubon”: Montana Audubon, P.O. Box 595, Helena, MT 59624. Please put “GEMS Raptor ID” on memo line of your check. Please also include the name, email and contact information for the participant with your check.
For more information contact Montana Audubon 406.443.3949 or [email protected]