Birds & Science

We use the best available science to ensure the survival of Montana's birds and other wildlife.

Citizen Science Opportunities

You don’t need to be a professional biologist to contribute to science and have a great time doing it. Consider joining one of these citizen efforts and help provide valuable information of the birds, wildlife, and natural systems of Montana and beyond.

Nesting Black Swifts:

We’ve been searching for nesting Black Swifts since the summer of 2015. There are only 12 handful of known nest sites in Montana, and half of these were found in the last 4 years, some by volunteers. What could be better than a summer hike to plunging waterfalls? (some travel/gas monies can be provided)

Long-billed Curlew Survey Volunteers Needed:

Help us asses the population status of these iconic grassland birds in Montana.

Christmas Bird Count:

We had over 30 Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) in Montana in the winter of 2015-2016. The CBC s the longest citizen science program ever, and everyone is welcome. Plan to join a count next winter! Counts will take place between Dec. 14, 2016 and January 5, 2017 – and it will be here before you know it.

Your Bird Sightings - please submit!:

It is incredibly valuable for birders to share their Montana bird sightings and lists. Collectively, this helps contribute to our understanding of where birds live and how their distribution and populations change over time. There are various ways to report; use whichever system you find most effective and convenient. These different programs collaborate and share information.

Breeding Bird Surveys:

This long-standing and continent-wide volunteer summer survey effort expanded recently, and we need birders for the 2017 field season!

Hummingbirds at Home:

An inspiring project by National Audubon. These tiny birds live such high energy lifestyles, and they must sync their migration and nesting times with the flowering of nectar-bearing plants. Climate change threatens to throw off this delicate balance, with unknown repercussions. We know that scientific research is essential to help us understand how global warming is affecting hummingbirds and what we can do about it. We need you to help monitor birds at your feeder or home or favorite spot. Thanks!

Nightjar Surveys:

A national survey with routes available to adopt in Montana. We welcome – and need – surveyors in our state during the summer.

Great Backyard Bird Count:

This count takes place in February every year. Yearly highlights are posted; click here for more information.

Project FeederWatch - Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Enhance the winter by counting feeder birds for science.

Project Budburst:

A national project to track the impacts on plant phenology with our changing climate. A very cool program – and easy to take part.

Project Budburst

US National Phenology Network:

NPN brings together citizen scientists, government agencies, non-profit groups, educators and students of all ages to monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States.

Bird Banding Laboratory:

If you find a banded or color marked bird, report to the Bird Banding Laboratory.

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    P.O. Box 595
    Helena, MT 59624

    [email protected]

  • Phone: (406) 443-3949
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