Fledgling birding group to hold planning session

Bird enthusiasts are flocking to a new birding/outdoors group that is forming in the Miles City region.

An exploratory meeting was attended by about 20 persons last month, and a follow-up meeting for planning purposes will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16 in Room 106 of Miles Community College.

According to a news release, birding group organizer Brandi Skone will update newcomers on the first meeting, and reveal the results of a questionnaire about group interests.

Outings to view birds and other wildlife, educational presentations, and community service activities are possible group endeavors, the news release noted.

Skone will also seek volunteers for committees to organize outings for the group this spring and summer.

Members of the Yellowstone Valley Audobon Society’s Billings Chapter will attend to answer any questions about forming a local Audubon chapeter, and help coordinate field trips between the groups.

According to the news release, “there are several requirements to forming a chapter, [but] the group does not have to be affiliated in order to pursue its interests.”

Also on March 16, Jesse Kolar, an FWP wildlife biologist based in Jordan, will talk to the group about eBird — http://ebird.org. It is a digital tool to track of local birds and identify local birding hot spots.

According to the news release, birders of all ages and skill levels are sought, and the hope is that the group will include members from across southeastern Montana.

Skone is a non-game biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Region 7 in Miles City, but the birding group is not affiliated with the FWP.

For more information contact Skone at 234-0900 or email bskone@mt.gov.