Natural yards help birds

As the fall migration of many birds gets underway, us folks living the more woodsy life up here in the northwest corner of the great state of Montana, can help both migrating and resident birds by keeping our properties in the natural state. Many of us live on the borders of woods, wetlands, riparian areas, or native grass and sedge fields. And this is a good thing. These habitats are equipped by Mother Nature with ample supplies of food sources to help birds feed heavily before their long migration journeys, and to assist resident birds to survive our sometimes brutal winters.

If your lucky enough to have these natural edges, or portions of your property with these native field species and food source crops, your fortunate, and if not you can certainly plant or propagate some of these species. Native trees add autumn colors, and have seeds, fruits, and harbor insects for birds. Some examples include Quaking aspen, Paper birch, Scouler willow, Water birch, Black cottonwood, Western larch, and Ponderosa pine. Evergreen cedars, Rocky Mountain juniper, and Douglas and Grand firs, also provide food and shelter. Native shrubs and sub-shrubs also help both migrating and over wintering birds. A few of the more important shrubs in our area are Snowberry, Ocean-spray, Oregon-grape, Serviceberry, Eldeberry, Mountain ash, High bush cranberry, Ninebark, Choke-cherry, Currant bushes, Buffalo-berry, Rocky Mountain maple, Wild rose, Thimble-berry, Honeysuckle, and numerous vetches and vines.

Also letting native wildflowers go a bit and not cutting them back too much can help as well. The seed heads of common cone-flowers like Black-eyed Susan and Wooly-mullen help provide a food cache for birds. Even letting other dead plants hang out can fill your property with protein packed food for birds like insect larvae that inhabit Goldenrod galls. And don’t go too crazy trying to rake up every leaf in your yard. Leaves are important as when they fall and decompose, they enrich soils, and provide locations for birds and bugs to forage for food. A few brush piles from falling branches assist birdlife in wintering successfully by adding shelter from winter weather and predators. Above all, enjoy this time of autumn. John Burroughs wrote, “How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” Happy fall season, and have fun birding. If you would like to participate in an upcoming October third class entitled Autumn Wings, sponsored by Libby Base Camp Hostel, email b_baxter53@yahoo.com to find out about registration and open slots.

Firefighters camp-out in Troy

Firefighter set up camp in Troy to keep a close eye on Callahan Fire near Troy Mont. Photo by Tracy McNew, The Montanian

Cabinet View Invitational High School Golf

On September 11,  Cabinet View Golf Course hosted the Cabinet View Invitational High School Gold Tournament.

  • Boys 410 5th
  • Mason Gotham 86 3rd
  • Reece Malyevac 105
  • Landon Haddock 104
  • Thomas Roark115
  • Dylan Buckner120
  • Girls No Team Score
  • MeKenna McNulty 99 6th
  • Gabby Fantozzi 120


Libby Coach Dann Rohrer wrote, “The Girls team had a great day setting personal best scores!”

MeKenna McNulty broke the 100 barrier shooting 99 placing her in a tie for 6th. Gabby Fantozzi also had a wonderful round for a new golfer shooting 120 super job Gabby all the hard work is paying off.

The boys team was led by Mason Gotham’s 86 good for a tie for 3rd a fine round.

“The other boys continue to work very hard on their games. I can’t ask any more effort from them and it will be worth it if they keep up the super effort.”

  • Landon Haddock 104
  • Reece Malyevac 105
  • Thomas Roark 115
  • Dylan Buckner 120


Scores submitted by Coach Dann Rohrer


Ladies Legion Auxiliary donates bench

American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit #97 donated a bench to Empire Foods on July 10, 2020. The Ladies Axillary has 55 members. The American Legions is back and open 7 days a week. Open at 1 p.m.  submitted by Rita Barnett