Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.
Please note: many of our field trips take place on state lands that require all users have a Montana Conservation License.
Visit the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks website for more information and to purchase:Conservation License
Participants will visit two riparian zones and open sagebrush hills, focusing on resident bird species and related botany. Stops will include Prickly Pear Creek east of Montana City, Buffalo Creek northwest of Clancy, and nearby Sheep Mountain hillsides. The streamside vegetation is attractive to warblers, flycatchers, vireos, and thrushes. Lazuli Bunting, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Veery, and Warbling Vireo, are common in the riparian areas. In 2022 the first Ovenbirds recorded in Jefferson County were seen and photographed in the Lump Gulch location. Along with surveying birds in each habitat, we’ll pause to identify the predominant native plant species, and consider the relationships between the birds and the plant communities that support them. We could also see some early wildflowers – possibly Fairy Slipper Orchid, Chocolate Lily, and Purple Clematis, depending on the season. The field trip will conclude with stops to observe nesting boxes near Clancy. These boxes, placed by the field trip leaders, have hosted Mountain and Western Bluebird, as well as Tree Swallow and House Wren. Walking will be on mostly level ground with some exploring among the streamside vegetation. At Sunderland Park there is a serviceable port-a-pot, but there are no facilities other than heavy brush at the other two locations. The field trip is expected to conclude around lunch time. Parking is limited so carpooling is strongly encouraged.
Typically difficult to access, the Warm Springs Ponds Complex field trip will welcome participants to areas not generally open to the public. This tour will traverse areas of riparian, wetland, and lake/stream habitats in the Deer Lodge Valley. The focus will be on lake, marsh and riparian habitats. Bird species will include: a dozen or more waterfowl species, three or more grebe species, Black-crowned Night-heron, Great Blue Heron, Wilson’s Snipe, Wilson’s Phalarope, Osprey, Bald Eagle (nesting), Marsh Wren, Willow Flycatcher, and numerous sparrow species. The trip will be mostly driving interspersed with short walks on mostly level ground.
More information on other field trips coming soon!