Home » Summer 2017 Bird Banding with University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab

Summer 2017 Bird Banding with University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab

Are you curious about Montana’s birds? Join the University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab for a morning of bird banding at one of these locations:

  • Seeley Lake Ranger Station
  • Grant-Kohrs Ranch in Deer Lodge
  • Rock Creek near Clinton
  • MPG Ranch near Florence (by appt. only)

The University of Montana has been awarded grants to educate the public on healthy river ecosystems, the ecological effects of past mining activities, and current restoration projects along the Clark Fork River. Our Bird’s-eye View Education Program will run several times a week, from June – mid-August at bird banding stations. These events are free and appropriate for kids and adults of all ages! Come and gain a bird’s perspective on mining activities, riparian areas, and what restoration means to our Montana birds.

What can you expect to see & learn by visiting our bird banding station? 

  • Observe birds “in the hand” and find out what a “brood patch” is.
  • Learn why biologists capture and band birds & what kind of data we collect.
  • Gain bird ID skills and learn a few common bird songs.
  • Find out why riparian areas are so important to birds.
  • Learn the history of mining activities in the Upper Clark Fork Basin and the effect those activities had on bird communities.
Rock Creek Grant-Kohrs Ranch MPG Ranch* Seeley Lake
June 1 June 5 June 2 May 31
June 14 June 12 June 15 June 13
June 22 June 20 June 26 June 21
July 6 June 30 July 7 July 5
July 13 July 11 July 17 July 12
July 24 July 20 July 26 July 25
August 1 July 31 August 3 August 2

*By appointment only, call Mike at 703-217-7592

Download our information packet here!

For more information contact Mike at:
Phone: 703-217-7592
Email: michael.krzywicki@mso.umt.edu or megan.fylling@mso.umt.edu
Or Find us on Facebook or our webpage hs.umt.edu/birdecologylab/

Visitors should plan to arrive at either 7:00 am or 9:00 am in order to participate in our program. For more information about this program or to arrange a group visit, contact Mike at 703-217-7592 or michael.krzywicki@mso.umt.edu.
Please keep in mind that these programs are weather dependent – if the forecast is for rain or high winds, we may have to cancel – contact Mike at 703-217-7592 for an update.
Visitors should wear shoes and clothes appropriate for hiking near riparian woodlands & consider bringing snacks or a lunch, as well as water, sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellent (the mosquitoes can be quite numerous!) Bring binoculars if you have them and a camera if you’d like – this unique “bird-in-the-hand” situation creates nice photo opportunities.

Directions to Seeley Lake Ranger Station
The banding station is located along the edge of the marsh at the north end of Seeley Lake. To get to the station follow the trail leading north from the Seeley Lake Ranger Station (3 miles north of Seeley Lake) past the bird blind and across the small foot bridge. You will walk past a few of our nets which means you will be very close to “the bend” in the Clearwater River and our staff and banding table. The total walking time is 20-25 min. Alternately, park at the Clearwater Canoe Trailhead and follow the foot trail south into the Seeley Lake Preserve.

Directions to Rock Creek
From Missoula, drive 20 miles east on I-90 and take exit 126 for Rock Creek. Immediately after the exit, you will take your first left turn and park in the small parking lot. Walk through the wooden gate on the left side of the green road gate and walk approximately ½ mile on the north road, remembering to veer toward the foot path and Clark Fork River as you are walking. You will cross through another gate which will be open and we will be just up the road to the east.

Directions to MPG Ranch *by appointment only, please contact Mike
From Missoula, drive south on Hwy 93 until you reach the only traffic light in Florence. Turn east (left), onto the Eastside Highway/State Highway 203. Travel 1.6 miles, crossing the Bitterroot River. The Eastside Highway will make a sharp bend south (right); continue to go straight at this bend onto 8 Mile Creek Road for 0.2 miles. The road bends to the north (left) and turns into 8 Mile Creek Rd/Lower Woodchuck Road. Continue travelling north for 0.75 miles. Go straight through the intersection with a 4-way stop; the road signs say Lower Woodchuck Road at this point. Continue following Lower Woodchuck Road north until you reach the locked gate. If you have scheduled an appointment, please wait near the locked gate at the designated time for someone to escort you to the banding site.

Directions to Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS
Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site is located at the north end of Deer Lodge. From I-90, take exit # 184 and head west toward the town of Deer Lodge. At ½ mile from the highway, turn right (west) into the main parking lot of Grant-Kohrs Ranch. If you arrive at 7:00 or 9:00 am wait in the parking area, and one of our staff will meet you and lead you out to the banding station. If you arrive early or late, simply look for signs and follow the paved foot trail out to the main ranch area and take a left after passing the ranch house, then follow the gravel road toward the open field and then west to the Clark Fork River. Follow this road toward the river and look for the bird banding station on the right, after crossing the 2nd bridge. The hike from the parking lot to the banding station takes about 15 minutes.

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