Birds of Montana

Do you love to spend time in watching bird? So you need some references to identify any kind of birds in you have ever seen? There is a lot of bird species you will find in United States. Especially in the Northwest, there are about 800 species of birds live across this country. It won’t be that overwhelming if you have already known what to do in identifying birds, particularly the birds of Montana.

Among some of types and species of birds you have ever seen in your backyard, the birds of Montana will be much interesting to observe and identified.

No need to feel overwhelmed as we cover you and giving explanation about Montana’s birds guide, how to identify those exotic birds, and how these species look like. Let’s check all the explanations by reading some reviews down below.

What is the State Bird of Montana?

When it comes to Montana’s birds, it will be many types and groups of bird living there. But there is still a native bird and officially mentioned as the state bird of Montana, called The Western Meadowlark. In 1931, the Sturnella Neglecta or generally known as Western Meadowlark officially became the Montana’s official state bird. Several countries including Kansas, Dakota, and Oregon also use it as the state bird.

The Western Meadowlark has unique shape on its breast which looks like the V symbol in its black color. With black-white long striped head, yellow check and throat, and pointed bill, the western meadowlark is categorized in the blackbirds and orioles family.

This type of Montanan bird appears in any agricultural areas or grasslands. They also has unique sounds reach to 7 until 10 note of the melody.

Interesting Facts about the Western Meadowlark

The Western Meadowlark becomes famous as the common birds of Montana. Some area such as weed seeds or the ground will be their popular spot to forage. It’s because they are looking for any insects such as spider and bug beneath the soil or finding some grain to eat. In any certain condition, they also look for caterpillars, snails, or cutworms for their diet.

Western Meadowlarks mostly build their nest with several dried grasses. The nest is commonly made in several feet long with a full of grass roof to keep their sanctuary safe and secure from any predators.

Some predators of western meadowlarks sometimes come from the same group of bird such as haws. Other animals including raccoons, skunks, or crows are also categorized as the predator of this bird.

Birds of Montana Identification

Some explanations below can be the field guide that eases you in any process of bird identification. Here are several elements you need to consider while identifying types of birds in Montana including group, shape, behavior, habitat, and season.

1. Group

First, the essential things need to be considered is by identifying the group. You need to know what groups the birds of Montana belong to.

It must be difficult to identify at first due to the number of bird categorized in more than 800 species. So, by trying that way, you will be easier to narrow the categories. Scientifically, there are several various families used by scientist to group the birds.

Using a group identification method also helps scientist in defining the family of the birds. Categorizing every bird into the group is like bringing them into the house where they belong to.

Some essential things including the family level and group of the families will help you to identifying the birds. What is more, you will also find the information about its subgroups as well as you attempt group the family of the birds.

2. Shape

Another attempt to simplify your method in identifying the birds of Montana is about knowing the shape. Grouping the bird’s shape means you will find the birds placed on the right group.

There might be several birds with similar shape, but there will be no bird’s species has the exact shape of each. There must be any differences in some of things such as legs, bill, neck, or other elements found in the birds.

You may find some of ducks in similar characteristic, but there must be different when it comes to the head and bill of each type.

However, even there are some of ways you can make an attempt to identify the birds, but it still makes sense that the shape will make it more valid, even when you try to identify the birds in Montana. Furthermore, this method also leads you to the future explanations.

3. Behavior

Most people may only look into the shape or another element of the bird as they found in the photos, instead of looking to its behavior.

But sometimes the conventional methods also lead some researches to the identification failure, which means they got nothing to identify the birds. So, it becomes more important to begin consider the behavior of the birds as long as it can be observed very clearly.

You can begin from some simple things you may clearly see such as when the birds hop on the ground, or they’re climb the tree, flying alone, flocking together, wading in water, or you seem the on the treetops flitting.

All those behaviors can be used to identify the birds and either categorizes them to the groups where they should belong to. Moreover, the birds’ behaviors also give a sign about their identity.

