Welcome to the Black Canyon Audubon Society

Black Canyon Audubon Society was formed in 1990 and is one of 11 National Audubon Society chapters in Colorado. The BCAS is committed to the conservation of natural resources through our birding, conservation, and educational activities. The region covered by the Black Canyon Audubon society encompasses nearly 8,300 square miles and includes Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, San Miguel and Ouray counties. Within this region, elevations vary from 4,695 to 14,309 feet above sea level. Rainfall ranges from less than 8 inches per year in the lower valleys to more than 50 on the higher peaks. Vegetation varies from desert scrub to boreal forest and alpine tundra.

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 Rocky Mountain PBS segment on Sandhill Cranes at Fruitgrowers Reservoir/Eckert Crane Days

2024 Fruitgrowers Reservoir/Eckert Crane Days

Help BCAS Obtain a MOTUS Station

Want to join us in helping to increase knowledge about where migratory birds go?  Black Canyon Audubon Society is leading the way to establish a MOTUS tower in the Montrose area.  The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is an international collaborative network of researchers that use automated radio telemetry to simultaneously track hundreds of individuals of numerous species of birds, bats, and insects. The system enables a community of researchers, educators, organizations, and citizens to undertake impactful research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals. Researchers can now place tiny tracking units on birds, bats, and even insects.  Researchers are increasingly adding trackers to  flying animals and insects, so the sceintific information expected to result will grow in importance.  Signals from these can be picked up by MOTUS towers as they pass by, providing important insight into bird, bat, and insect migratory movements.  As more MOTUS towers are added to the system, the more information can be gathered.  The nearest MOTUS towers are currently in Grand Junction, and a Montrose tower could add important data for use by scientists regionally and throughout the world.

Getting a tower set up in the Montrose area will be rather expensive, so BCAS has created a Go Fund Me account to raise money.  Here is the link:  https://gofund.me/3a9eb83c

You can also donate directly to BCAS for the project using the Donate button to the left.  Add a note when you complete your payment that the donation is for the MOTUS station.  Thank you for your contribution to this cause. For more information, please contact David Sinton at his This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 Field Trips

**See the Field Trips page for participation guidelines**

First Tuesday Field Trips

First Tuesday Field Trips are June 4, July 2, August 6, and September 3. Meet at 8:00 AM (unless otherwise noted in trip description) at the public parking lot at the intersection of N. 2nd St. and N. Cascade Ave. in Montrose. A leader will accompany the group to a nearby birding hotspot. Return should be by about noon. Bring a snack, water, binoculars, and field guides. Please RSVP for all field trips and included your name, field trip date and contact information in case weather or illness forces a cancellation. RSVP for all fieldtrips at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please let us know if you are coming, so we don’t leave you behind. This is especially in case of sudden weather changes.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Saturday, June 15 (date was changed from June 8), 7:00 AM. Leader: Don Marsh.  Late Spring/early Summer is a great time to be at the park, with many birds singing on territory and raptors riding the thermal around the deep canyon. Expect to see and hear flycatchers, grosbeaks, swifts, and swallows along with wildflowers. Dress in layers, bring water, a lunch or snacks, and binoculars. Meet at the public parking lot at the corner of N. 2nd Street and N. Cascade Ave. in Montrose at 7:00 AM.  This is an early start to get to the park ahead of the crowds and hear more birds.  We should be back in Montrose by early afternoon.  Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your spot.

Grand Mesa Tour (Delta County)

Saturday, June 22, 8:00 AM.  Leader: Bill Harris. The Grand Mesa has a wonderful array of birds during the summer that include Lincoln's sparrow, Swainson’s hawk, American three-toed woodpecker, hermit thrush, pine grosbeak, and red crossbill to name a few.  We will be stopping along Highway 65 at several points and going for short hikes to view birds.  Total hiking distance will be around 3-4 miles.  This will be an all-day trip, so bring lunch, snacks, water, and clothing to deal with cooler, inclement weather. Group limited to 10 people. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your spot. Meet at the city parking lot (N. Second and N. Cascade) in Montrose at 8:00 AM. We can cruise by City Market in Delta to pick up Delta County participants around 8:40 AM.

Red Mountain Pass to Molas Pass (San Juan County)

Saturday July 13, 8:00 AM.  Leader: Don Marsh.  A high-elevation trip along Highway 550 south of Ouray. The high elevation allows us to enjoy cooler temperatures, abundant wildflower displays, and birds like the American Pipit that we rarely see or hear in courtship display. This will be an all-day trip, so bring lunch, snacks, water, and clothing to deal with cooler, inclement weather. Group limited to 10 people. Please RSVP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your spot. We will meet at the Visitor Center in the town of Ridgway (near the intersection of Highway 550 and Highway 62) at 8:00 AM.

Ouray Box Canyon and vicinity (Ouray County)

Saturday July 20, 8:00 AM.  We will look for nesting Black Swifts near the waterfall in Ouray's Box Canyon and then spend time looking for other montane birds in the general area of Ouray.  Please RSVP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your spot. We’ll meet at the Visitor Center in the town of Ridgway (near the intersection of Highway 550 and Highway 62) at 8:00 AM.

Ridgway State Park (Ouray County)

Saturday August 24, 8:00 AM. Leader: Don Marsh.  We will look for various early fall migrants, like shorebirds, ducks, and gulls, and resident breeding birds that should have lots of young birds to look through. Note: The park charges a $10 entrance fee per vehicle, but we’ll try to minimize the number of cars and use available park passes. We will meet at the Ridgway State Park Visitor Center at 8:00 AM. Please RSVP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your spot.

