Montana Golden Eagle Migration Tour
October 3-11, 2018
Led by HawkWatch International Founder Steve Hoffman
Join Steve Hoffman, HMANA board member, raptor biologist and professional bird guide, for a trip of a lifetime to witness the awesome migration of Golden Eagles through the mountains of western Montana. This exciting 9-day tour will include all-day hawk watching at the Big Belt and Bridger Mountains’ lookouts, a full-day visit to an active migratory raptor banding site, participation in the annual Bridger RaptorFest, and birding and exploring Montana’s wetlands and valley habitats searching for a variety of raptors (including Ferruginous & Harlan’s Hawks, Prairie Falcons, etc.) as well as a diversity of wetland species.
On October 7, 2015, 329 Golden Eagles were counted at the Big Belt Mountains (highest daily count for this species in the lower 48 states). In both 2015 & 2016 more than 2,600 migrating Golden Eagles were tallied each season, with daily totals in the 100-200 range in early-to-mid October. Other species moving through at this time of year include Northern Goshawk, Rough-legged & Harlan’s Hawks, Merlin, Bald Eagle and many others.
Trip Cost: $2,095.00
Tour cost includes guide, ground transportation, park fees, lodging, most meals & snacks. (Participants are responsible for paying for first dinner in Bozeman, Wednesday Oct 3 and breakfast on last day, Thursday Oct 11.)
Airfare to and from Bozeman, MT not included.
Important note: Physical demands of the tour
Hiking is necessary! This tour includes moderately strenuous hiking to the top of the Big Belt Observation Point. This is a 1.5-mile hike each way, with a 900-ft. gain in elevation. The observation point is at 8,200 feet).
Another destination on this tour is the Bridger Mountains which will be optional. This hike is considerably more difficult, with 2,000-ft. elevation gain in about 2.5 miles (each way). If participants do not feel physically able to hike to the Bridger Mountains, they are welcome to stay at the base of the mountain and enjoy the Bridger RaptorFest that day.
Important note: Snow cover
Snow cover in this area varies from year to year. If there is heavy snowfall in advance of the tour it could make the logistics challenging. The guide will be in touch with participants in October regarding snow levels and any potential modifications to the itinerary.
Please contact Julie Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.