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Bird Checklists of the United States

Bitterroot National Forest

Hamilton, Montana


The Bitterroot National Forest and Bitterroot Valley offer a unique birding experience. Elevations range from 3200 feet in the valley to mountain peeks over 10,000 feet. Precipitation varies from 10-12 inches on the valley floor to over 90 inches in the Bitterroot mountains. The diverse climate and topography produce many specialized bird habitats including varied forest communities, mountain peaks and meadows as well as streams, lakes, and other wetland areas.


Relative abundance
a - abundant: very numerous
c - common: likely to be seen or heard
u - uncommon: present but not certain to be seen
o - occasional: seen a few times a season
r - rare: seldom seen

Seasonal occurrence
PR - Permanent Resident
WR - Winter Resident
SR - Summer Resident
M - Migrant

Habitat
1 - Bitterroot River
2 - wetlands/marshes
3 - open grass/shrubs
4 - mountain streams/lakes
5 - cliffs/canyons
6 - forest edges
7 - dry forest
8 - moist forest
9 - high elevation forests/alpine


WATER BIRDS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Common Loon r M 2,4 ___ Pied-billed Grebe c PR 2,4 ___ Horned Grebe o SR 2,4 ___ Red-necked Grebe o M 2,4 ___ Eared Grebe o SR 4 ___ Western Grebe o M 2,4 ___ Clark's Grebe r M 2,4 ___ American White Pelican r M 2 ___ Double-crested Cormorant c SR 2 ___ American Bittern u SR 2 ___ Great Blue Heron c PR 1,2,4 ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron r M 2 ___ White-faced Ibis r M 2,3 ___ Tundra Swan c M 1,2,3 ___ Trumpeter Swan r M 1,2 ___ Greater White-fronted Goose r M 2,3 ___ Snow Goose c M 2,3 ___ Ross' Goose o M 1,2 ___ Canada Goose a PR 1-4 ___ Wood Duck c PR 1,2,4 ___ Green-winged Teal c PR 1,2,4 ___ Mallard c PR 1,2,4 ___ Northern Pintail u PR 1,2,4 ___ Blue-winged Teal c SR 1,2,4 ___ Cinnamon Teal a SR 1,2,4 ___ Northern Shoveler c SR 1,2,4 ___ Gadwall u PR 1,2,4 ___ Eurasian Wigeon o M 1,2,4 ___ American Wigeon u PR 1,2,4 ___ Canvasback o PR 1,2,4 ___ Redhead c SR 1,2 ___ Ring-necked Duck u SR 1,2 ___ Greater Scaup r M 1,2 ___ Lesser Scaup u PR 1,2,4 ___ Harlequin Duck r SR 4 ___ White-winged Scoter r M 2 ___ Common Goldeneye u PR 1,2,4 ___ Barrow's Goldeneye o PR 1,2,4 ___ Bufflehead u PR 1,2,4 ___ Hooded Merganser u SR 1,2,4 ___ Common Merganser c PR 1,2,4 ___ Red-breasted Merganser r M 1,2,4 ___ Ruddy Duck u PR 2
BIRDS OF PREY ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Turkey Vulture u SR 3,5,6 ___ Osprey c SR 1,2,4 ___ Bald Eagle u PR 1,2,4 ___ Northern Harrier c PR 2,3 ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk o PR 1,5,6,7 ___ Cooper's Hawk o PR 1,5,6 ___ Northern Goshawk u PR 6,7,8 ___ Swainson's Hawk o SR 3,5,6,9 ___ Red-tailed Hawk c PR 1,3,6,7 ___ Ferruginous Hawk r M 3 ___ Rough-legged Hawk c WR 2,3 ___ Golden Eagle o PR 3,5,6,9 ___ American Kestrel c PR 1,3,6,7 ___ Merlin o PR 2,3,5,6 ___ Peregrine Falcon o SR 2,3,5,6 ___ Gyrfalcon r M 5,9 ___ Prairie Falcon o PR 3,5,6
GAME BIRDS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Gray Partridge o PR 3 ___ Chukar r PR 3,5 ___ Ring-necked Pheasant a PR 2,3 ___ Spruce Grouse (Franklin's) u PR 6-9 ___ Blue Grouse u PR 6,7,9 ___ Ruffed Grouse c PR 1,4,6 ___ Wild Turkey r PR 6,7
MARSH/SHORE BIRDS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Virginia Rail u SR 2 ___ Sora u SR 1,2,4 ___ American Coot a PR 1,2,4 ___ Sandhill Crane o SR 2,3 ___ Black-bellied Plover o M 2 ___ Semipalmated Plover c M 2 ___ Killdeer a PR 1-4 ___ American Avocet o M 2 ___ Greater Yellowlegs o M 2 ___ Lesser Yellowlegs u M 2 ___ Solitary Sandpiper o M 1,2,4 ___ Willet r M 2 ___ Spotted Sandpiper c SR 1,2,4 ___ Upland Sandpiper o SR 3 ___ Whimbrel r M 2,3 ___ Long-billed Curlew o SR 2,3,4 ___ Marbled Godwit r M 2 ___ Sanderling r M 2 ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper o M 2 ___ Western Sandpiper o M 1,2 ___ Least Sandpiper o M 2 ___ Baird's Sandpiper o M 2 ___ Pectoral Sandpiper o M 2 ___ Dunlin r M 2 ___ Stilt Sandpiper r M 2 ___ Long-billed Dowitcher c M 2
