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Northern goshawks and underground history programs at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

Recreation News - Region 3

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Whitehall – Montana State Parks ( and Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park will host two free presentations this weekend. “The Private Lives of Northern Goshawks – Montana’s Elusive Mountain Hawk” and “Underground History.”

 On Friday, July 3, at 8 p.m. join Dr. Jack Kirkley in taking an up-close-and-personal look into the behavior of northern goshawks, an awesome Montana bird of prey that nests in our high mountain forests. Kirkley will discuss what he has learned about the lives and deaths of these elusive year-around residents of the Northern Rockies and his experiences tracking and researching them.

This is the seventh presentation in Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park’s annual Friday Summer Speakers Series, which will continue each Friday at 8 p.m. throughout the summer.

UM-Western Professor of Biology Jack Kirkley has been studying these hawks in southwestern Montana since 1993. Over the years, Kirkley's studies have involved radio-tracking over 60 instrumented adults and a dozen fledgling hawks, monitoring and measuring habitat features of 50 historical nesting territories, and, in some years, closely watching the nesting behavior of goshawk families from observation blinds.

  • What: “The Private Lives of Northern Goshawks – Montana’s Elusive Mountain Hawk” with Dr. Jack Kirkley
  • When: Friday, July 3, from 8 to 9 p.m. 
  • Where: Campground Amphitheater

 On Saturday, July 4, at 8 p.m., join Park Ranger Julia Smit with a talk titled “Underground History: The Story of Development in Lewis & Clark Caverns.” How did we get from the cave’s discovery by two locals in 1892, to modern visitation at 60,000 visitors annually? It started with a lot of hard work. This talk will guide visitors through the early development in the cave, the CCC era, and on to modern construction.

  • What: “Underground History”
  • When: Saturday, July 4, from 8 to 9 p.m. 
  • Where: Campground Amphitheater

Visitors to both events must keep in mind social distancing guidelines and in cases where these guidelines are difficult to meet or where spacing is not practical, visitors should wear masks.

For more information about these or other events at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, call 406-287-3541, or visit