by Joshua Covill

Rare and Notables – April 2020

  • 03/12 – Golden Eagle flying over near Bigfork (Craig H.)
  •   03/15 – Northern Goshawk seen around Apgar in Glacier NP (Dan D.)
  •   03/22 – 5 Rusty Blackbirds visiting the feeders at a private residence near Creston (Pete F.)
      03/23 – Mew Gull seen on the north shore of Flathead Lake (Shawn R.)
  •   04/04 – Prairie Falcon in the West Valley Ponds area (Cory D.)
  •   04/09 – Rusty Blackbirds continue at private residence (Pete F.)
  •   04/17 – 6 Ross’s Geese in flock of 130 Snow Geese frequenting the West Valley Ponds area (Josh C.)
  •   04/17 – 2 Black-necked Stilts on the edge of the large pond on Clark Dr – West Valley Ponds (Josh C.)
  •   04/17 – 20 American Avocets at Smith Lake (Craig H.)

What to Expect – May 2020

May is the magical month when all our summer breeding birds arrive in force. All our warblers, thrushes, sparrows, and hummingbirds will finally return. Hummingbirds show up at the beginning of the month, as well as sparrows. Warblers and Swainson’s Thrushes return mid-May, and our flycatchers will be here at the end of May. Yard birding can be really exciting this time of year, when tired migrants will stop at any birdbath or flowering tree or shrub. Watch for our first Yellow-rumped Warblers and listen for the loud and happy song of Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

While practicing safe physical distancing measures, you can visit your local patch of forest and find a fresh arrival virtually every single day. Visiting different habitats throughout May can show you just how many birds are arriving every day. River bottoms at Owen Sowerwine Natural Area, conifer forests along the many hiking trails around the valley, and the fields in the West and Lower valley will eventually fill up with their respective breeding birds that call the Flathead Valley their home.