On March 13, UMBA was pleased that Kristina Smucker, non-game wildlife biologist from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) made a presentation on central Montana curlew studies. In previous years the public has participated in curlew surveys and YOU can in 2017!
FWP is looking for citizen scientists like you to conduct surveys for Long-billed Curlews – a shorebird that breeds in prairie grasslands. Volunteers would choose a route in either the Choteau or Cascade area and survey the route twice between mid-April and the end of May.
Surveys are conducted in the morning by driving a route and stopping every half mile to spend 5-minutes looking and listening for curlews. Routes will likely take ~ 2 hours to complete. For more information email Kristina Smucker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 454-5876 for more information.
On Feb. 18 Beth Hill and a couple members of our Audubon chapter took to the roads with the object of finding a few eagles. Beth described their success: “We took back roads from Ulm to Cascade on the west side of the interstate, then back to Ulm on the east side.
We had 1 Rough-legged Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 9 immature Bald Eagles, 16 adult Bald Eagles and 2 adult Golden Eagles. The sun peaked behind clouds at the right times to highlight the gold on both eagles - wow!
We also had a fair number of Common Ravens (25), Black-billed Magpies (at least 30), Canada Geese (over 400), 10 Common Mergansers, 10 Common Goldeneyes, a number of Horned Larks, starlings, Rock Pigeons, one Ring-necked Pheasant, a few Pronghorns, over 56 deer and 3 porcupines. The weather couldn't have been nicer (not much wind and enough warming to create some thermals for soaring eagles).
I'd say we found a few eagles!”