It’s time for the annual Christmas Bird Count! There are many happening all over Northwestern Montana. Check out the list below for a count near you. Dates and contact info is provided. New birders as well as seasoned veterans are welcome.
Put on a warm jacket, make sure your binos are in working order, and get ready to have fun with fellow birders as we tally our winter feathered friends. (To participate in a Christmas Bird Count, contact the listed person.)
|Bigfork||Saturday, Dec 15th||Craig Hohenberger, firstname.lastname@example.org 406-890-1629|
|Upper Swan||Saturday, Dec 15th||Rob Rich, email@example.com, o: 406.754.3137 c: 207.598.6649|
|Libby||Saturday, Dec 15th||Gene Reckin, firstname.lastname@example.org, Home: 406-293-9344 or Cell: 406-291-8482|
|Eureka||Saturday, Dec 15th||Lewis & Lynda Young, email@example.com, 406-889-3492 or Ellen Sullivan, 406-889-3983|
|Glacier National Park||Sunday, Dec 16th||Compiler/Contact: Lisa Bate, Lisa_Bate@nps.gov 406-888-7833|
|Ninepipe||TBA—call Brian||Brian Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org 406-721-1467|
|Troy||Saturday, Dec 15th||Donald Jones email@example.com 406-295-4291|
|Kalispell||Sunday, Dec 30th||Pete Fisher, firstname.lastname@example.org 406 250-9624|
The 45th annual Bigfork Christmas Bird Count will be held Saturday, December 15th. First established in 1974, the Bigfork count circle is centered at the “Little Brown Church” north of Bigfork, and includes >30 miles of the Swan and Flathead Rivers, the north end of Flathead Lake, and habitats varying from croplands of the Lower Valley to the spruce-fir and cedar-hemlock forests in the Swan and Crane Mountain foothills. We became the first count in the state to report 90 species (in 2011), and always find a diverse and surprising mix of birds, with nearly 150 species over the history of the count. This count typically depends on veteran group leaders to scour their usual areas, and we are always looking for additional participants to join in to help us gain a better understanding of our early winter bird populations. We will begin preparation for the count at the December 10th general meeting, and will finalize most of the groups before the count day. Also, there will be a gathering at 8 am on the morning of the count at the Flathead Brewing Company parking lot at 116 Holt Drive in Bigfork to make any last minute arrangements. The group will gather again at Flathead Brewery at 5 pm to review the group’s results. Contact Craig at email@example.com or 406-890-1629.
The 20th annual Kalispell count will be on Sunday, December 30th. Centered at Reserve and Highway 93, the 15-mi diameter count circle includes Evergreen, much of the Flathead River corridor including the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area, Happy Valley, Herron Park, and the Kuhn’s Wildlife Area. This count has proven to be a popular New Year’s tradition. This count is “young” enough that we still have much to discover. And yet it is “urban” enough to include the homes, bird feeders, and favorite birding spots of many of our members! Our traditional start to this count is a group breakfast at 7:00 am; this year we will meet at 4B’s Restaurant (formerly Finnegan’s) at 660 East Idaho St in Kalispell. It is here that we will finish assigning circle segments and field teams for the day’s efforts. If you are interested in participating, please sign up and leave your contact information at the December general meeting, or contact Pete Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-250-9624