Photo Credit: Jake Bramante
Photo Credit: Jake Bramante

It’s that time of year for the largest citizen science project, the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. All around the world, people are getting together to get outside and count birds in their areas.

Here in Northwest Montana, we’ve got quite a few Christmas Bird Counts. Check below for locations and dates. To participate in a Christmas Bird Count, contact the listed person.

(For even more Montana Christmas Bird Counts, check out the Montana Audubon Christmas Bird Count page here.)


(details below)            

Saturday, Dec. 17   Craig Hohenberger at or (406) 890-1629         

Upper Swan     

Saturday Dec. 17   Adam Lieberg and (406)754-3185


Saturday Dec. 17    Gene Reckin at or home: (406)293-9344  or cell: (406) 291-8482


Saturday, Dec. 17     Lewis & Lynda Young at or (406) 889-3492


Sunday, Dec. 18     Brian Williams at or (406) 721-1467

Glacier NP         

Sunday, Dec. 18     Lisa Bate at or (406) 888-7833


Saturday, Dec. 31   Donald Jones at or (406) 295-4291


Sunday, Jan. 1    Pete Fisher at or (406) 250-9624

(details below)

Bigfork CBC details

The 43st annual Bigfork Christmas Bird Count will be held Saturday, December 17th. 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. Bigfork became the first count in the state to report 90 species (in 2011), and always finds 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 12th Audubon meeting, and will finalize groups before the count day. Contact Craig at or 406-890-1629.

Kalispell CBC details

The 18th annual Kalispell count will be on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st. 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 Finnegan’s Restaurant at 660 East Idaho 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 or 406-250-9624.