Birds of the Flathead Valley

Below is a list of birds that can be found throughout the Flathead Valley. Birds can be sorted by common name, scientific name, season, etc by clicking the arrows in the header of each column. Sound recordings of these species are available as a CD collection by clicking here.

Key to symbols under “Season”:
A  = All year – present in the Flathead Valley throughout the year;
W = Winter – present only in winter (they go north in spring);
SM = Spring Migration – pass through only during migration, generally absent rest of the year;
SS = Spring & Summer – arrive in spring and stay the summer (breed and produce young here).

Additional Resources:

Bird of the Month

Birds of Flathead Valley: Full Brochure

Birding Guide to Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana

Birding Hotspots in the Flathead Basin

Common NameOrderFamilyGroupSpeciesSeasonLocation
American BitternPelecaniformesArdeidaeBotaurus lentiginosusSSWet Meadows & Marshes
American CootGruiformesRallidaeFulica americanaALakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
American CrowPasseriformesCorvidaeCorvus brachyrhynchosAVariety of Habitats
American DipperPasseriformesCinclidaeCinclus mexicanusSSSome High Mountain Streams
American GoldfinchPasseriformesFringillidaeCarduelinaeSpinus tristisAUrban
American KestrelFalconiformesFalconidaeFalconinaeFalco sparveriusSSOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
American PipitPasseriformesMotacillidaeAnthus rubescensSMOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
American RobinPasseriformesTurdidaeTurdus migratoriusSSVariety of Habitats
American WigeonAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAnas americanaSMLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Bald EagleAccipitriformesAccipitridaeHaliaeetus leucocephalusARiparian Areas
Barn SwallowPasseriformesHirundinidaeHirundininaeHirundo rusticaSSUrban
Belted KingfisherCoraciiformesAlcedinidaeCerylinaeMegaceryle alcyonSSRiparian Areas
Black TernCharadriiformesLaridaeSterninaeChlidonias nigerSSSome Local Lakes, e.g. Smith Lake
Black-billed MagpiePasseriformesCorvidaePica hudsoniaAOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Black-capped ChickadeePasseriformesParidaePoecile atricapillusAVariety of Habitats
Bohemian WaxwingPasseriformesBombycillidaeBombycilla garrulusWUrban
Brewer’s BlackbirdPasseriformesIcteridaeEuphagus cyanocephalusSSOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Brown CreeperPasseriformesCerthiidaeCerthiinaeCerthia americanaAForests
Brown-headed CowbirdPasseriformesIcteridaeMolothrus aterSSOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
BuffleheadAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeBucephala albeolaALakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Calliope HummingbirdApodiformesTrochilidaeTrochilinaeStellula calliopeSSVariety of Habitats
Canada GooseAnseriformesAnatidaeAnserinaeBranta canadensisALakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Cedar WaxwingPasseriformesBombycillidaeBombycilla cedrorumSSRiparian Areas
Chipping SparrowPasseriformesEmberizidaeSpizella passerinaSSUrban
Clark's NutcrackerPasseriformesCorvidaeNucifraga columbianaAForests
Cliff SwallowPasseriformesHirundinidaeHirundininaePetrochelidon pyrrhonotaSSLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Common GoldeneyeAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeBucephala clangulaALakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Common LoonGaviiformesGaviidaeGavia immerSSSome Local Lakes
Common MerganserAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeMergus merganserALakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Common NighthawkCaprimulgiformesCaprimulgidaeChordeilinaeChordeiles minorSSUrban
Common RavenPasseriformesCorvidaeCorvus coraxAVariety of Habitats
Common YellowthroatPasseriformesParulidaeGeothlypis trichasSSWet Meadows & Marshes
Dark-eyed JuncoPasseriformesEmberizidaeJunco hyemalisAVariety of Habitats
Double-crested CormorantSuliformesPhalacrocoracidaePhalacrocorax auritusSSSome Local Lakes
Downy WoodpeckerPiciformesPicidaePicinaePicoides pubescensARiparian Areas
Eastern KingbirdPasseriformesTyrannidaeTyranninaeTyrannus tyrannusSSRiparian Areas
European StarlingPasseriformesSturnidaeSturnus vulgarisAVariety of Habitats
Evening GrosbeakPasseriformesFringillidaeCarduelinaeCoccothraustes vespertinusAForests
Gray jayPasseriformesCorvidaePerisoreus canadensisAForests
Gray PartridgeGalliformesPhasianidaePhasianinaePerdix perdixAOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Great Blue HeronPelecaniformesArdeidaeArdea herodiasSSRiparian Areas
Great Horned OwlStrigiformesStrigidaeBubo virginianusAVariety of Habitats
Green-winged TealAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAnas creccaSSLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Hairy WoodpeckerPiciformesPicidaePicinaePicoides villosusAForests
Harlequin DuckAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeHistrionicus histrionicusSSSome High Mountain Streams
Herring GullCharadriiformesLaridaeLarinaeLarus argentatusWLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Hooded MerganserAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeLophodytes cucullatusSSLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
