Birding

Montana is home to over 400 bird species across an astonishing diversity of habitats.

Birding Montana

Montana Birdwatching  Hotspots

Montana Audubon’s Chapters have put out “birding hotspots” maps for certain locations in the state. Below you can access the current hotspots publications or websites:Bird Check Lists


State Bird ChecklistFinal Checklist cover

This April 2012 edition of the Checklist of Montana Birds is based on the 7th edition of Montana Bird Distribution. The state bird list is a cooperative project between the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Montana Audubon; the Montana Natural Heritage Program; and the Montana Bird Records Committee. Hard copies will be available free of charge at all FWP regional offices and the Helena headquarters, or you can download a copy below.

For best results, use legal-sized paper (8 ½ x 14 inches) and change your printer settings to landscape.

Checklist of Montana Birds, April 2012 version


Bird Sightings – Rare and Otherwise

Birders in Montana who want to report or learn about rare bird sightings, or about interesting birds and timings or arrival or departure are encouraged to join the on-line Montana Online Birding Group — MOB. This Yahoo user group is the go to place for bird sightings and photos around the state.


Develop a List of Montana Birds for your Area

A bird list for a specific area in Montana can be developed by:

  • In the upper left corner there is a filter that is defaulted to “Statewide.” Click on the down arrow on that filter and select the area you are interested in: county; township; LL, QLL or QQLL; etc.
  • The definitions of LL, QLL and QQLL can be found HERE.
  • The boundaries of each LL, QLL and QQLL, can be found HERE. All maps on this page are printable as 8-1/2″ X 11″ pdf maps. There are two types of maps available:

Individual QQLL Reference Maps. Detailed individual maps of each QQLL are available. From a map of the state of Montana, this interactive map lets you select any QQLL map you want. You can look at maps on your computer or print them to take into the field.

Travel Maps. Travel maps show QQLL boundaries for large sections of Montana, with the entire state divided into 7 regions. These maps allow you to roughly determine which QQLL you are in.

  • If you only want a bird list (you can also get mammals, reptiles, etc.), click on the ‘down’ arrow on the adjacent “All Species” filter and click on “Birds.” Similarly, you can filter out species of a particular status with this filter that is currently defaulted to “All Status.” For information on status, click HERE.
  • To see your list, click on the “+” next to the birds link at the bottom of the report to expand/see the list of birds. The total number of species is reported in the header of the report.
  • To print or download the information: below the animal/plant summary table, click “Print Species List” link or export a PDF Field Guide by clicking on the “Download PDF FieldGuide” link above the report. The Field Guide provides one page of information for each species.

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