Bird watching in Yellowstone Country

When it comes to birding, Montana’s Yellowstone Country is a place unlike any other. The Bridger Mountains are one of North America’s busiest Golden Eagle migration routes and Montana’s famed big skies are filled with almost every kind of raptor. With nearly a dozen different types of Owls and the Sandhill Crane, the rarest of Life-List birds can be found here. In fact, Yellowstone Country is home to more than 400 different species of birds. It’s a birder’s paradise that just happens to look like paradise, too. Visit the Montana Audubon Society for more information:

Where to go Birding:

  • Three Forks Ponds/Old Town Road - Osprey, and a great mix of waterfowl
  • Bridger Bowl Ridge - Best for fall raptor migration
  • Middle Cottonwood Canyon Trail - Western Tanager, Green-Tailed Towhee and Swainson's Thrush
  • Triple Tree Trail - best bird diversity for short hikes in the Gallatin Valley
  • Red Rocks Lake Wildlife Refuge
    • Birds are special residents at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge’s rich wetlands and nearby forests makes ideal habitat for breeding and feeding birds in early June. Red Rock Lakes is best known as the primary location for the efforts to save the Trumpeter Swan from extinction. in addition to the beautiful trumpeter swan, there are a minimum of 232 other species of birds that have been recorded within the refuge.

Types of Birds

Common Birds:

  • Canada Goose
  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Green Winged Teal
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Red Billed Gull
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • Morning Dove
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • European Starling
  • Black-breasted chickadee
  • Mountain Chickadee
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Wild Turkey
  • Bald Eagle
  • Osprey
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Killdeer
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • American Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Tree Swallow
  • Violet-Green Swallow
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • House Sparrow
  • Western Meadowlark

Some rare birds:

  • Great tailed Grackle
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Harris’s Sparrow
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  • Gyrfalcon

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