MISSOULA – It was a day well spent counting raptors in the Mission Valley for some Montanans who met early in the morning at the University of Montana and then headed to Ronan.
Each time they saw a bird, they stopped to take photos. They attempted to identify each by looking at markings on their head, chest, and tail. They kept count to estimate whether a population is increasing or decreasing.
“We’ve seen a lot of birds today so that’s an indication that there’s a lot of voles. And so it’s always good to see that,” field trip organizer Larry Weeks said.
Knowing these counts is beneficial when it comes to conservation efforts — and the advantages of the experience extend beyond just scientific inquiry.
For Rose Leach, the President of Five Valleys Audubon Society, the event provided the chance to get out and appreciate Montana.
“It helps you understand the area and enjoy it, to me, enjoy it more because you’re seeing the things that live there seeing how they feed, how they move,” said Leach.
Click here to learn more about the Five Valleys Audubon Society.
Reporting by Lauren Heiser for MTN News