Birds in Montana

Birds in Montana

Almost all of the eastern part of Montana is rolling prairie. The western side features mountains and rivers, both loved by bird watchers and the birds.

What Is The State Bird Of Montana?

Sharing a state bird with North Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, Oregon and Nebraska, Western Meadowlark has been Montana’s state bird since 1931. Montana Office of Tourism has stated that it was Meriwether Lewis who spotted the Meadowlark for the first time in 1805 and had no idea what kind of bird species it was, noting it has some similarities to the Eastern Lark.

What Are the Top Bird Watching Spots In Montana?

Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is to the south of Missoula. The Bitterroot river, at the very broad valley is where it is located. Trumpeter and Tundra Swans are common in the refuge. American Avocet, Northern Harrier, Wilson’s Phalarope and California Quail are some of the birds frequently seen here.

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge is the dream destination for any bird watcher. Sought after species frequent the area. Some of these species are hard to see while others are seeked due to their beauty. White-faced Ibis, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Franklin’s Gull, Marbled Godwit, are some of the species spotted here.


How Many Birds Can You See in Montana?

A land of 429 species, birds in Montana have the largest species number in Phillips county, which is at 320 as of now. Flathead, Valley, Lewis and Clark, and Cascade aren’t that far behind with the numbers 317, 311, 310 and 307.

Montana local bird watchers would swear by the beauty of Bowdoin NWR, having 245 species in their arsenal. Lee Metcalf NWR with its 240 and Freezout Lake WMA with its 237 also causes lots of curiosity.

Top Birds To See In Montana

The name Longspurs is owed to the claw they have- which is quite long- on their hind toe. They also have thick bills, are mostly black and white in color with a bit of red around the neck and are medium sized birds.

Gnatcatchers are really small birds with a white plumage, gray wings and really small, round eyes. They are closely related to the Wren species.

Common Birds To See In Montana

Billings and Butte are both cities used to Tanagers roaming around the neighborhood. And the people of Montana love it. After all, who could resist those little, colorful birds? Western Meadowlark and Common Grackle are also often spotted in these cities.

Final Thoughts

The top birding sites of Montana are mostly national wildlife refuges. The nature trails of Montana are still being updated but they are sufficient enough to give you an overview of the prime birding sites.

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