SNIPE/PHALAROPES ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Common Snipe c PR 2,3,4 ___ Wilson's Phalarope c SR 2 ___ Red-necked Phalarope c M 2
GULLS/TERNS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Franklin's Gull o M 2 ___ Bonaparte's Gull o M 1,2,4 ___ Ring-billed Gull o M 1,2,4 ___ California Gull o M 1,2,4 ___ Caspian Tern r M 2 ___ Common Tern r M 2 ___ Forster's Tern r M 2 ___ Black Tern u SR 2
DOVES/CUCKOOS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Rock Dove c PR 3,5 ___ Mourning Dove c PR 3,6 ___ Black-billed Cuckoo r M 1,3,6
OWLS/NIGHTJARS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Flammulated Owl u SR 6,7,8 ___ Western Screech-Owl u PR 1,6 ___ Great Horned Owl c PR 1-8 ___ Snowy Owl r WR 3 ___ Northern Pygmy-Owl u PR 1,4,6,7,9 ___ Burrowing Owl r SR 3 ___ Great Gray Owl r PR 1,6,7,8 ___ Long-eared Owl o PR 1,3,4,6 ___ Short-eared Owl u PR 2,3 ___ Boreal Owl u PR 6,7,9 ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl u PR 1,7 ___ Common Nighthawk c SR 1,2,3,6
SWIFTS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Black Swift o SR 4,5,6,9 ___ Vaux's Swift u SR 6,7 ___ White-throated Swift u SR 5,6,7
HUMMINGBIRDS/KINGFISHER ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird u SR 1,3,4 ___ Calliope Hummingbird c SR 6-9 ___ Broad-tailed Hummingbird r SR 4,6-9 ___ Rufous Hummingbird c SR 1,3,4,6 ___ Belted Kingfisher c PR 1,2,4
WOODPECKERS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Lewis' Woodpecker c PR 1,6 ___ Red-naped Sapsucker u SR 1,4-7 ___ Williamson's Sapsucker r SR 6-9 ___ Downy Woodpecker c PR 1,4,6,7 ___ Hairy Woodpecker c PR 1,6-9 ___ Three-toed Woodpecker r PR 6-9 ___ Black-backed Woodpecker u PR 6-9 ___ Northern Flicker c PR 1,3,4,6-8 ___ Pileated Woodpecker u PR 1,7
FLYCATCHERS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher u SR 6,9 ___ Western Wood-pewee c SR 1,4,6 ___ Willow Flycatcher c SR 1,3,4,6 ___ Least Flycatcher u SR 4,6 ___ Hammond's Flycatcher u SR 7,8,9 ___ Dusky Flycatcher u SR 3,6 ___ Cordilleran Flycatcher u SR 1,4,8 ___ Say's Phoebe u SR 3,5 ___ Western Kingbird u SR 3,4,6 ___ Eastern Kingbird c SR 1,3,4,6
LARK/SWALLOWS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Horned Lark u PR 3,9 ___ Tree Swallow c SR 1-4 ___ Violet-green Swallow u SR 1-6 ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow u SR 1-5 ___ Bank Swallow c SR 1-5 ___ Cliff Swallow u SR 1-5 ___ Barn Swallow c SR 1-5
JAYS/CROW/RAVEN ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Gray Jay u PR 6-9 ___ Steller's Jay u PR 6-9 ___ Blue Jay r PR 1,2,3,6 ___ Pinon Jay r M 3,6,7 ___ Clark's Nutcracker c PR 6-9 ___ Black-billed Magpie a PR 1-6 ___ American Crow o PR 1,3,6,7 ___ Common Raven u PR 3,5-9
CHICKADEES/NUTHATCHES/CREEPER ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Black-capped Chickadee c PR 1,4,6 ___ Mountain Chickadee u PR 6-9 ___ Boreal Chickadee r M 6,7,8 ___ Chestnut-backed Chickadee r WR 1,4,6,8 ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch c PR 6-9 ___ White-breasted Nuthatch c PR 1,4,6 ___ Pygmy Nuthatch u PR 1,6,7 ___ Brown Creeper u PR 1,7,8,9
WRENS/DIPPER/KINGLETS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Rock Wren u SR 5 ___ Canyon Wren r PR 5 ___ House Wren c SR 1,3,4,6 ___ Winter Wren u PR 4,6-9 ___ Marsh Wren c PR 2 ___ American Dipper u PR 1,4 ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet u PR 1,4,6-9 ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c SR 1,4,6-9
