Ovenbird by Bob Martinka

Birdathon is a major fund raiser for LCAS. Each spring in May and June, LCAS members join together in teams to locate as many different bird species as they can see in one day. LCAS members and other in the Helena community are asked to sponsor a team by contributing a monetary amount per species seen by their team. A typical team may see 80 to 150 species in their count day. Team sponsors will receive a team report detailing the team’s experiences during their count day and list of the bird species seen. This is great fun for the Birdathon team and highly informative for the sponsors. If you are not a gambler teams gladly accept a flat amount toward their count effort. Half of the amount raised is dedicated to projects at Montana Audubon.


We have some NEW Birdathon teams this year, which adds a lot to the “friendly competition” between teams, like: which team can find the most species of birds within 24-hours? Which team can raise the most money? Which team can present the most entertaining Report after the ‘thon? Funds go to our various LCAS projects, such as Grant money to PPLT for planting new trees at Sevenmile Creek, Scholarships for graduating high school seniors, the Bill Rainey Memorial Osprey-cam, and covering some of the costs involved in co-hosting the Bird Festival. Reach-out and support the team of your choice – or more than one! Know that every dollar counts!


Audubon Double – Janice Miller, Sharon Dewart-Hansen, Coburn Currier, and MT Audubon’s Lauren Smith. –
Big Foot & Baldy – Sara Toubman & Cedron Jones –
Birds of a Feather – Berta Nason & Rita Nason –
Brother Can You Sparrow Dime? Jo Lace, Brian Shovers, Don & Andrea Stierle – 406-443-6640
Chick Magnets – Jack Marshall, Dylan Yonce, Drew Hays, & Griffen Smith –
Greenwings – Mike & Trudy Burke –



Birdathon requires a day long commitment to bird searching. In advance, teams are asked to contact family and friends or local businesses for sponsorship. this can be a set amount or a donation that is determined by the number of species seen during the count. On the day of the count teams set out on a 24 hour trek looking for birds to add to their “Big Day” list. Teams may also do half day counts or “feeder” counts. The idea is to list as many species as possible (wherever you count) and to raise funds for Last Chance Audubon.

To sponsor a Birdathon Team or to be a team, contact Jo Lace at 443-6640 or at

Where do funds raised from Birdathon go?

Funds raised from the Birdathon effort support local habitat protection and conservation projects.

Recent projects that LCAS has supported:

  • Grant to Helena Middle School to organize an Ornithology Club
  • Purchase of Bird Field Guides for local school libraries
  • Two $1000 college scholarship awards to graduating high school seniors interested in conservation or wildlife management/biology.
  • Kessler School Bird Habitat project, 2 grants at $2,000 each
  • Carroll College Native Plant Garden at $500
  • Three contributions of $500 each for Montana Audubon’s Birds of Montana book (published June, 2016)
  • A flight cage at Montana Wild for $500
  • Donation of $700 to Montana FW&P for a bench overlooking Spring Meadow Lake
  • Educational grant to Jennifer Stadum of $700 for grade school teacher’s materials
  • A grant of $2,500 to assist in planning of Sixth Ward Urban Forest Garden project

Each year one-half of donations to our annual Birdathon go to Montana Audubon. Last year’s donation amounted to $1500 and previous donations topped $1,800.

Shane Sater chalking up another species during the 2020 Birdathon