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Ignite a new Montana hobby: birding

World Migratory Bird Day celebrations
Posted at 7:19 PM, May 05, 2023

HELENA - An event on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at FWP’s Montana Wild will celebrate World Migratory Bird Day, albeit a little early.

While World Migratory Bird Day isn’t technically until May 13, FWP is hosting an event at their Montana Wild location next to Spring Meadow Lake State Park.

The event is normally held at the Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir.

This year’s event is a collaboration between multiple organizations such as PPLT, The Forest Service, and Montana Audubon.

The event will feature indoor and outdoor activities including building birdhouses, decorating cookies, bird walks, a bird scavenger hunt, and just generally learning about birds.

While the event is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., bird walks will begin at 7:30 a.m.

“I think the importance is not only learning about and appreciating the birds here in Montana but also appreciating all the amazing organizations we have here in town that are willing to kind of come together, teach the public, put on an amazing event, and just really get that sense of community here at Montana Wild, so yeah,” says Montana Wild Program Specialist Corie Bowditch.

For those who can’t attend Saturday’s activities and still want to take up birding as a hobby, there’s another option available.

Birds and Beasleys hold birding outings every Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. starting May 13, 2023, through the end of August.

The group meets in front of the store and embarks from there. Led by bird enthusiasts from throughout the community, the group will head to different places around the Helena area such as Spring Meadow, Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir, and the Kmart ponds to view birds.

“And this is really designed to just get people excited about bird watching. It's not about seeing how many birds you can see or if you've never seen something. They're pretty common birds. It's just a way to go be introduced to the place. A lot of people don't know where to go in town, and I designed it in the summer this way, one because there's lots of birds in the area. And you have company. So, if you have someone coming to visit you and they need something to do on Saturday morning before everyone else gets up, come down and join us for two hours,” says Birds and Beasleys owner Sandy Shull.