May Program Announced

Barn Swallow by Shane Sater

Sevenmile Creek: Birds, Seasons and Habitat

When someone goes birding, they typically see a snapshot of a habitat. Certain birds are present, behaving in certain ways. What is the full story of one place through the seasons? For the past year, Last Chance Audubon volunteers have been finding some answers along Sevenmile Creek, a grassland-stream complex near Helena. Hear the story of this habitat as told by 54 detailed bird surveys in the last year. Where do Barn Swallows nest when there are no barns? Which migrants pass through in spring and fall? Which birds nest here, and which birds winter?

Shane Sater will give a whirlwind tour of a year on Sevenmile Creek, illuminated by crisp photos and thoughtful observations. Learn what species have been found, when they have been found, and how they have behaved. The surveys on Sevenmile Creek are an ongoing collaboration with Prickly Pear Land Trust and inform management of their 350-acre property. Yet this story extends further, offering insights and posing questions about birds and habitat across Montana and beyond.

Shane is an avid naturalist and an engaged member of Last Chance Audubon. He moved to Helena from the Idaho panhandle in the fall of 2016 and immediately began learning about the ecology of his new home. He works for the Montana Natural Heritage Program and volunteers frequently on ecology-related projects, from grizzly bear research and whitebark pine restoration to Black Swift surveys.

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