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
The Bohemian Waxwing is an unpredictable winter visitor to Helena from areas far to the north. The name "Bohemian" refers to the wandering, nomadic movements of these winter visitors. They appear in small groups to large flocks foraging on fruits of wild and ornamental shrubs and trees. Bohemian Waxwings certainly are observed every winter in Helena but some years they are uncommon and perhaps only seen in small flocks. In other years, they may be seen over many weeks, sometime in large flocks of several hundred and occasionally several thousands of birds. These flocks typically fly in tight-knit groups, landing together in a tree or shrub and then taking flight again as a group, often in an explosive manner.
Both Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings are somewhat larger than bluebirds. Both species have black marking through the eyes and on the throat and have a head crest. The Bohemian Waxwing is distinguished from the Cedar Waxwing by its overall pale gray color and a rusty color under the tail feathers. Waxwings' voice is a distinctive high, thin trill often inaudible for those of us with high frequency hearing loss.
Waxwings have red, waxy appendages on the tips of their secondary feathers that are actually flattened extensions of the feather shafts. Both males and females show wax on their wings, with the number of tips in both sexes correlating positively to their age. Research supports the hypothesis that the birds match and mate according to age. Most observed mated pairs were composed of two birds with similar number of tips correlating closely with age. Young birds pair up with other members of their peer group while the older birds mate within their own circle. (Dan Sullivan) (Photo - Higgins)
MARCH NATURAL HISTORY LECTURES
Each Thursday in March the chapter will host a talk at the Montana Historical Society Auditorium at 6:30 pm. The theme for this year's series is Celebrating Fifty Years of Wilderness.
The series begins on March 6th. Bill Cunningham will give a presentation on the 1964 Wilderness Act. Bill is a Choteau resident and an active participant in the struggle to save wild places and a lifetime member of the Montana Wilderness Association.
To view the entire series, go to the menu at left and select "Natural History Lecture Series"
Last Chance Audubon Society meets the second Tuesday of the month, September - May, 7:00 pm (excluding March) at St. Paul's Methodist Church, located at the corner of Cruse and Lawrence Avenues in downtown Helena. (map)
Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Curlews, Cranes, and Mixed Land Use presented by Jennifer Stadum
Stay tuned for details...