Dear Friends,

Our Wings Across the Big Sky festival was a whopping success! Despite the dreary weather, a fun time was had by all and we congratulate our two Lifetime Achievement winners: Bob Martinka and Denise Pengeroth.

You may have seen some exciting news lately relating to the Recovering America's Wildlife Act. Slowly, it's working its way to the President's desk. Read on to find out how to get involved in the support of this historic bill.

Our survey teams are in the thick of it now! Keep your eyes peeled as we provide updates through the season.

Yours in Conservation,
Montana Audubon Staff
Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will Help Protect Montana’s Most Imperiled Species
The bipartisan Recovering America's Wildlife Act passed the House on June 14th!

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) will redirect existing and
untapped federal funds to states and tribes to fully implement their State Wildlife Action Plans, which help species of greatest conservation need BEFORE they become endangered. At the same time, the bill complements these efforts by expanding funding to recover threatened and endangered species as well. The state plans are incredibly important for wildlife conservation, but they are severely underfunded.
Science tells us that we’ve lost 3 billion birds in less than a human lifetime
and that two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction
due to climate change. Montana Audubon has formed a statewide coalition
and, with our partners, we are working to build broad support for a suite of
actions that foster on-the-ground protection and recovery of bird populations, and conservation of the habitats they need to thrive. RAWA is a key part of this effort to ensure we have sufficient funding to support bird conservation in Montana and beyond. 
Passing this bill will not only help birds and other wildlife, but also create jobs in communities across the country including here in Montana. In addition to
providing annual support for proactive, on-the-ground conservation projects,
recent studies project that the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act could create
more than 30,000 jobs and generate over $93 billion in total economic activity. 
For more information or to join the Montana RAWA Coalition contact
Montana Audubon 406-443-3949
Light's Out-Montana Audubon Presentation
Turn your lights out this summer!

In May, Montana Audubon worked with partners across Helena to help bring awareness to how artificial light affects migratory birds by presenting “Dim the lights for birds at night.” We know that as spring approaches, our night skies are filled with the chirps and cheeps of millions of night-time migrants. These birds need dark night skies to safely navigate between their breeding and nonbreeding grounds each spring and fall. 

If you missed out Lights Out Presentation, you can find it on our Youtube.

Now that we are all home for the summer, take some time to watch this presentation to learn about how you and your lighting at home can make impact migratory birds and your own safety!

Please reach out to Amy Seaman with any questions or to connect with Montana's Dark Skies advocates or programs.
“I didn’t know we have Cuckoos in Montana!”
The 2022 Black-billed Cuckoo Project is Underway!
Montana Audubon is happy to announce that another Black-billed Cuckoo survey season is just around the corner! One of the most common statements we hear after telling members of the public about our ongoing Black-billed Cuckoo surveys is “I didn’t know we have Cuckoos in Montana!” This is not surprising since most people- even avid birders- rarely if ever see Cuckoos around town or at their favorite birding spot.
Black-billed Cuckoos are very elusive in our state. Their population appears
to be rather small, and they tend to breed in areas that are often difficult to
access, most commonly in large, healthy cottonwood bottomlands with
dense understory.

Due to their elusive nature, sparse population and difficult-to-access
preferred habitat, not much is known about Black-billed Cuckoo numbers,
distribution and life history in our state. For the reasons above, this species
is rarely represented in standardized surveys such as point counts or
breeding bird surveys which are carried out annually along rural roads
throughout Montana.

Montana Audubon is partnering with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab to accomplish our ambitious and challenging Cuckoo survey goals. This season we will be deploying dozens of Automated Recording Units
(ARU) which are programed to detect and record the calls of Black-billed
Cuckoos, along several portions of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers.

Stay tuned for a follow-up article about our 2022 Black-billed Cuckoo survey results in early fall!
Audubon Conservation Ranching- mid-Field Season Highlights
Montana Audubon Conservation Ranching (ACR) has enrolled approximately 92,000 acres across nine bird-friendly ranches into the MT ACR program. These ranches partner with Montana Audubon to implement adaptive Habitat Management Plans that create, maintain, and enhance grassland bird
habitat. As value-added to the rancher, the Bird-Friendly Certification and seal coveys good land stewardship practices and empowers consumers to purchase meat products that support these practices, often at a higher premium. To measure the efficacy of ACR land management on grassland bird communities, we conduct bird monitoring.

In the first half of June MT Audubon staff have completed surveys on 6 of 9 MT ACR ranches. Collectively, we’ve detected 10 of 16 MT ACR Priority grassland species, including: Thick-billed Longspur, Burrowing Owl, Golden Eagle, Loggerhead Shrike, Brewer’s, Grasshopper, and Vesper Sparrow, Long-
billed Curlew, and Upland Sandpiper. We’ve had other amazing encounters too-black bears, elk, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, happy cows, and full double-rainbows among pummeling mountain rain storms. We are privileged
to work in some of the most beautiful landscapes with sweeping rangeland, cascading creeks, and snow-capped mountains. Right now, the breeding bird activity is reaching peak level.
See our Montana Audubon Center June eNews HERE!
Help secure the future of Montana’s birds at risk from climate change, habitat loss, and other threats. A monthly donation ensures Montana Audubon can protect birds and wildlife well into the future. Make your $20 commitment now!
Montana Audubon