by Joshua Covill
Rare and Notables – January 2020
- 12/24 – the NORTHERN CARDINAL in Marion was seen again at the same private residence that it was initially reported from, meaning it was been around for 1.5 months (Criag H. & Raylene W.)
- 12/29 – Prairie Falcon along Fairview Cemetery Rd south of Columbia Falls (Joshua C.)
- 12/29 – Iceland Gull at the Flathead county landfill on the morning of the Christmas Bird Count (Pete F.)
- 01/01 – A single Cackling Goose among 100’s of Canadas in the fields off of Four Mile Dr (Joshua C.)
- 01/01 – 2 Glaucous Gulls roosting on the ice in the West Valley Ponds area (Joshua C.)
- 01/06 – Great Gray Owl was spotted along a side road in Ferndale (Leslie K.)
- 01/12 – a flock of 100 Horned Larks seen on Lower Valley Road (Cory D.)
- 01/12 – the Northern Hawk Owl in the Swan Lake NWR has been seen periodically since its first sighting through the 12th.
- 01/12 – Prairie Falcon was seen off of Jaquette Road (Leslie K.)
- 01/13 – Brown-headed Cowbird visiting the feeders of Craig H. along with a Yellow-headed Blackbird and Common Grackle have been overwintering rarities this year.
What to Expect – February 2020
February can be the slowest month in Montana when it comes to birds. Most of the winter birds are settled in, and the excitement from the new year has worn off. Bohemian Waxwings feed vigorously on berry trees in towns, and mixed flocks of Horned Larks and Snow Buntings feed on exposed seeds along roads. Great Horned Owl breeding season is in full swing and you can hear pairs hooting nearly all night.
February can also bring really unexpected rarities like the 2013 Yellow-billed Loon in Somers Bay! Just goes to show you that you never know what might show up. The only way to find out is to get out there and look!