Birds in Montana

Montana is well-known for its abundant wildlife, which includes bears and elks, among other creatures. The state, on the other hand, is exceptionally rich in birdlife. Montana is home to some of the most incredible environments and national parks on the planet. It’s no surprise that the state is home to a large number of diverse species of wild birds.

Birds of Montana is a collection of species that have been documented in the state of Montana, United States, and acknowledged by the Montana Bird Records Committee (MBRC). Currently, there are 442 species on the official list, which was updated in July of this year. One hundred and one of them are now under study, and eight have been introduced in North America. An extra ten species are included on a supplemental list that is kept separate.

The Western Meadowlark is the official state bird of Montana (Sturnella neglecta). When the western meadowlark was voted as the most representative of Montana by Montana students on March 14, 1931, the Montana legislature formally recognized it as the official state bird of Montana. It is well-known for its raucous and upbeat chirping.

Montana birds of prey

It doesn’t let you down, with over 420 bird species living in its deep forests and mountainous terrain. Montana’s abundance of protected regions, such as Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, gives it an even greater haven for raptors like the hawk, which may be found in large numbers in the state.

These protected wildlife refuges provide excellent habitat for these raptors, allowing them to safely dwell, raise their young, and flourish. Among the many species of birds of prey in the Accipitridae family are hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, and Old World vultures, among others. These birds have enormous, powerful hooked beaks that they use to shred flesh from their victims. They also have strong legs, sharp talons, and excellent vision. In Montana, fifteen different species have been identified.

Through fact, many of the species you’ll discover on this list are simply migratory visitors who only stop in for a little period of time, while others may reside in the state all year long.

Eagles in Montana

Fortunately, in Montana, winter is an excellent time to gain a better understanding of eagle identification skills and knowledge. Eagles might be difficult to distinguish from one another, but there are a few distinguishing characteristics to keep in mind.

Bald eagles are distinguished by their enormous heads and wide, broad wings that are extended out from the body at a nearly 90-degree angle. Additionally, the leading edge of the wing links the head at a roughly ninety-degree angle, and they virtually always maintain a constant flight path even when the wind is blowing strongly.

For thousands of years, bald eagles could be found all over the state of Montana. Reports of bald eagles around the state’s rivers and lakes were prevalent in old journals and documents, and the birds were often seen in the wild.

More information about these birds can be found in the section below.

Haliaeetus leucocephalus - Bald eagle in the Alaska, US

Haliaeetus Leucocephalus – Bald Eagle

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a North American raptor. With the white-tailed eagle, it is a species pair. Its ...
Accipiter cooperii - Cooper's hawk

Accipiter Cooperii – Cooper’s Hawk

The Cooper's hawk, known to be Accipiter cooperii, is a medium-sized hawk found in southern Canada and Mexico. This species ...
Accipiter Striatus - Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Accipiter Striatus – Sharp-Shinned Hawk

The sharp-shinned hawk, Accipiter striatus, is a small but large-headed hawk that breeds from southeastern Canada and Maine south to ...
Circus Hudsonius - Northern Harrier

Circus Hudsonius – Northern Harrier

Known as the northern harrier, Circus Hudsonius is a bird of prey. It breeds throughout the northern hemisphere, including Canada ...
Aquila Chrysaetos - Golden Eagle in the United States

Aquila Chrysaetos – Golden Eagle

Because of their size and activity levels, Aquila Chrysaetos or commonly known as Golden eagles are among the most frequently ...
Buteo Jamaicensis - Red-Tailed Hawk

Buteo Jamaicensis – Red-Tailed Hawk

Buteo jamaicensis, the red-tailed hawk, breeds over much of North America, from Alaska to Panama and the West Indies. It ...

Owls in Montana

Owls are members of the raptor (also known as “bird of prey” or “birds of prey” group of birds. Because they eat meat, raptors are highly skilled predators with sharp talons and down-curved beak – adaptations to their carnivorous diet.

Montana’s owls can be found in a variety of environments, ranging from plains and prairies to high mountains. The majority of owl species are associated with trees, but Short-eared, Burrowing, and Snowy Owls are equally at home in the openness of our prairies and plains, where they can be found in large numbers. During the winter, the majority of owls are solitary, and they are frequently encountered roosting alone.

More information about these birds can be found in the section below.

Common backyard birds of Montana

We’re looking into the most common backyard birds in Montana, which is a substantial subject. Montana’s sheer diversity of climate and vegetation provides a diverse range of habitats for a wide variety of animals and plants. You’ve got plains in the east, freezing in the south, and yet the northwest is a genuine jungle of trees and vegetation. As a result of this enthralling combination, Montana is home to 433 different bird species!

In this part, we’ll take a look at some of Montana’s backyard birds and learn a little bit about each of them.

Woodpeckers in Montana

Insect-catching woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks and short legs. They have stiff tails and long tongues, which they employ to catch insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two pointing backward, while others have only three toes, and yet others have four toes.

Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping their beaks against the trunks of trees, making a loud noise as they do so. In Montana, fourteen different species have been identified. Woodpeckers tend to make their homes in wooded areas, woodlands, and backyards – basically anyplace there are trees that can be easily accessed.

For the benefit of these winged creatures, Montana is home to a plethora of natural areas, like the Bitterroot and Flathead national forests, which they can claim as their permanent residence.

Best Birdwatching Spots in Montana

Montana encompasses a large area of the Pacific Northwest, comprising both desert grasslands and peaks of the Rocky Mountains. The majority of the state’s eastern two-thirds is comprised of rolling prairie, while the western third contains mountains and rivers that are well-known for their excellent hiking, fishing, and birding opportunities.

The majority of Montana’s best birding spots are located within national wildlife refuges, which provide habitat for a variety of species including ducks, shorebirds, grassland songbirds, and year-round raptors, among others.

  1. Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge
  2. Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area
  4. Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  5. Glacier National Park

Other Montana birds

Throughout today’s piece, we’ll take you on a journey through a vibrant collection of some of the most unique and visually stunning bird species that you’ll find throughout the state. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

If you have encountered a bird in Montana that you cannot identify yourself, we’ll be happy to identify it for you. Simply take a picture of it and upload your picture, a quick description and the U.S. state where it was found here on our bird identification page

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