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
Not typically seen by the causal birder, the Northern Pygmy Owl is a common species in the forested areas of western Montana. They are diurnal hunters of small birds and rodents and may visit our bird feeders for a chance at an easy meal. Pygmy Owls, smaller than an American Robin, are aggressive predators sometimes killing other birds nearly twice their size. Pygmy Owls may be seen at any time during the day but they are most active early morning and late evening.
The Pygmy Owl is overall brown in color with small pale spots on the forehead and pale speckling on the chest. Dark vertical streaks appear on a light breast and belly. The eyes are bright yellow. On the back of the head at the neck line are two false eye spots. These "eyes" may function in confusing predators and keeping mobbing songbirds at bay. The Pygmy Owl call consists of a series of flute-like toots and can be heard from long distances.
Fortunately for us bird watchers, Pigmy Owls are not especially shy of humans and often allow us good looks. That icy glare, though, may make you wonder, if you were smaller, if you might not be viewed at as a potential meal. (Dan Sullivan) (Photo - Bartley)
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, May 13, 2014. Sharing our Valley: Lake Helena Important Bird Area presented by Amy Seaman - Montana Audubon.
The Important Bird Area (IBA) program came to Montana in 2002. Since then 40 sites critical to sustaining healthy long-term populations of Montana's Birds have been established. Lake Helena Important Bird Area was established using criteria for 11 Montana species of concern that use its diverse habitats, such as undeveloped marsh and riparian areas, for both breeding and stopover sites. Our Last Chance Audubon Society (LCAS) chapter has identified over 170 species using the site! Amy Seaman will give an overview of the IBA and the greater Lake Helena Watershed, talk about why some of these species are so spectacular, and touch on some interesting history, issues, threats, and potential within this valley we call home. Discussion will explore current citizen science initiatives, our partners in the valley, and ideas for potential projects. This program is a great opportunity to discuss what has worked for the LCAS in the past and future goals of the participants.