House FinchPasseriformesFringillidaeCarduelinaeCarpodacus mexicanusAUrban
House SparrowPasseriformesPasseridaePasser domesticusAUrban
KilldeerCharadriiformesCharadriidaeCharadriinaeCharadrius vociferusALakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Lesser ScaupAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAythya affinisSSLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
MallardAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAnas platyrhynchosALakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Marsh WrenPasseriformesTroglodytidaeCistothorus palustrisSSWet Meadows & Marshes
MerlinFalconiformesFalconidaeFalconinaeFalco columbariusAUrban
Mountain BluebirdPasseriformesTurdidaeSialia currucoidesSSOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Mountain ChickadeePasseriformesParidaePoecile gambeliAForests
Mourning DoveColumbiformesColumbidaeZenaida macrouraSSVariety of Habitats
Northern FlickerPiciformesPicidaePicinaeColaptes auratusAForests
Northern HarrierAccipitriformesAccipitridaeCircus cyaneusAOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Northern PintailAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAnas acutaSMLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Northern ShovelerAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAnas clypeataSMLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Northern ShrikePasseriformesLaniidaeLanius excubitorWOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
OspreyAccipitriformesPandionidaePandion haliaetusSSRiparian Areas
Pileated WoodpeckerPiciformesPicidaePicinaeDryocopus pileatusAForests
Pine GrosbeakPasseriformesFringillidaeCarduelinaePinicola enucleatorAForests
Pine SiskinPasseriformesFringillidaeCarduelinaeSpinus pinusAForests
Red CrossbillPasseriformesFringillidaeCarduelinaeLoxia curvirostraAForests
Red-breasted NuthatchPasseriformesSittidaeSittinaeSitta canadensisAForests
Red-naped SapsuckerPiciformesPicidaePicinaeSphyrapicus nuchalisSSForests
Red-tailed HawkAccipitriformesAccipitridaeButeo jamaicensisAOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Red-winged BlackbirdPasseriformesIcteridaeAgelaius phoeniceusSSWet Meadows & Marshes
RedheadAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAythya americanaSSLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Ring-billed GullCharadriiformesLaridaeLarinaeLarus delawarensisALakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Ring-necked DuckAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAythya collarisSSLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Ring-necked PheasantGalliformesPhasianidaePhasianinaePhasianus colchicusAOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Rock PigeonColumbiformesColumbidaeColumba liviaAOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Rough-legged HawkAccipitriformesAccipitridaeButeo lagopusWOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Ruby-crowned KingletPasseriformesRegulidaeRegulus calendulaSMVariety of Habitats
Ruffed GrouseGalliformesPhasianidaeTetraoninaeBonasa umbellusAForests
Rufous HummingbirdApodiformesTrochilidaeTrochilinaeSelasphorus rufusSSVariety of Habitats
Sandhill CraneGruiformesGruidaeGruinaeGrus canadensisSSOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Sharp-shinned HawkAccipitriformesAccipitridaeAccipiter striatusAUrban
Song SparrowPasseriformesEmberizidaeMelospiza melodiaARiparian Areas
SoraGruiformesRallidaePorzana carolinaSSWet Meadows & Marshes
Spotted SandpiperCharadriiformesScolopacidaeActitis maculariaSSLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Steller’s JayPasseriformesCorvidaeCyanocitta stelleriAForests
Swainsons ThrushPasseriformesTurdidaeCatharus ustulatusSSForests
Townsend’s SolitairePasseriformesTurdidaeMyadestes townsendiSSForests
Tundra SwanAnseriformesAnatidaeAnserinaeCygnus columbianusSMLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Vaux’s SwiftApodiformesApodidaeChaeturinaeChaetura vauxiSSRiparian Areas
VeeryPasseriformesTurdidaeCatharus fuscescensSSRiparian Areas
Violet-green SwallowPasseriformesHirundinidaeHirundininaeTachycineta thalassinaSSLakes, Ponds, Rivers, Sloughs
Western MeadowlarkPasseriformesIcteridaeSturnella neglectaSSOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Western TanagerPasseriformesCardinalidaePiranga ludovicianaSSRiparian Areas
White-breasted NuthatchPasseriformesSittidaeSittinaeSitta carolinensisAForests
White-crowned SparrowPasseriformesEmberizidaeZonotrichia leucophrysSMUrban
Wild TurkeyGalliformesPhasianidaeMeleagridinaeMeleagris gallopavoAOpen Grass & Shrub & Agricultural Fields
Willow FlycatcherPasseriformesTyrannidaeFluvicolinaeEmpidonax trailliiSSWet Meadows & Marshes
Wilson’s SnipeCharadriiformesScolopacidaeScolopacinaeGallinago delicataSSWet Meadows & Marshes
Wood DuckAnseriformesAnatidaeAnatinaeAix sponsaSSSome Local Ponds & Marshes
Yellow WarblerPasseriformesParulidaeSetophaga petechiaSSRiparian Areas
Yellow-headed BlackbirdPasseriformesIcteridaeXanthocephalus xanthocephalusSSWet Meadows & Marshes
Yellow-rumped WarblerPasseriformesParulidaeSetophaga coronataSSForests
Cordilleran FlycatcherPasseriformesTyrannidaeEmpidonaxOccidentalisSSRiparian Areas