BLUEBIRDS/THRUSHES ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Western Bluebird r SR 3,6 ___ Mountain Bluebird u SR 3,6,9 ___ Townsend's Solitaire u PR 5-9 ___ Veery o SR 1,4 ___ Swainson's Thrush u SR 1,6,7 ___ Hermit Thrush u SR 6,7 ___ American Robin a PR 1,3,4,6-8 ___ Varied Thrush u SR 1,4,8
CATBIRD/THRASHER/PIPIT ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Gray Catbird u SR 1,4 ___ Sage Thrasher r M 3 ___ American Pipit o SR 3,9
WAXWINGS/SHRIKES/STARLING ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Bohemian Waxwing u WR 3,6 ___ Cedar Waxwing u PR 1,3,4,6,8 ___ Northern Shrike u WR 3,6 ___ Loggerhead Shrike r M 3,6 ___ European Starling a PR 3,6
VIREOS/WARBLERS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Solitary Vireo u SR 1,4,6,7 ___ Warbling Vireo c SR 1,4,6,7,8 ___ Red-eyed Vireo u SR 1,4 ___ Tennessee Warbler r M 1,4,6 ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u SR 3,4,6 ___ Nashville Warbler o SR 1,4,6 ___ Yellow Warbler c SR 1,4 ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c SR 1,3,4,6-9 ___ Townsend's Warbler u SR 7,8,9 ___ American Redstart o SR 1,4 ___ Northern Waterthrush o SR 4 ___ MacGillivray's Warbler u SR 1,4 ___ Common Yellowthroat c SR 1,2,4 ___ Wilson's Warbler u SR 14 ___ Yellow-breasted Chat r SR 14
TANAGERS/GROSBEAKS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Western Tanager c SR 1,6-9 ___ Black-headed Grosbeak u SR 1,3,4,6
BUNTING/TOWHEE ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Lazuli Bunting u SR 1,3,4,6 ___ Rufous-sided Towhee u SR 1,4,6
SPARROWS ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ American Tree Sparrow c WR 1,3,4,6 ___ Chipping Sparrow c SR 1,3,4,6,7 ___ Brewer's Sparrow u SR 3,9 ___ Vesper Sparrow c SR 3 ___ Lark Sparrow r SR 3 ___ Savannah Sparrow c SR 3 ___ Fox Sparrow r SR 1,3,4,6 ___ Song Sparrow c PR 1,2,4 ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u SR 1,3,4,6 ___ White-throated Sparrow r M 1,3,6-9 ___ White-crowned Sparrow u SR 1-4,6 ___ Harris' Sparrow r WR 3,4,6 ___ Dark-eyed Junco c PR 1,3,4,6,7 ___ Lapland Longspur r M 3 ___ Snow Bunting r WR 3
BLACKBIRDS/ORIOLE ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Bobolink u SR 2,3 ___ Red-winged Blackbird a PR 1,2,3 ___ Western Meadowlark c PR 3 ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird a SR 2 ___ Brewer's Blackbird c SR 3 ___ Brown-headed Cowbird c SR 1,3 ___ Northern Oriole u SR 1,3
FINCHES ABUNDANCE SEASON HABITAT ___ Rosy Finch r PR 3,9 ___ Pine Grosbeak u PR 1,4,6,7,9 ___ Cassin's Finch u PR 4,6,7,8,9 ___ House Finch c PR 1,3,4,6 ___ Red Crossbill c PR 6-9 ___ White-winged Crossbill r PR 8 ___ Common Redpoll u WR 3,4,6,7,8 ___ Pine Siskin c PR 4,6-9 ___ American Goldfinch u PR 1,3,4,6 ___ Evening Grosbeak c PR 1,4,6,7,8 ___ House Sparrow c PR 1,3

Produced by the Bitterroot National Forest in partnership with Bitterroot Audubon. Special thanks to the volunteer efforts of Jim Story for his local birding expertise and review of the checklist, and Sam and Carol Harris for assistance in compilation, layout, and design.

For more information contact:

                          Forest Supervisor
                          Bitterroot National Forest
                          1801 North First Street
                          Hamilton, MT 59840
                          Telephone: 406/363-3131
This resource is based on the following source:
Bitterroot National Forest in partnership with Bitterroot Audubon.  1992.  
     Birds of the Bitterroot.  U.S. Forest Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
Bitterroot National Forest in partnership with Bitterroot Audubon.  1992.  
     Birds of the Bitterroot.  U.S. Forest Service.  Unpaginated.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govbitterrt.htm  
     (Version 22MAY98).

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