We got some great birding in last weekend.  We stopped at the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge near Malta, MT on our way to see a play at the historic Fort Peck Theater.  The birding around Fort Peck was also excellent.  We logged several new-to-us birds.
We saw:
Baltimore Oriole
We saw this pretty fella while eating a sandwich in a city park in Malta.  It was such a delightful surprise for our lunch hour.
Cedar Waxwing
 Franklin's Gull
 American White Pelican
 Black-necked Stilt--a first for Matt!
 American Avocet
 Western Kingbird
 Chestnut-collared Longspur--a first for both of us!
You'd have to click to enlarge the photo to start getting an impression of the cool coloration on this bird.   This rather diminutive bird was possibly our biggest source of excitement on the birding trip.  They're just cool looking--and always seem to be hiding in the grass.
 Eastern Kingbird
This is a cool shot in that its actually of a Western Kingbird (left) sharing a fence line with an Eastern Kingbird (right).  This is in a part of the country where their ranges overlap.
Yellow Warbler
Do you see him?  Yellow Warblers are so tiny!
 Brown Thrasher-a first for both of us!
 Downy Woodpecker
 American Goldfinch
This male American Goldfinch (left) seemed to be feeding his mate (right).  This is a common bird habit which demonstrate the ability to provide for her and a brood of babies.  Its sweet and fun to watch.
We also saw:
Turkey Vulture
American Robin
Western Meadowlark
Ring-billed Gull
Tree Swallow
Double-crested Cormorant
Red-tailed Hawk
Common Yellowthroat--a first for us both!
Gray Catbird
Bank Swallow--a first for Matt!
Common Raven
American Crow
Red-winged Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Yellow-billed Magpie
Mourning Dove
Northern Flicker
House Wren
Common Merganser
Long-billed Curlew
Wilson's Phalarope
Common Nighthawk
American Coot
White-faced Ibis
Ruddy Duck
We took my niece and nephew along for a few of our birding walks.  Eli had me help him write out a list of the birds he'd seen--I had to spell them if they were tricky, like Double-crested Cormorant.  Keleigh asked me, "How do you know what they all are?!"  I told her, "practice, practice, practice...."  They were cute looking through their binoculars and we were pleased to share our birdlove with them.


  1. Quite a list! I'm enjoying your photos. I would dearly love to see (and hear) a meadowlark, for some reason. I think it's the name of this bird which has figured in poetry and literature over the years. Baltimore Orioles come here every summer - at least, I used to see one every year, flying way up high; I haven't spotted any for several years now, but I imagine they still come.

    1. The song of the meadowlark really is something magical. They're striking to look at, too. We'd only seen Baltimore Orioles once before--out in Minnesota. They come to Montana, but not as far east and south as we are, typically. It was a very exciting accompaniment to our picnic!


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