Last Chance Audubon Society
Promoting understanding, respect, and enjoyment of birds and the natural world
through education, habitat protection and environment advocacy.
Photo credits - Bob Martinka
LCAS web site funded by a bequest from the estate of Nancy Tunnicliff
Christmas Bird Count
Birding in the Helena Area
Natural History Lecture Series
White-crowned Sparrows often appear briefly in our yards and at bird feeders in Helena during spring and fall as they migrate to and from their breeding areas. These sparrows prefer stunted conifer and shrubs found near tree line for their breeding habitat. Breeding populations are easily found close to Helena at MacDonald, Priest and Stemple passes from May through August. Males and females quickly pair on the breeding grounds, then they wait until snow has melted enough to begin nest building. Pairs break up and winter separately, but about two-thirds of the pairs re-form the next summer.
Adult white-crowns have bold, alternating black and white stripes on their head. Their backs are mottled, medium brown and their wings have a pair of pale, white wing-bars. They have a crisp, un-streaked, grayish breast and a pale, conical shaped bill. The fall juveniles have brownish plumage and their heads are distinctly striped like the adults except the stripes are light and dark brown.
White-crowns typically feed on the ground and in shrubs, usually below waist level. They frequently scavenge seed under feeders dropped by other birds. White-crowns frequently feed by "double-scratching," a move shared by some other ground feeders which involves a quick hop backwards to turn over leaves followed by a forward hop and pounce. (Dan Sullivan) (Photo - Cronberg)
Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Winter Birds of the Helena Valley presented by Coburn Currier
This annual program is an enjoyable, informative way to prepare for the Christmas Bird Count. Using the photography of Bob Martinka, Coburn will focus on the birds we are most likely to see during the count.
Currier is a trained biologist who has worked in various fields including grassland birds, forest raptors, bats, and terrestrial mollusks. His personal and professional passion has always been with birds, bird distribution and conservation.
Bob Martinka worked for nearly 30 years with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. In his retirement Bob has become an avid birder and photographer, traveling widely to pursue these interests.
Please join Last Chance Audubon at the December meeting. You can sign up to participate in the Christmas Bird Count, hone your birding skills, and enjoy the exceptional bird photography.
Christmas Bird Count: Saturday, December 14, 2013.