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Montana Bird Watching and Feeding Information

Montana is a great place to watch and feed birds. Birdbaths, misters and drippers are especially effective in attracting birds, including non seed-eating species. Species that might be expected at feeders include: American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee, Cassin's Finch, Hairy Woodpecker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Mourning Dove. Each of these species is shown in the Nifty Fifty mini-guide.

The Nifty Fifty

The Nifty Fifty is a mini-guide to the birds of Montana. It includes descriptions, images, video and songs of 50 of the most often observed birds of Montana. View the guide by clicking here or on the Nifty Fifty link on the left.

If the guide does not load, try downloading the free Flash player.

 

western meadowlark

Western Meadowlark - Montana State Bird

Bird feeding

Developing bird-friendly habitat in your yard is the best way to attract a greater variety of species and to support local and migrating species. Native plants provide food and cover, are more insect and disease resistant than non-native species, and may require less water. A list of bird-friendly native plants for Montana is available by following the link on the left.

Bluebirds

All three species of bluebirds can be found in Montana, although the Mountain Bluebird is the only one of the three to be widespread within the state.

Bluebirds are usually found in fields, open woodlands, parks or along golf courses or other open areas, including suburban locations with open spaces and scattered tress. In the mountains, they are found in clearings and meadows.

 

mountain bluebird
The Mountain Bluebird is well known for its hovering flight as it hawks for insects.

 

eastern bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird has a musical flight call that often reveals its presence.

 

western bluebird

Western Bluebird


Visit the bluebird section for detailed information on feeding bluebirds or building your own bluebird house.

Bluebirds can be attracted to peanut butter mixes, suet and fruit. Raisins soaked in hot water to soften them are well received. The bluebird's special favorite is mealworms.

Nesting
All three species of bluebirds nest in Montana, but the Western Bluebird's range is limited to the far western part of the state. Its range does not overalp that of the Eastern Bluebird, which is limited to the very eastern part of the state. One or two broods may be produced.

If you have a bluebird box, watch for House Sparrows trying to use the next box and immediately remove any House Sparrow nesting material.

Hummingbirds

Five species of hummingbirds can be found in Montanta, although their ranges within the state can be very limited.

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  • Calliope Hummingbird
  • Rufous Hummingbird.

 

rufous hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbirds can be seen in western Montana.

 

Visit the hummingbird section for details on attracting hummingbirds as well as images of all regularly occurring North American hummingbirds.

Purple Martins

Purple Martins are not normally found in Montana.

Birding

Montana provides birders with a variety of exciting birding locations.

The birding section of this site has tips on birding locations and bird identification. The state-based birding information section provides additional birding related information.

Montana Resource Information

Bitterroot Audubon Society
PO Box 326
Hamilton, MT 59840
406-375-9317

Five Valleys Audubon Society
P.O. Box 8425
Missoula, MT 59802

Flathead Audubon Society
PO Box 9173
Kalispell, MT 59904
406-862-8070

Last Chance Audubon Society
PO Box 924
Helena, MT 59624

Mission Mountain Audubon Society
48901 Hwy. 93
Suite A-179
Polson, MT 59860
406-887-2219


Pintlar Audubon Society
710 S. Atlantic St.
Dillon, MT 59725

Rosebud Audubon Society
3523 Batchelor St
Miles City, MT 59301
406-232-6235

Sacajawea Audubon Society
P.O. Box 1711
Bozeman, MT 59771

Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon Society
PO Box 2362
Great Falls, MT 59403

Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society
PO Box 1075
Billings, MT 59103-1075

Additional resources

If you have suggestions for additional resources for watching or feeding birds in Alabama, please submit them using this form. The resource does not need to be a particular location.

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