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
Montana Audubon is helping to compile all known Golden Eagle nest locations. If you are aware of any active Golden Eagle nests, 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 has been a 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
It's 2013 and the 23rd consectutive season of raptor migration monitoring along the Brider Mountains. That's a lot of time with necks craned to the sky - and oodles of eagels and other birds of prey sighted and recorded.
Check out this 1 page spread from Bird Watching Magazine.
We monitor fall raptor migration at a site 15 miles NE of Bozeman. This is the most important Golden Eagle population monitoring site in the Western US. We began to run this project, in collaboration with HawkWatch International, in 2009. The long-term data collected enables scientists to learn more about raptor migration patterns as well as regional and continental population trends. The Bridger project is also designed to monitor widespread environmental changes, using these apex predators as valuable barometers of ecological health.
Come visit this site! Intrepid eagle watchers Kalon and Bret are back for another season. They love visitors, and if you are a true hawk migration watcher, we could use you to give them a day or two off so they don't get too loopy.
Directions: Follow Bridger Canyon Road to the entrance to Bridger Bowl Ski Area. Follow the only road (it turns to dirt) past the ski lodges for ~ 1.5 miles to the parking area (and locked gate). Hike to the crest of the ridge (and the top of the ski area) generally paralleling the chairlift, following the footpath or preferably the jeep road. Near the top of the ridge the jeep road ends; follow the trail for another half-mile to the top of the ridge. The viewing point is the concrete helipad atop the Bridger Ridge, 200' north of the ski hut where the trail crests the ridge. The total hiking distance is about 2 miles (and 2200' elevation gain).
Bridger Project Overview:
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.
Funding: Funding for the 2013 Bridger count is being generously provided by the US Forest Service (Gallatin National Forest), NaturEner USA, Sacajawea Audubon Society (Bozeman-based Audubon chapter), and individual Montana Audubon donors. If you would like to contribute, please, contact Steve Hoffman 406.443.3949.
osprey and baling twine