by Joshua Covill
Rare and Notables – December 2019
- 11/18 – Northern Hawk Owl at Howe Lake in Glacier NP (Steve G.)
- 11/21 – Rusty Blackbird at the Lazy Creek bridge of Whitefish Lake (Anonymous eBirder)
- 11/28 – Northern Hawk Owl photographed at the Swan River NWR access (Carrie V. & Dan S.)
- 11/30 – the Northern Cardinal in Marion made another appearance at the same private residence that it was initially reported from (Steve S. & Joshua C.)
- 12/05 – 2 Glaucous Gulls at the West Valley Ponds (Craig H.)
- 12/06 – Purple Finch visited feeders of Jake B.
- 12/08 – Prairie Falcon in the West Valley Ponds area (Cory D. & Jake B.)
- 12/08 – Flock of Horned Larks and 1 Snow Bunting in the West Valley Ponds area (Cory D. & Jake B.)
- 12/13 – 3 Pine Grosbeaks spotted halfway up Blacktail Road in Lakeside (Bob K.)
- 12/14 – Northern Saw-whet Owl in the Flathead Lake WPA roosting in dense cover (Pete F.)
- 12/17 – Yellow-headed Blackbird visiting the feeders of Craig H. regularly at time of this writing.
- 12/17 – Common Grackle visiting the feeders of Craig H. regularly at time of this writing.
What to Expect – January 2020
The new year is an exciting time; year lists are reset and old birds become new again. Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) are mostly over, but the inspiration lingers. CBCs turn up odd birds because areas that never get covered are suddenly searched meticulously. It’s a great time to add a birding stop to your morning commute or weekly errands; a small patch of shrubs in the park for rare sparrows or a city block with a lot of Mountain Ash berries for Pine Grosbeaks. Open agricultural fields might hold Snow Buntings or a Gyrfalcon and forested foothills have Northern Pygmy-Owls and Evening Grosbeaks. Open water attracts a lot of waterfowl, and cattle feed lots hold flocks of Red-winged & Brewer’s Blackbirds with the chance of Rusty Blackbirds. The best way to ensure that you won’t see any birds is to not look for them.