Snow Goose flock – Photo by Bob Martinka

When: May 10, 2022 7PM
Where: Montana WILD Education Center

Challenges in designing a waterfowl protection plan at the Berkley Pit

Presenter: Dr. Stella Capoccia

In the fall of 2016 when roughly 60,000 Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese landed in the Berkeley Pit in Butte; approximately 3,000 geese died despite round-the-clock hazing efforts that continued for days. Other than that event, most of the observed avian activity on the pit averages below 100 birds per day, over 99% of which continue to be successfully hazed off the water. This stark difference draws questions: why were the numbers in 2016 so high, and what could be done to improve practices in the future?

Our speaker, Stella Capoccia, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Biology at Montana Tech. Dr. Capoccia’s main research interests focus on human dimensions of wildlife management and the human-animal relationship. Dr. Capoccia will discuss her ongoing research of waterfowl migration at the Berkeley Pit. Read more…

*Note – Please help us to keep our members and friends safe. Masks will be required, and seating will be in small groups of 2-4 chairs to provide some distancing. Seating will be limited. Please plan to arrive early to assure a seat.


Field trips are a long-standing LCAS tradition: a great way for all of us to celebrate our local birds, meet new people, and sharpen our birding skills. This year we have a diverse selection planned, so whether you’re an avid birder or just getting started, join us in the field! Plan to dress for the weather, which can change suddenly. Bring sturdy footwear, binoculars, snacks, water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. For a complete list of 2022 Field Trips, please visit our Field Trip page.

White-winged Crossbill by Bob Martinka
White-winged Crossbill by Bob Martinka

Last Chance Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count was completed on Saturday, December 18th.  Even though the count was not open for public participation, the nine section leaders with ”bubble” friends or family conducted the 67th CBC in Helena.  A total of 72 species were seen on the count which was just 5 species short of the all-time high count!  Some highlights include the first ever Lesser Black-backed Gull on the CBC, as well as high counts for Dark-eyed Junco, Harris’s Sparrow, Wild Turkey, and Northern Flicker.  In total, 11,575 individual birds were recorded during the count day!  For full results of the count please visit this Helena CBC 2021.

2021-2022 Carroll College Grant

This year’s Last Chance Audubon Society/Carroll College $1000 award goes to Hannah Winn in support of her senior research project, “Age and growth rate of trees along forest-meadow ecotones”.  (Note: An ecotone is the boundary between two different plant communities.)  Identifying at least two forest-meadow boundary sites in the Helena area that exhibit small tree growth extending into meadows, and based on field and published research… Read more here.


On Sunday September 12, 2021, LCAS dedicated a new trail at Spring Meadow Lake State Park. The trail was officially named the Jane Beasley Memorial Trail and is complete with decomposed granite foundation, weed remediation and signage. This project was a collaborative effort by LCAS, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks and Montana Conservation Corps. The dedication hosted a variety of speakers and a hike along the new trail. Members of the Shull/Beasley family were on hand for a sign unveiling. Read more…


Last Chance Audubon Society recently purchased a one year subscription to an educational video produced by the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. The video is titled Bird Flight Patterns and Music, and is designed for all who have an interest in birds and music. It is also appropriate as an educational curriculum for students. The LCAS Education Committee has been in touch with Helena School District #1, and has offered to share the subscription with the school district. If you have an elementary age student or know of a classroom that would be interested in this project please contact Sumner Sharpe at mtnutmeg@gmail.com. Sumner will let your student’s teacher know how to access the video for the student’s classroom. LCAS members in good standing are also welcome to check out the video at anytime. For more information visit the Bird Flight Patterns and Music post.