The prairies and badlands were pleasantly calm during the second week of June when I set out to complete my annual survey of three central Montana Breeding Bird Surveys. After six years of surveys, annual variation has become apparent, and as many avid birders have noticed this year, things seem “behind”. As an example, this year
was the first surveying the Forsyth route when the cottonwoods cotton wasn’t already falling. In fact, all of the cottonwood fruits remained shiny green in color, and the typical frenzy of Lark Sparrows feeding on the tufted cottonwoods seeds would have to wait. Temperatures kept below 70 Fahrenheit during the counts, and calm winds supported excellent hearing conditions a welcomed and infrequent occurrence on the open prairie.
Read the complete report here: 2019 Breeding Bird Survey Report