by Craig Hohenberger

Christmas Bird CountThe 42nd annual Bigfork Christmas Bird Count was held Saturday, December 19th, under cloudy skies with snow late in the day, and temperatures of 27-35º.  Thirty volunteer participants counted 12,911 individual birds of 83 species, plus another three species seen count week but not on count day.

While we found no species that were new to the count, however, two Pacific Loons were re-found at Wayfarer’s SP, three Gray-crowned Rosy Finches (only 2nd time on the count), and one Western Meadowlark on the north shore of Flathead Lake. We had record high numbers of another three species: Pacific Loon (2); Bufflehead (269), and Northern Pygmy-Owl (10). Other count week species included American Kestrel, Spotted Towhee, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

Thank you to all the great participants who helped make this a wonderful count!     Contact: Craig Hohenberger,

Pacific Loon2
Pied-billed Grebe4
Horned Grebe62
Red-necked Grebe2
Great Blue Heron16
Canada Goose1384
Trumpeter Swan15
Tundra Swan178
American Wigeon10
N. Pintail1
Ring-necked Duck26
Greater Scaup113
Common Goldeneye444
Barrow's Goldeneye13
Hooded Merganser38
Common Merganser52
Bald Eagle51
Northern Harrier8
Sharp-shinned Hawk4
Cooper's Hawk1
Red-tailed Hawk17
Red-tailed (Harlan's) Hawk2
Rough-legged Hawk18
Buteo, sp.3
Am. KestrelCW
Ring-necked Pheasant51
Ruffed Grouse1
Wild Turkey176
American Coot6100
Ring-billed Gull10
Herring Gull1
Rock Pigeon91
Mourning Dove91
Eurasian Collared-Dove88
Great Horned Owl2
Northern Pygmy-Owl10
Belted Kingfisher15
Downy Woodpecker37
Hairy Woodpecker21
Northern Flicker107
Pileated Woodpecker12
Woodpecker sp.6
Northern Shrike3
Steller's Jay18
Blue Jay25
Black-billed Magpie66
American Crow34
Common Raven135
Horned Lark7
Black-capped Chickadee485
Mountain Chickadee72
Chestnut-backed Chickadee61
Chickadee sp.10
Red-breasted Nuthatch52
White-breasted Nuthatch7
Pygmy Nuthatch12
Brown Creeper12
Marsh Wren1
American Dipper7
Golden-crowned Kinglet21
Townsend's Solitaire15
American Robin10
European Starling89
Bohemian Waxwing256
Cedar Waxwing12
Spotted TowheeCW
American Tree Sparrow1
Song Sparrow18
White-throated Sparrow1
Dark-eyed Junco91
Red-winged Blackbird30
Western Meadowlark1
Brewer's Blackbird144
Brown-headed CowbirdCW
Gray-crowned Rosy Finch3
Pine Grosbeak87
House Finch325
Red Crossbill5
Common Redpoll44
Pine Siskin18
American Goldfinch49
Evening Grosbeak16
House Sparrow137