Audubon both encourages the conservation of raptors and other birds of prey and works to help monitor these magnificent birds. Projects we run, encourage or support include:
Nesting golden eagles in Montana -- 2012
Montana Audubon is helping to compile all known Golden Eagle nest locations. If you are aware of any active Golden Eagle nests in 2012, please fill out a simple report and submit to the Montana Natural Heritage Program - simple options for reporting are clearly described HERE.
OR you can get information directly to us: simply record date, activity, and location. You can "pin" it on google earth and send us the spatial information, or we can send you a map of the area and you can make your mark. Of course you can also use your GPS and if you are not directly at the nest, record the lat/longs and the approximate distance and direction, and we can reposition. Send this info to Amy.
The Montana Bird Conservation Partnership (MBCP) has initiated a working group to address research and monitoring needs, potential declines, and threats to Golden Eagles in our state. And we are doing our part. Nest site locations will help us conserve these eagles, especially with regards to energy development in our state.
And while your at it, help us find nests for Ferruginous Hawks! All the same applies!
The Golden Eagle was a recently featured Bird of the Month
Back to citizen science.
western Montana's raptor migration corridors
Every year, raptors migrate to and from their breeding grounds. During the fall, they typically fly along high ridge tops and during the spring, valleys and foothills are preferred. The primary known migration corridors are shown here, although there are other secondary and dispersed routes. The green arrows are spring migration routes and the rust arrows are fall corridors.
Bridger Raptor Migration Count & Annual Festival
Montana Audubon monitors fall raptor migration at the Bridger Mountain site just north of Bozeman. This is the most important Golden Eagle population monitoring site in the Western US, and we have run this project, in collaboration with HawkWatch International, from 2009-2012.
We had another great season. Thanks to all who ventured up to the site. We look forward to 2013.
Hawk Watchers are needed every fall for ~ 2 months. We hire two technicians to monitor migration, and volunteer watchers are most welcome to give our surveyors an occasional day off.
During the past decade the Golden Eagle counts have declined. These declines have been corroborated by eagle counts taken at several other sites in western North America. The specific cause of these eagle declines is presently unknown, but is possibly due to deleterious changes in habitat and the associated prey base. More study is needed to determine the cause of the population decline, as well as its severity and extent. Annual scientific counts in the Bridgers are essential to assess population trends of this widespread, top-of-the-food-chain, avian predator.
This project was dropped by HWI in 2009 due to limited funding. A partnership between HWI and Montana Audubon has allowed the project to continue. All data collected are forwarded to HWI so they can continue to measure regional raptor population health and trends over time.
Funding: Montana Audubon is looking for funding to support these surveys. The US Forest Service (Gallatin National Forest) and Bozeman-based Sacajawea Audubon Society often provide project support annually. This year NaturEner USA is also providing valuable financial support, along with individual donors. We continue to rely on donations to support our research and conservation programs. If you would like to donate to the Bridger project, please, contact Steve Hoffman 406.443.3949.
osprey and baling twine