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Bird Checklists of the United States

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

Malta, Montana


Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, located 7 miles east of Malta on Old Highway 2 in northeastern Montana, was established in 1936. Although managed primarily for ducks and geese, the refuge is known for its colonies of nesting birds. Franklin's gulls, black-crowned night-herons, eared grebes and white-faced ibises nest in the bulrush marshes of Lake Bowdoin, while American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, great blue herons and California and ring-billed gulls occupy its several islands. Sprague's pipit, Baird's sparrow and chestnut-collared longspur are typical upland nesting birds.

Most of this 15,551-acre refuge is shortgrass prairie interspersed with diked impoundments. There are also planted shelterbelts with trees and shrubs scattered throughout the area. Such habitat diversity provides homes for a variety of bird species. An auto tour route provides access for refuge visitors to these habitats.

This folder lists 248 species that have been observed on the refuge. Those species listed as "vagrants" have been seen rarely on the refuge, and any additional sightings should be reported to the refuge staff. All species names are in accordance with the Sixth A.O.U. Checklist of North American Birds (1985 Supplement). For clarity, some of the former names are shown in parentheses.


Species known to nest on the refuge are indicated by an "*". The season of occurrence is coded as follows:

These seasons correspond to the four seasons as published in AMERICAN BIRDS.

The relative abundance of each species by season is defined as:

a - abundant   Common species, very numerous
c - common   Likely to be seen in suitable habitat
u - uncommon   Present, but not certain to be seen
o - occasional   Seen only a few times during a season
r - rare   Seen once a year or less
v - vagrant   Less than five sightings at Bowdoin


LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon o o r -
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* u c u - ___ Horned Grebe* u u u - ___ Red-necked Grebe r - - - ___ Eared Grebe* a a a - ___ Western Grebe* c c u - ___ Clark's Grebe* u u u -
PELICANS, CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican* a a a - ___ Double-crested Cormorant* a a a -
BITTERNS, HERONS, IBISES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* u u u - ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c - ___ Snowy Egret o u o - ___ Cattle Egret r r - - ___ Green-backed Heron v - - - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* c c c - ___ White-faced Ibis* c c u -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan (Whistling) u - c r ___ Greater White-fronted Goose o r o - ___ Snow Goose u - u - ___ Ross' Goose r - o - ___ Canada Goose* a a a o ___ Wood Duck c c c - ___ Green-winged Teal* a a a o ___ American Black Duck - - v - ___ Mallard* a a a u ___ Northern Pintail* a a a o ___ Blue-winged Teal* a a a - ___ Cinnamon Teal* c c u - ___ Northern Shoveler* a a a - ___ Gadwall* a a a r ___ American Wigeon* a c a r ___ Canvasback* c c c - ___ Redhead* c c c - ___ Ring-necked Duck u r u - ___ Lesser Scaup* a c c r ___ Harlequin Duck - v - - ___ White-winged Scoter - - r - ___ Surf Scoter - - v - ___ Common Goldeneye* a u a o ___ Barrow's Goldeneye r - r - ___ Bufflehead c o c - ___ Hooded Merganser o o o - ___ Common Merganser c - c - ___ Red-breasted Merganser u - u - ___ Ruddy Duck* a c c -
VULTURES, HAWKS, EAGLES, FALCONS Sp S F W ___ Osprey v - - - ___ Bald Eagle c r u u ___ Northern Harrier* c c c u ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u r u - ___ Cooper's Hawk u - u r ___ Northern Goshawk o - o o ___ Broad-winged Hawk r - o - ___ Swainson's Hawk* u u u - ___ Red-tailed Hawk u o u - ___ Ferruginous Hawk* o o o - ___ Rough-legged Hawk u - u u ___ Golden Eagle u o u o ___ American Kestrel (Sparrow Hawk)* c c c - ___ Merlin - - r o ___ Peregrine Falcon o r o - ___ Gyrfalcon - - - v ___ Prairie Falcon u u u u
PARTRIDGES, PHEASANT, GROUSE Sp S F W ___ Gray Partridge* c o c c ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* c c c c ___ Sage Grouse* u u u u ___ Sharp-tailed Grouse* c c c c
RAILS, CRANES Sp S F W ___ Virginia Rail* u u u - ___ Sora* u u u - ___ American Coot* a a a r ___ Sandhill Crane o r o -
SHOREBIRDS, GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover u o u - ___ Lesser Golden Plover r - r - ___ Semipalmated Plover u u u - ___ Piping Plover* o r r - ___ Killdeer* a a a r ___ Mountain Plover - v - - ___ Black-necked Stilt* c c u - ___ American Avocet* a a c - ___ Greater Yellowlegs o o o - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs u u u - ___ Solitary Sandpiper o - - - ___ Willet* c c c - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* c c c - ___ Upland Sandpiper* u u o - ___ Whimbrel o - - - ___ Long-billed Curlew* u u u - ___ Hudsonian Godwit v - - - ___ Marbled Godwit* c c c - ___ Ruddy Turnstone r r - - ___ Red Knot v - - - ___ Sanderling u u u - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper u u u - ___ Western Sandpiper u r u - ___ Least Sandpiper u r u - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper r r r - ___ Baird's Sandpiper u u r - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper u r u - ___ Dunlin v - - - ___ Stilt Sandpiper o o o - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher v - - - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher u u u - ___ Common Snipe* c u u - ___ Wilson's Phalarope* a a c - ___ Red-necked Phalarope o o o - ___ Red Phalarope - v - - ___ Franklin's Gull* a a a - ___ Bonaparte's Gull r r r - ___ Ring-billed Gull* a a a - ___ California Gull* a a a - ___ Herring Gull u - o u ___ Sabine's Gull - v - - ___ Caspian Tern* r o - - ___ Common Tern* c c c - ___ Forster's Tern r - r - ___ Black Tern* c c c -
DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove o o o o ___ Mourning Dove* c c c -
CUCKOOS Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* u u - - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo r r - -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* r o r r ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Snowy Owl o - o o ___ Burrowing Owl* u u u - ___ Long-eared Owl* o o o r ___ Short-eared Owl* u u u u ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl r r r r
GOATSUCKERS, SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* r u u - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* r r o -
KINGFISHERS, WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher u u u - ___ Red-headed Woodpecker* o o r - ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker r r r - ___ Downy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Hairy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Northern Flicker (Common)* c c c c
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Western Wood-Pewee o o o - ___ Alder Flycatcher v - - - ___ Willow Flycatcher* r r r - ___ Least Flycatcher* u u - - ___ Say's Phoebe* o o o - ___ Western Kingbird* u u u - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c -
LARKS, SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* c c c u ___ Tree Swallow* c c - - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* u u u - ___ Bank Swallow* u u u - ___ Cliff Swallow* a a a - ___ Barn Swallow* c c c -
JAYS, MAGPIES, CROWS Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay o o o o ___ Black-billed Magpie* a a a a ___ American Crow u o u o
CHICKADEES, NUTHATCHES, CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* u u u c ___ Mountain Chickadee - - - o ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch r r o r ___ Brown Creeper v - - -
WRENS Sp S F W ___ Rock Wren r r r - ___ House Wren* c c u - ___ Winter Wren - - - v ___ Marsh Wren* c c u -
KINGLETS, BLUEBIRDS, THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet - - o o ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet - - v - ___ Mountain Bluebird u r u r ___ Townsend's Solitaire r - r r ___ Veery r - - - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush - v - - ___ Swainson's Thrush u o o - ___ Hermit Thrush o o o - ___ Wood Thrush v - - - ___ American Robin* c c c u ___ Varied Thrush - - r r
THRASHERS, PIPITS Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird u u - - ___ Northern Mockingbird v - - - ___ Brown Thrasher* u u u - ___ Water Pipit u o r - ___ Sprague's Pipit* c c u -
WAXWINGS, SHRIKES, STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ Bohemian Waxwing c - c c ___ Cedar Waxwing* u u u o ___ Northern Shrike - - u u ___ Loggerhead Shrike* u c u - ___ European Starling* c c a o
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ Warbling Vireo u u - - ___ Red-eyed Vireo o o o -
WOOD WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Tennessee Warbler r - r - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u - r - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c c - ___ Cape May Warbler v - - - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle/Audubon's) c o c - ___ Townsend's Warbler r - r - ___ Blackburnian Warbler v - - - ___ Palm Warbler v - - - ___ Blackpoll Warbler o - o - ___ American Redstart o - o - ___ Ovenbird o - o - ___ Northern Waterthrush o - o - ___ Mourning Warbler - v - - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler o - o - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c u - ___ Wilson's Warbler o - o - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat r r r -
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Western Tanager o - - -
GROSBEAKS, BUNTINGS, SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak r r r - ___ Black-headed Grosbeak - r r - ___ Blue Grosbeak - v - - ___ Lazuli Bunting r r - - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* u u u - ___ American Tree Sparrow c - c u ___ Chipping Sparrow* c c u - ___ Clay-colored Sparrow* u u u - ___ Brewer's Sparrow* u u u - ___ Vesper Sparrow* u u - - ___ Lark Sparrow* o o - - ___ Lark Bunting* c c c - ___ Savannah Sparrow* c c u - ___ Baird's Sparrow* u o o - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* u u - - ___ Le Conte's Sparrow r r - - ___ Fox Sparrow r - r - ___ Song Sparrow* c c o r ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u - u - ___ White-throated Sparrow u - u - ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow v - - - ___ White-crowned Sparrow c - c - ___ Harris' Sparrow u - u o ___ Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) u - u u ___ McCown's Longspur* u u - - ___ Lapland Longspur - - - o ___ Smith's Longspur - - - v ___ Chestnut-collared Longspur* c c u - ___ Snow Bunting o - u u
MEADOWLARKS, BLACKBIRDS, ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink o o - - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a o ___ Western Meadowlark* a a a o ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* a a a - ___ Rusty Blackbird - - - r ___ Brewer's Blackbird* c u u o ___ Common Grackle* c c o r ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c u - ___ Orchard Oriole - v - - ___ Northern Oriole (Baltimore/Bullock's)* u u u -
FINCHES, WEAVER FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Pine Grosbeak r - r r ___ Cassin's Finch v - - - ___ House Finch - - v - ___ Red Crossbill - - - v ___ Common Redpoll - - u u ___ Hoary Redpoll - - r r ___ Pine Siskin u o o - ___ American Goldfinch* c c c - ___ Evening Grosbeak - - o o ___ House Sparrow* c c c c

For more information, contact:
                 Refuge Manager
                 Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge
                 P.O. Box J
                 Malta, Montana 59538
                 Phone (406) 654-2863

This resource is based on the following source:
Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1992.  Bowdoin 
     National Wildlife Refuge birds, Malta, Montana.  Department of the 
     Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1992.  Bowdoin 
     National Wildlife Refuge birds, Malta, Montana.  Department of the 
     Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND:
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govbowdoin.htm 
     (Version 23FEB2001).

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