Welcome to Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society

“Building on the tradition of special interest in birds, Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society is organized to promote enjoyment and protection of natural environment through education, activism, and conservation of bird habitat.”

Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society hosts a Public Program Series with a featured speaker September through May the 3rd Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Mayflower Congregational Church. A social hour with cookies and coffee precedes the program at 6:30. We welcome new members as well as the general public and visitors to the Billings area who are interested in birds, bird habitat and conservation to join us. YVAS sponsors birding field trips, ornithology classes, the Christmas Bird Count, and various conservation and educational projects.  Feel free to contact any Board or Committee member.

For the latest news, see the May 2022 newsletter, The Flyer.

Visit us on Facebook – the link is in the upper right-hand corner.

Join a birding trip – 2022 Bird Field Trip Schedule.

The YVAS mailing address is YVAS, PO Box 1075, Billings MT 59103. 

Chapter Program and Speaker

Paul Santavy, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Wildlife Refuge Manager for the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Monday, May 16th at 7:00 p.m.

Mayflower Church on the corner of Rehberg Lane and Poly Drive

Paul will discuss stewardship for wildlife, habitat, and people including the wealth of bird and other wildlife species and habitats in this Complex and will explain the USFWS National Refuge System, including National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) and Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA’s) in Montana.

YVAS Birding Field Trips 2022

In order for YVAS to sponsor birding trips, it is necessary that each participant follow Covid-19 safety measures. Wear a mask when prudent, distance appropriately between others, and do not share binoculars or scopes. Make transportation arrangements ahead of time if possible. Carpooling cannot be guaranteed due to covid.

*April 28 (Thu). Pryor Mountains – Searching for Sagebrush Sparrows. Meet at Lion’s Park in Bridger at 7:30 am. Sack lunch. Stan Heath, leader. For questions, contact Donn (406.812.1008 or DonnBartlett@msn.com).

April 30 (Sat). Exxon Ponds & Emerald Hills. Meet at Rocky at 8:00 am. One-mile walk. Sack lunch. Brian Henderson, leader.

Cancelled. May 7 (Sat). Riverfront Park on S Billings Blvd. 8:00 a.m. to noon. FAMILY ORIENTED. Meet at parking/picnic area in Riverfront Park located to the right after entering.  

May 8 (Sun). Pryor Mountains, Bear Canyon. Meet at Rocky at 6:30 a.m. or Bridger Rest Area at 7:30 a.m. Hiking and birding. Sack lunch. Trenay Hart, leader.

Postponed due to weather. Rescheduled for May 19 (Thu). Riverfront Park on S Billings Blvd. Meet at 5:30 p.m. at the parking/picnic area in Riverfront Park located to the right after entering Park. Mike Weber, leader.

May 14 (Sat). Lake Basin. NOTE: a different birding route will be taken. The group will meet at Rocky in the parking lot off Rimrock Road in front of Billings Studio Theater and leave at 8:00 a.m. Sack Lunch. Stan Heath, leader. 

May 17 (Tue). Pompey’s Pillar. Meet at 7:00 a.m. at Rocky or 7:45 at Bundy Bridge FAS. Sack lunch. Carolyn Jones, leader. 

May 21 (Sat). Bridger Creek. Meet at Itch-Kep-Pe Park in Columbus at 8:00 a.m. Sack lunch. Stan Heath, leader. 

Postponed to May 25 (Wed). Stillwater River/Woodbine area. 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Leave Rocky at 7:00 a.m. or Itch-Kep-Pe Park in Columbus at 8:00 a.m. Sack lunch. Carolyn Jones, leader.

If you would like to be notified of impromptu trips or for updated information on current birding trips, contact Donn Bartlett at 406-812-1008 or donnbartlett@msn.com. For the updated status of trips, check back on the YVAS website, YVAS Facebook, or the Flyer. Links to these and the 2022 Bird Trip Schedule can be found above.

MT Fish Wildlife & Parks and Avian Flu

MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks is investigating the cause of several dead turkeys found in Billings in the vicinity of MSUB and areas just west of the campus. Avian flu is the suspected cause and samples have been sent to a lab in Bozeman to confirm. If you find any dead turkeys, please contact MFWP at 406-247-2940. Avian flu viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds such as ducks, geese, swans, gulls, terns and shorebirds. They can infect domestic poultry such as chickens, ducks and turkeys. If you have bird feeders that attract Avian flu carriers as mentioned above, it is a good idea to take them down until this flu has abated. Please not that song birds are not affected.  

The Permitting & Killing of Fish-eating Birds at the Miles City Hatchery

The easternmost breeding population of Ospreys on the Yellowstone River has been lethally removed by MT Fish Wildlife & Parks’ Miles City Hatchery. In 2018, the US Fish Wildlife Service began issuing Depredation Permits to the Hatchery allowing them to kill native migratory Ospreys to save nonnative largemouth bass. MFWP has created a Working Group in 2021 to find solutions to these killings at the Miles City Hatchery. More information can be found in these documents; Shooting Birds at the Miles City Hatchery (070821) and Protect The Wild Fishing Birds Of Eastern Montana (121321).  

The Twine Collection & Recycling Site is Open and Accepting Clean Twine

Deliveries of clean, dry twine can be made year-round, weather dependent.  Small deliveries can be left in the shed or in the outside bin.  Access is through the red pedestrian gate to the left of the locked vehicle gate.  For large loads requiring vehicle access or for assistance with AG totes/bags, please call in advance.  Leave a message at 406-591-8606 and we will return the call.

The TCRS is located 2½ miles north of Laurel on the west side of Buffalo Trail Rd. Or, 3/4 of a mile north of the intersection of Laurel Airport Rd with Buffalo Trail Rd.  For more details, see our location mapTCRS Brochure and “Why Recycle Twine”.

Like all recycled plastics, the twine will need to be 90% to 100% clean. Net wrap (mesh) is not being accepted since most mesh is not recyclable and it is one of the most difficult plastics to clean. For addition information about the Twine Collection Project, follow this link. If you would like to volunteer, contact Deb Regele at debregele@gmail.com or 406-962-3115 and leave a message.

 We want your photos!