Millions of people in the United States have discovered the joys of watching birds. From backyards to National Parks, you can enjoy “birding” anytime and anywhere. It is an activity you can enjoy from the moment you first try it and, novice or expert, you will never see the world in quite the same way after learning to identify birds. Birding always yields something new and will afford you a lifetime of learning and enjoyment.
The staff scientists here at the Avian Science Center spend a lot of time watching birds. Some of the most important cues that birders use are the vegetation type within which birds occur and how birds behave in their natural environment. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has helpful bird id tips available on their web site for those just getting started with birding.
Montana Bird Checklist
The official bird list for Montana, developed by MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks, MT Audubon, and the Natural Heritage Program, was released in September 2007! Download your copy from Montana Audubon.
Practice with Songs
Interested in learning bird songs and calls for bird watching or for point-count survey work? Northern Rockies birding experts Dan Casey and Dick Hutto will get you started. Download and unzip to your computer either or both of these files - Casey_songs (58 MB) Hutto songs (398 MB). Also download the information about the tracks for Casey's CD or Hutto's CD. Or download the zipped folder containing Rocky Mountain bird song files here. Thanks to Charles Nichols for creating files with our song tracks!
Where to go to see cool birds (try these links)
- Montana Birding and Nature Trail– Montana’s own Birding and Nature trail is up and running. This is the easiest way to find the best places to view nature in Montana.
- Montana Hotspots
- Montana Important Bird Areas Program
- Bird Watching in the Bitterroot at Teller Wildlife Refuge
- Seeley Lake Birding Route (Lolo National Forest)
- Birding Hotspots in the Helena Valley
- Birding Hotspots in the Gallatin Valley
- Birding Trails around North America
Backyard Bird Watching
Landscaping to Attract Birds
- Landscaping For Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Backyard Wildlife Habitat - National Wildlife Federation
- Landscaping to Attract Birds - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service