About brettcstevenson

I am from Seattle, Wa. I am a wildlife and fisheries major at Salish Kootenai College since fall 2014. I love birds and work to help Native bird populations.


Hi everyone, so all of my field work is done, I’ve just been writing. I was home all weekend writing. It’s going slow for me due to lack of experience. I did get to go outside last week and help the CSKT wildlife department with a waterfowl brood survey. It was a very simple survey were I walked around a mitigation property and looked to see which wetlands were still wet this far into summer, and weather or not there were any waterfowl broods on wetlands that were still wet. This is the kind of thing I love to do! Hope you are all well.


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Last fieldwork

Hey guys. I hope everyone is doing well. I finished up my fieldwork this weekend. I was going to share a picture showing my feet sinking way down into stinky mud, but I’m sure a lot of us know what thats like by now, and something much more exciting has happened. On friday my good friend had his first child, Avery May Talbert, who was 8lbs10oz! I’m so excited she is here, I am close with this family, and she will probably grow up calling me her uncle. Yay!!!!



Hey everyone, hope you are all doing well. I have only been working on my paper since my return. I don’t have much experience with any technical writing, but I’m doing my best to power through it. I thought I would share a photo of one of my closest friends who is always there when I need him, especially when writing. photo-3

Have a good week everyone, and see you all at the video conference in the morning.


photoHello all,

So, for the past 6 months or so I have been working with the Montana Waterfowl Foundation, which has been working on repopulating Trumpeter Swans, which is the largest extant species of waterfowl and is Native to Montana, and other areas of North America. Trumpeter Swans had been expropriated from this states until revitalization programs such as this began in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Montana Waterfowl Foundation is currently the only program in the state reintroducing Swans to the area. This is a picture of me on Friday, we have 9 Swans that we will be releasing with the Tribal Wildlife and Fisheries department within the next two weeks, we have to wrangle them up and get them into aviaries where they can be captured by hand much easier then their normal living space, which is simply too large to chase them around. It is not easy catching these guys, they are fast and elusive, not to mention intimidating, the one I am holding was a smaller one and it was probably around 25 lbs, pretty big for a bird that can fly. Anyway, feel free to look up more information about the Foundation and what we do here http://www.mt-waterfowl.org/ . Also, the banding should be happening on the 7th, so look out for more pictures of interns holding swans:) Hope you are all well.

Hello everyone!

Hey there all, today a few of us went out to our main focus research site. It was mostly a hot sweaty, mud filled day, yet we all had fun, and I feel really good about the results I am seeing from my macro invertebrate samples. It can turn into quite a lot of work carrying equipment and walking through sinking mud in waders, but I still feel so lucky to be able to participate in this project and have the opportunity to work all day with a great view of the mountains!

On another note, team SPAW was going to be a part of a Trumpeter Swan round up this Wednesday, at The Montana Waterfowl foundation, which is were we will be collecting Trumpeter Swans (hold them in our arms gently), to be banded and later released into the wild. This event was just recently delayed a week or two, but when it happens we should all have some impressive pictures to share.

I hope you are all doing wonderfully! photo


Hello everyone, I am Brett Stevenson, from team SPAW. I am from Seattle Wa, but I have been living in Montana for this whole past school year as a student at Salish Kootenai College, as a Wildlife and Fisheries major. My main passion is ornithology, I have been working on a waterbird (shorebirds/waterfowl) for the past few months. This survey (which I am continuing through the REU internship) is what lead to my research question. I am investigating what species of macro invertebrates are present/abundance at the same sites that Black-necked Stilts have been seen foraging. I really am just trying to see if more birds are in one area more than another due to macro invertebrate food supply. There are many variables that could be the cause, I just wanted to see if this could be part of it.

Today I did a test run of my protocol that I drafted for sampling. I ran into a few hick-ups, but I am quite sure I’ll be able to easily figure them out, just a little different equipment for getting a better view of the invertebrates.  I also had a heck of a time walking through the deep mud in the waders, I think I gave the Stilts someone to laugh at.

I’m pretty happy with my progress this far in. I should be collecting some usable data by the end of this week. I have all kinds of things I will probably posting on here so that you can all get to know me a little better, stay posted for more. For now here is a picture of a tray of macro invertebrates that I collected during my test run today. (they all got put back in their home, this is just to ID and measure size).