 Upcoming Programs

Except where noted, all meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Montrose Field House Summit Room at the corner of Rio Grande Avene and Colorado Avenue (South 9th St.), except as noted.  All are welcoma dn there is no charge, though donations are gratefully appreciated.  For additional information or to let us know that you would like to do a presentation, please contact Kristal Stridham at (580) 919-5987 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

William Allred: Ponderosa Pines and Tassel-eared Squirrels

Thursday, July 11, 7:00 PM, Montrose Field House.   Dr. William “Sylvester” Allred is a retired professor from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff where he taught various courses in Biology to 20,000+ students over 27 years. He has also proudly served as an ecological consultant for the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Department of Energy, is the author of eight children’s books, and has appeared on the Discovery Channel.  He is the author of natural histories about two of the Southwest’s icons: ponderosa pines and tassel-eared squirrels. Dr. Allred will be visiting from his retirement home in Durango to enlighten us about the symbiotic relationship shared by his two favorite subjects of study.

Arden Anderson: Photography of New Guinea

Thursday, August 8, 7:00 PM, Montrose Field House.   Join Gunnison naturalist Arden Anderson as he explores the wild areas of Papua, New Guinea. This rarely visited tropical island lies north of Australia and hosts a variety of endemic wildlife and unique cultures. From lowland jungles to misty mountains to tropical beaches, the diverse environments of New Guinea provided an interesting backdrop for nature-based adventures. Arden’s impressive photography and engaging narrative will help you understand and appreciate an area that few of us are likely to visit.

Melissa Schreiner: Biodiversity

Thursday, September 12, 7:00 PM, Montrose Field House.  Melissa Schreiner is an entomologist with the CSU Extension Office that serves Mesa, Delta, Ouray, and eastern Montrose counties.  She will be speaking to us about our local pollinators, which include insects, birds, bats, and animals.  Spoiler alert: Biodiversity is Key!  We will have the opportunity to examine the Western Colorado Bug Collection and take home free posters and publications.  Are you buzzing with excitement?

BCAS Book Club Selections June - December 2024

Black Canyon Audubon Book Club.  Third Tuesdays, at 2:00 p.m. Meetings will be virtual (usually in the fall and winter) or in-person in Montrose (usually in Spring and Summer). Contact Bruce Ackerman for more details. Please join us, even if you haven’t read the book yet! Let Bruce know if you would like to be on the separate email list specifically for the Book Club.

June 18, 2024: The Hidden Life of Trees Peter Wohlleben (2015) -the science that shows us how trees communicate, feel, and live in social networks.

July 16, 2024: Bad Luck Way by Bryce Andrews (2014) -Cattle ranching in the wolf habitat of southwest Montana.

August 20, 2024: A book by E.O. Wilson - Let's choose one of the many classics by the eminent American biologist, naturalist, ecologist, and entomologist. Exact title TBD.

September 17, 2024: Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes (2011) -how science works and how scientific information is hijacked by politics.

October 15, 2024: Speaking of Bears by Rachel Mazur (2015) -history of bear management in Yosemite and Sequoia & King Canyon National Parks.

November 19, 2024: Ten Birds that Changed the World by Stephen Moss (2023) -a very readable blend of science, history and culture; how birds have influenced mythology; includes raven, turkey, cormorant, bald eagle and more.

December 17, 2024: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2015) - explores relationships between humans and the land, with a focus on the role of plants and botany in both Native American and Western European traditions; this book has quickly become a classic in conservation literature.

Roubideau Rim Wildlife Rescue

Brenda Miller is in need of lumber - scrap or new - posts, plywood, rails, boards - for construction of rehabilitation cages. 

Any condition.

Please contact Brenda Miller at her This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at (970) 209-5946. She has a truck and trailer and will pick it up.

This is a very worthy cause, as Brenda has been the only wildlife rehabilitator in the Montrose/Delta area and is trying to reestablish her service and maintain her license.

Roubideau Rim Wildlife Rescue is a 501c3 charitable organization.  If you do not have lumber for her, perhaps you would consider donating to her cause.

Brenda Miller, Executive Director                                              

Roubideau Rim Wildlife Rescue, 501c3

15498 Transfer Rd., Olathe, CO.   81425

Phone 970-209-5946                                                          

Click here for her Facebook page    

Volunteers Needed

We are looking for some volunteers who can drive injured raptors to rehab centers. Usually the bird is in a pet kennel, and just needs a ride. Nothing hard about it. Please contact Bruce Ackerman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at (727) 858-5857 to be on the list for future needs.

 

 Chapter Goals

  • To promote the conservation of natural resources through informative public programs, our newsletter and this web site.
  • To provide the opportunity for the observation and study of birds and other wildlife, through our field trips.
  • To offer early education programs including bird banding stations and classroom bird skin programs.
  • To empower our members and the public with the knowledge to be effective environmental advocates.
  • To contribute to the recovery of the Gunnison Sage Grouse (GUSG) through joint efforts with GUSG working groups and federal and state agencies.

 

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Leucistic red tail Neil Perry 2019l

Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk near Solar Road south of Montrose.  Photo taken by Robin Lewis on March 26, 2019.

 

 

A Colorado
Chapter of
the National
Audubon Society

 

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