Jeff 3 m up in a Limber Pine pointing to the highest Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest ever found in Montana.

Jeff 3 m up in a Limber Pine pointing to the highest Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest ever found in Montana.

Jeff Marks | Executive Director, Portland, Oregon

Jeff was born in Connecticut and moved to Missoula in 1975 to attend the Forestry School at the University of Montana. After taking a herpetology course as an elective, he saw the error of his ways and switched his major to Wildlife Biology. A year later, he enrolled in Phil Wright’s ornithology course, and two weeks after that, he set out on a lifetime goal of becoming an ornithologist. Jeff studied nesting Long-eared Owls in Idaho and nonbreeding Bristle-thighed Curlews in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for MS and PhD degrees, respectively, at U of M. He also has conducted detailed field studies of Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse in Idaho, Tristram’s Storm-Petrels in Hawaii, Northern Saw-whet Owls in Oregon, and Gray Flycatchers and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers in Montana. He was Book Review Editor for the Journal of Raptor Research from 1994–2005 and Managing Editor of The Auk from 1995–2000. He has been a member of the Montana Bird Records Committee since 1997 (Secretary since 2003). His jobs have included Research Biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Idaho, Biologist for the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Adjunct Faculty in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana, Director of Bird Conservation for Montana Audubon, and Editor for Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. He has led birding tours in The Gambia, Ghana, western Mexico, and throughout Montana. In 2016, he and two co-authors published Birds of Montana, which is the first comprehensive book on the birds of that state. He was elected a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union in 2005.

For a detailed list of Jeff’s publications and ornithological experience, click here.

Paul on winter visit to Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park.

Paul on winter visit to Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park.

Paul Hendricks | Senior Scientist, Missoula

Paul was born in Texas, then moved through three more states before settling in Billings for nine years, where he began his formal education. While in Billings he lived with an American Kestrel, a Northern Saw-whet Owl, and a hybrid flicker, all with broken wings, that were taken in by his mother, Gene, who was an avid birdwatcher and who served two years as President of the Billings Audubon Society. It was in Billings that his mother’s birding interests began to influence Paul’s personal outlook. More moves followed, exposing him to new birds and birders, and in Oklahoma he began to band birds during high school. He returned to Montana for BA and MA degrees in Zoology at the University of Montana and eventually received a PhD in Zoology from Washington State University. His graduate research focused on foraging and breeding ecology of American Pipits on the Beartooth Plateau, where he camped for five summers and met his wife, Lisa. Other bird projects took him to Mexico, the Sonoran Desert, the Alaska Peninsula, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and the Northwest Territories. Paul was employed at various times as a Biologist for a consulting firm based out of Glendive, Senior Biologist at the George M. Sutton Avian Research Center in Oklahoma, and for the majority of his professional career as a Zoologist with the Montana Natural Heritage Program, which allowed him to explore much of the Montana landscape. He also taught Mammalogy at U of M while an Adjunct Assistant Professor, and served as Interim Curator of the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum, also at U of M. Paul is coauthor of Amphibians and Reptiles of Montana and Birds of Montana, was voted an Elective Member of the American Ornithologists’ Union in 2006, and became Editor-in-Chief of Northwestern Naturalist (published by the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology) in 2018.

For a detailed list of Paul’s publications and ornithological experience, click here.

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Dan Casey | Board Member, Billings & Somers

Dan began birding during elementary school in his home state of New Jersey. He received BS and MS degrees in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University, the latter for his study of breeding birds in over-browsed deciduous forests in western Pennsylvania. His professional career in bird conservation has been based in Montana since 1983, where he has worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, American Bird Conservancy, and currently as the Northern Great Plains Joint Venture Coordinator for Ducks Unlimited. Dan is the past Chair of the Montana and Western Working Groups of Partners in Flight and was the primary author of the 2000 Montana Bird Conservation Plan. He was a charter member of the Montana Bird Records Committee, on which he served for 20 years, eight of those as Chair. He also served as the Montana editor for Christmas Bird Counts for the National Audubon Society from 1994 to 2013. He and his wife divide their time between homes in Billings and Somers; their two daughters have fledged.

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Rose Leach | Board Member, Missoula

Rose grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and started birding as part of a high school biology class. Her interest propelled her to the University of Montana, where she earned BS (1977) and MS (1982) degrees in Wildlife Biology. Her professional areas of expertise were strongly influenced by Riley McClelland’s guest lecture at U of M on primary and secondary cavity users of snags. Her interests in wildlife and habitat relationships, including old growth, snags, and riparian areas, contributed to the development of forest-habitat management guidelines used on the Yakama Reservation in Washington. Rose is the Chair of the Montana Bird Records Committee, Montana’s state compiler for the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, and President of Five Valleys Audubon. Besides birding, she enjoys gardening, travel, dancing, and running in the Deer Creek and Marshall Canyon areas. Her grown daughter lives in Kalispell.


Jim Rogers | Board Member, Polson

Jim got hooked on birds after befriending a Mockingbird that would land on his head to snatch treats as he stepped out the door on his way to elementary school in Washington, DC. He continued this interest by sketching birds that visited the bird houses and feeders that he built. Jim studied geology (BA) and geography (MA) in college, but as an undergrad he got to know the ornithology instructor and often joined the field trips to enjoy the birds of northern New York. As an exploration geologist in Alaska, Jim’s boss confiscated his binoculars in the belief that Jim spent too much time birdwatching versus looking for sulfide minerals. (Truth be told, his boss was mostly right, but he did not know Jim had a backup pair of binoculars.) Jim retired from geology to teach high school science and geography after meeting his wife, Sherry Jones, in Skagway, Alaska. During this time, with Sherry as one of the school's counselors, Jim taught adult education bird classes and founded Mission Mountain Audubon. Jim continues to lead field trips and to work on conservation issues, including restoring Trumpeter Swans on the Flathead Indian Reservation.  Jim also introduced his students to birds in his biology and environmental science courses that include field trips to Mexico and Costa Rica. Since retiring from teaching high school, Jim continues to volunteer for the Harlequin Duck research project centered in Glacier National Park. In his 19th year as adjunct faculty at Salish Kootenai College, he teaches geography and science. Jim is very excited about helping Montana Bird Advocacy take flight to conserve Montana's birds and their habitats.