4. Habitat

What makes a habitat looks slightly essential when it comes to identifying the bird is the fact that birds always doing migration.

All the creatures with the wings will be very mobile, so understanding their habit will be an essential to clue. For instance, you may find some birds in a plowed filed while some others living in a forest treetop. It will come to the conclusion that any signs point the habitat of the birds.

5. Season

What’s the most essential thing to get to know about the bird? Yes, the answer is the timing. It’s perfectly easy to predict the birds as they have a timing or season in their appearance.

When it comes to northern United States, there is some group of sparrows where their appearance can just be predicted by looking at the calendar. We can observe the pattern of migration of every birds do in any seasons.

List of Birds of Montana

1. Western Meadowlark

Birds of Montana

Western meadowlark becomes popular due to its loud voice and chirping in cheerful way. Some people may relate this bird with other species such as Robin due to its size and the color.

The nest built on the ground is the most favorable place for this Montanan bird to live and keep their babies secure. Some western meadowlark will sing some unique sound during spring to summer by sitting on fence posts.

With brown and black on its wings and back, the size of any western meadowlark commonly reaches to nine inches long. The chest also looks perfectly bright in yellow color with unique symbol of V on it even though the winter may make it looks slightly duller.

Not only the chest, but also the cheek looks bright in yellow due to the color extension. The birds also have long pointed bill that make them look similar to the eastern meadowlark.

The most beautiful way that any western meadowlarks do is about the sound they make each other to tell that they’re together at the time.

2. American Dipper

Birds of Montana

An American Dipper is also called mountain birds of Montana because commonly appears on the top of the mountain. Flying low and following the wind is their favorite activity, especially above the water.

That’s why, the mountain with the streams that flow fast is the American Dipper’s habit. This Montana bird is also known as the wild bird due to the mountainous area that being their common habit.

The male or female American Dipper will come to the courtship to build their nest. But nowadays, you can find this bird just under the bridges due to the adaptation reason.

In a case of feeding behavior, an American Dipper looks for food under the water whether it occurs by submerging their head or by flying down from the air. Not only catch some foods underwater, they also eat insects floating on the surface.

3. American Goldfinch

Birds of Montana

What do you know about American Goldfinch? The first thing comes across your mind may be the popularities about this bird. Known as a typical summer sight, this bird will appear like flashing golden seen above the sun.

The colonies of American Goldfinch will be found in several spots such as roadsides, edges, or open woods. Some characteristics of American Goldfinches are plaintive calls they make.

July and August will be the time of American Goldfinch’s nesting period. Sometimes the male Goldfinch will make some musical calls or singing while some females are trying to build a nest.

The nest feels so solid and compact even it’s disturbed by the water. It’s built from plant fibers or sometimes spider-webs. In early spring, the American Goldfinch will do a peak migration that happens mostly by day.

4. American Three-toed Woodpecker

Birds of Montana

An American Three-toed Woodpecker generally looks inconspicuous and quiet. The birds sometimes eat dead conifers or spruces. They also try to find insects while they’re removing bark from dead tree gradually.

Some big infestations area that provide wood-boring insects is also their favorite place to live besides the spruce, tamarack, or pine tree that provide them some foods to survive.

When it comes to the nest, an American Three-toed Woodpecker that living in tree or conifer will be together in more one season live. But however, they will also separate for a nesting purpose. Being unwary around nest, some adult woodpecker takes this way to avoid some observers.

How about the migration? In the winter, some populations of the woodpeckers may fly south or fly north upon the high mountains. They also move to south in breeding purpose.

5. Harlequin Duck

Birds of Montana

Commonly appears in summer, Harlequin Duck is one of the Northwest Birds that loves to spend their time in rushing rivers of turbulent northern waters.

The research shows the fact that broken bones happen to some of adult Harlequin due to the rough surroundings. It’s because the Harlequin Duck prefer to choose the rough coastal water during the winter. Some of them also fly low in order to move inland.

