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Bird Festival
Birding Montana

Chestnut-collared Longspur

15th Annual Montana Audubon
Wings Across the Big Sky FestivaL

Festival Registration Button

Calliope Hummingbird by Andrew Guttenberg

June 6 - 8, 2014
Bozeman, MONTANA

Our 2014 Bird Festival is coming to the spectacular Gallatin Valley! This year our festival is co-hosted by Montana Audubon and the Sacajawea Audubon Society, our partner in Bozeman. 

Registration is now open

If you have not seen our brochure you can, VIEW IT TODAY.

If you'd like to register by snail mail, download the registration form HERE.

The festival is sure to please as Sacajawea Audubon kicks off Friday with light hors d'oeuvres and program starting at 4:30pm. The rest of the weekend is filled with a diversity of expertly guided field trips, Saturday's Keynote Address by Dr. John Marzluff (co-hosted by the Gallatin National Forest), Saturday's dynamic presentations, and other activities for all. J Marzluff

John Marzluff will give the Keynote Address, Gifts of the Crow, a foray into what he describes as millions of years of cultural co-evolution between humans and crows. Join us as Dr. Marzluff describes humans' ongoing connection with these mischievous, playful, social and passionate birds! If that isn't enough to bring you over, his crow research was used in the documentary "A Murder of Crows" and his Raven research was featured in PBS's NATURE, "Ravens"! Further, Dr. Marzluff's research has been highlighted in the New York Times, National Geographic, Audubon, and National Wildlife. He is currently a Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington, has authored over 120 scientific papers, and leads the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Recovery Team for the endangered Mariana Crow.

Register today for this years dozens of Saturday and Sunday morning field trips that are sure to fill up! Field trips will generally be leaving the GranTree at 6:00am. Saturday trips will return at noon, in time to see our keynote and afternoon presentations. Sunday trip end times are more variable so be sure to read the descriptions closely. Participants should come prepared with binoculars, rain gear, comfortable shoes/boots, camera, a two-way radio if possible, water and personal items. Sack lunches are available as part of your registration fee for both days. Please note that some field trips are offered both Saturday and Sunday, while others are offered only one day. CLICK HERE to preview the festival field trips.

Mission Creek

Our Saturday presentations will get you fired up to conserve birds and their habitats as we learn from a variety highly regarded researchers, conservationists, and bird aficionados!

2014 PresentationTopics
Montana's Osprey and Toxins
Sage-Grouse conservation
Bird migration in the Middle East
A new "Field Guide to Birds in a Changing Climate"
Bridger Raptors
Birds, Beetles, and Burns


This year there is an exciting new Special Raffle for a chance to win a Texas Coast Birding Extravaganza trip! It is a premium package (valued at over $4,000) for four adults, that includes two full days of birding with local experts and three days of luxury accommodations near downtown Houston! The dates are set for April 14- 17, 2015. This package was generously donated by John Whitmire and Susie Maclin. CLICK HERE to view pdf.

In addition, there will be a Bucket Raffle, a Dessert auction, and opportunities to camp or explore Bozeman. CLICK HERE to preview our raffle options. Raffle tickets can be purchased when registering online.

We know our festival travels are not without impact. Montana Audubon is striving to become carbon neutral, and as part of a close to home solution to help offset our carbon footprint, we are starting a seed fund for solar panels at our sunny Education Center in Billings. Donate any amount, note "solar" on the donation, and we promise to turn those dollars into clean energy!

The festival headquarters and lodging will be at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn, Bozeman. Rooms are $99 per night and can be reserved by calling 406-587-5261. Mention that you are with Montana Audubon to get this special rate, and take time to thank them for being a supporter of our local Audubon Society.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to our top sponser, The Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce!

And a big THANK YOU to our other great sponsers! We could not have done it alone!:

Please feel free to call the Montana Audubon office at 406.443.3949 with any questions.

2013 Festival in Lewistown

We want to thank everyone who contributed time, energy, and expertise to make Montana Audubon’s 2013 Wings Across the Big Sky Festival a success! Special thanks go out to Beverly Skinner, our star local coordinator, the Lewistown community who rallied to accommodate over 225 attendees, and to those who donated terrific raffle prizes, silent auction items, and custom tours.

Many thanks to the incredible young artists from the Lewistown schools whose original artwork was used in our festival materials.

Check back later for photos from the festival and a list of our award winners!

2012 Festival in Kalispell

Thanks to Flathead Audubon for co-hosting!

Memorable photos from the festival here. Slideshow option here.

Master Bird Species List - all the birds seen on field trips! As pdf. As excel spreadsheet.

>  We presented four Annual Awards in 2012:

  • Bob Lopp ~ Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Linda Winnie ~ Conservationist of the Year
  • Ashley Mason ~ Educator of the Year
  • John Parker ~ Citizen Scinetist of the Year

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2011 Festival in Glasgow

What a blast - over 200 people form all over the state (and beyond) joined us in Glasgow. Highlights included: highly educational pre-festival workshops about grassland and sagebrush conservation, a great variety of field trip, and Inspiring Keynote address by Gary Ferguson.

At our 2011 festival we presented four Annual Awards:

  • Ron Farmer ~ Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Steve Hoffman~ Conservationist of the Year
  • Carla Wambach ~ Educator of the Year
  • Catherine Wightman ~ Special Achievement Award

Photos and accolades for each award winner are here.

Photos from a handful of the field trips can be viewed HERE

Chek out a bird list for the entire festival: view in excel or pdf. Thanks Woody!

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2010 festival in Missoula

BirdingMontana Audubon and the Five Valleys and Bitterroot Audubon Chapters, together with birders from across the state, came together for our 2010 annual festival.

Thank you for coming and thanks to all our volunteers! Thanks also to our major sponsors: Bureau of Land Management; Friends of Lee Metcalf; GlaxoSmithKline; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Montana Natural History Center; & U.S. Forest Service

AWARDS: At our 2010 festival we presented four awards:

  • Jim Brown ~ Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Dr. Steve Running~ Conservationist of the Year
  • Sue Reel & Dick Hutto ~ Educators of the Year
  • The Bitterroot Audubon IBA Committee ~ Special Achievement Award

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2009 festival in great falls

Montana Audubon and the Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon Chapter, together with birdersfrom across the state, came together for our 2009 annual festival in Great Falls. AWARDS: At our annual 2009 festival we presented four awards:

  • George Engler ~ Lifetime Achievement Award
  • McKenzie Graye ~ Conservationist of the Year
  • Lisa Flowers ~ Educator of the Year
  • Richard Mousel ~ Special Achievement Award

FIELD TRIPS were varied and plentiful, and though the rain may have dampened our opportunities to see birds, it didn't dampen our spirits. And all together we identified over 180 species! The simple field trip bird list is available HERE. You may be interested in the details: which birds we saw on which field trip. If so you can download the spreadsheet version or the in-depth pdf version.

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