Letter from our President (UPDATE 6/2020)

Ovenbird by Bob Martinka

BIRDATHON and More!!!

Dear Last Chance Audubon Members and Friends,

Here at Last Chance Audubon Society (LCAS) we are BUSY.  Even though we have had to cancel programs, Birding 101 class, and some field trips due to the order to shelter-in-place, we are humming along, continuing our mission behind the scenes.

  • Some of our field trips are happening by employing Social Distancing protocols.
  • Continuing our collaboration with Prickly Pear Land Trust, we have ramped up bird surveys at Sevenmile Creek to two per week during Coronavirus.
  • Partnering with the City of Helena and MT Dept of Transportation, we recently installed bird boxes at K-Mart Ponds.
  • Also at Kmart Ponds, we pulled ‘garlic-mustard’ – an invasive species of weed – from Pond 3 to reduce its spread across the state via waterways. The City tells me we bagged nearly 300-lbs of weeds and trash that day!
  • Our Education Committee offers High School Scholarships and Carroll College Grants, and is working to establish a partnership with Helena School District.
  • For years Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MT FWP) has generously allowed us to hold our monthly membership meetings at their Montana WILD facility, FREE of charge. As a way of saying “Thank YOU!”, we recently donated a portable speaker system to MT WILD.
  • We are currently working with MT FWP to build a NEW trail at Spring Meadow Lake State Park. We hope to honor long-time supporter of LCAS, Jane Beasley, by giving the trail her name.  Estimated completion date: 2021.
  • And, we still participate in BIRDATHON! Our FUN Chapter “fundraiser”.

It’s Birdathon time!   We’d love to have your support!

Each of three teams hope to see at least 100-species of birds in the 24-hours of their choice.  If you’d like to support LCAS, you can donate either of two ways:  Please send your donation check, made payable to L.C.A.S., to: L.C.A.S., PO BOX 924, Helena, MT 59624;  OR, you can pay by credit card by visiting our LCAS website, https://www.lastchanceaudubon.org/ and clicking DONATE NOW

The BIRDS, LCAS and I say, THANK YOU!        Janice Miller, President    

Birdathon Reports!

Five teams completed Birdathons in 2020 as part of our yearly fundraiser.  Many thanks for their long days and eagle eyes!  Each of those teams has provided a copy of their Birdathon report which can be found on our BIRDATHON home page.  Please consider supporting LCAS and the teams that hit the field this year!  Go to DONATE NOW and contribute to “education and habitat conservation”!  Thanks in advance for your support!

May Program

Please Note:  The LCAS program for May has been cancelled.   

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, LCAS has suspended any activities which involve gatherings of groups of ten or more people.  Therefore the May chapter program has been cancelled.  In addition, the May 10th field trip to Warm Springs ponds has also been cancelled, and the weekly Birds and Beasleys field trips have been cancelled through the month of May.  Updates on future field trips and the Birding 101 class will be posted on the website as information becomes available.  If you have specific questions for field trip leaders please contact them directly.  The LCAS eNewsletter will be published in April and May.  The May newsletter will  our final newsletter until the fall.   Be safe, be smart and continue to check the LCAS website and Facebook page for updates.

LCAS 2019-2020 Scholarship Awards – UPDATE

Congratulations to Kendall Frederics, a senior at Carroll College, majoring in Environmental Science.  Kendall was selected to receive the 2019-2020 LCAS $1000 Carroll College grant.  Her proposal involves assessing the potential risks of contracting West Nile virus depending on its prevalence between host species and mosquito vectors. 

Kendall’s entire project scope will be posted to the AWARDS page upon completion of the project.

No applications were received for the $1000 grant for high school seniors.  This was likely due to the difficulty that school counselors faced in communicating with students during Covid-19.  LCAS will again offer this scholarship to students graduating in June 2021.


The 2019 Christmas Bird Count(CBC) was hosted by LCAS on Saturday, December 14th.  Around 50 surveyors gathered at Jorgenson’s Restaurant in the early hours and spent the day gathering data to support the event’s 120th birthday.  Blue Jays, Northern Shrikes and Trumpeter Swans  highlighted the day and several species were seen in record numbers.  CBC Coordinator Coburn Currier has tallied the data from the day and results have been posted on the CBC Homepage.

Regulating Reservoir Blind Update

Flooded Boat Ramp
Helena Regulating Reservoir

Since late last summer Last Chance Audubon has been working with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to establish a wildlife/photography blind at the south end of the Helena Regulating Reservoir.  LCAS’s blind committee developed a set of plans, staked out the area and set aside funds from the 2018 Fall Fundraiser to support construction of the blind.  Read more…