The Harlequin Duck can be found in the mountain streams during the summer and move to coaster waters during the winter.

They love to spending time in water streams and sometimes in the rapids and waterfalls except glaciers. And also during the winter and spring, when their age comes to 2 years, this duck does their first breeds. The nest is commonly created on the ground that closes to water.

6. Long-eared Owl

Birds of Montana

Long-eared Owl is one of the birds grouped in the Montana’s Birds. This type of bird is commonly found in gray-brown color of the body. In their body, the pale bars and heavy streaks appear there like many other nocturnal birds.

You will find this type of owl throughout the northern hemisphere in the USA. The Long-eared Owl also appears along southern Canada to New England due to its breeding season.

You will not find the Long-eared Owl in Ohio, but during the winter, there must be appearing throughout Midwest south to Mexico. In a case of habitats, the Long-eared Owl will spend their time to find foods in grasslands or the open forests vegetation.

For the shape, this Montana bird has asymmetrical ear openings. As it uses the sound in navigating, the shape of the ear is also utilized to locate prey.

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7. Rivoli’s Hummingbird

Birds of Montana

Rivoli’s Hummingbird looks perfectly brig with long bill living on the forest and mountainous southwestern. This type of bird may look slightly similar to Blue-throated Hummingbird because it’s both large. Some people eye may so easy to catch the hummingbird flying above the sky.

Like many other birds in certain condition, the Rivoli’s Hummingbird will act so rough in case of defending their feeds. But overall, the Rivoli’s Hummingbird will not be aggressively acting so blazing in any common situations.

The hummingbird will be spending their time in the place surrounded by bunch of flowers in order to gather some foods as well as they’re oscillating.

They’re looking for any insects such as spiders to get any food. In the winter, they only do a short migration by flying south to Mexico while at the summer they only live in the southwest.

8. Peregrine Falcon

Birds of Montana

What’s the northwest fastest birds and noblest all birds of prey in the world? The answer may come to the Peregrine Falcon. With the 200 miles per hour of the velocity, the Peregrine will be easily takes heights to strike prey.

Commonly you will find the Peregrine Falcon mostly in all areas in United States including Indiana, Arkansas, and Montana with more populations nowadays are increasing high and getting stable.

The Peregrine Falcons generally appear in cliffs of the mountains and coast when small number of them is reportedly seen in the city.

When it comes to migration, the Peregrine will be seen fly up above the water along the coast and sea. Due to the breeding purposes, the Peregrine Falcons will appear on the cities to build their nest.

9. American White Pelican

Birds of Montana

What is the largest bird ever live in Montana? American White Pelican is the answer. With a foot wingspan reaches to 9 foot, this kind of pelican looks similar to Brown Pelican but it has larger shape and living in different habit.

In a case of conservation status, this type of Pelican is fighting against habitat loss and disturbance with the declination of the total population along the 20th century.

Out of the breeding season, you will find the American White Pelican in several places such as salt bays, marshes, or lakes.

When it comes to breeding, this kind of pelican will spend their time in any isolated island or coastal island. In the winter, they will flock along the coast and end up on the lakes due to the warm climates happen there. Non-breeding pelicans choose to flock into several places including Florida.

10. Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Birds of Montana

The Northern Rough-winged Swallow may be the one of the Montana’s bird that becoming the solitary one. Not like many others bird in their family like Bank Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallows don’t make any nest in colonies.

There must be some of small groups make a nest as the place they live. However, it doesn’t even matter for Rough-winged to build their nest by only on their own.

Some researches assume that during the courtship flights, the feathers of the Rough-winged are producing sounds. This reason also makes them becoming so popular with the name “Rough-winged”.

Generally the Northern Rough-winged Swallow can be found in several places such as lakes, river banks and streams. In spring, the Rough-winged generally does migration.

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