by Craig Hohenberger

The 43rd annual Bigfork Christmas Bird Count was held Saturday, December 17th, under cloudy skies with very cold conditions; temperatures ranged from -16 to 7 above.  There was a limited amount of open water (less than 10%), and much of Flathead Lake was plagued by surface fog. Thirty-three volunteer participants counted 12,459 individual birds of 80 species, down from 83 species recorded last year. The overall number of birds was also lower by approximately 2000.  While we found no species that were new to the count, however, highlights were nine Snow Geese and one Mew Gull was seen on the north shore of Flathead Lake region, one Golden Eagle in the Mud Lake area, one White-throated Sparrow in Ferndale, one Three-toed Woodpecker in Many Lakes, twenty-eight Snow Buntings in the Creston locale, and both Eared and Western Grebes observed on Flathead Lake.  There was one Northern Pygmy-Owl seen during count week.  We had a record high of 76 Bald Eagles for the count!  Thank you to all the great participants who helped make this a wonderful count!     Contact: Craig Hohenberger,



Patty Archibald      Rod Wallette             Al Johnson           Shawn Richmond    Raylene Wall

Lisa Bate                Jeanne Carlson          Steve Johnson      Kathy Ross              Jenna Nichols-Pagel

Will Beyer              Pete Fisher                Bob Lee                Bob Rost                 Bob Smith

Gael Bissell            Carol Brewer            Jed Petersen          Paula Smith             Margaret Parodi

Jake Bramante        Debbie Moon           Pam Richards        Betty Kuropat         Susannah Casey

Clancy Cone           Craig Hohenberger  Will Richards        Denny Olson

Mitchell Tyler         Brittney Fisher         B. J. Worth           Joshua Covell