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Bird Checklists of the United States

Swan River National Wildlife Refuge

Kalispell, Montana


The 1,568-acre Swan River National Wildlife Refuge is located 38 miles southeast of Kalispell, Montana. The variety of habitats including grassland, marsh, and wooded river bottom support elk, deer, moose, grizzly and black bear, beaver, river otter, muskrat, and at least 171 species of birds.

The Refuge provides nesting habitat for the endangered bald eagle, great blue herons, black terns, 23 species of waterfowl, and a variety of raptors and songbirds. A canoe trip through the Refuge on the Swan River provides excellent birding throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Canada geese, whistling swan, mallard and goldeneye winter in the open waters of the Swan River and the canals and creeks which cross the Refuge.

The following birds have been observed on the Refuge since its establishment in 1974. Very special thanks must go to Ellie Jones and other Audubon Society members who have contributed much time to the completion of this pamphlet. The Swan River NWR was adopted by the Flathead Chapter of the National Audubon Society in 1981 under the Society's Adopt-A-Refuge Program.


EXPLANATION OF SYMBOLS:

Seasons:

S - March-May
S - June-August
F - September-November
W - December-February

Symbols indicating seasonal abundance of each species are as follows:

c - common - should be seen in suitable habitat
u - uncommon - might see in suitable habitat
o - occasional - seen only a few times during a season
r - rare - seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years
* - Birds nesting on the Refuge

The following bird list is in accordance with the 5th A.O.U. Check-List as amended. New names are used in all cases.


LOONS S S F W ___ Common Loon* c c u -
GREBES S S F W ___ Red-necked Grebe* c c c - ___ Horned Grebe* c c c - ___ Eared Grebe* c c c o ___ Western Grebe u c - - ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c c - -
CORMORANTS S S F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant o - - -
HERONS & BITTERNS S S F W ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c c ___ American Bittern* u u o -
SWANS, GEESE & DUCKS S S F W ___ Tundra Swan u r c u ___ Canada Goose* c c c c ___ Snow Goose o - o r ___ Ross' Goose r - r - ___ Mallard* c c c c ___ Gadwall* c c u - ___ Pintail* c u c o ___ Green-winged Teal* u u u r ___ Blue-winged Teal* c c c - ___ Cinnamon Teal* c c u - ___ American Wigeon* c c c - ___ Northern Shoveler* u o u - ___ Wood Duck* c c u - ___ Redhead* u u u o ___ Ring-necked Duck* u u u o ___ Canvasback u o u o ___ Lesser Scaup o o o - ___ Common Goldeneye* c c c c ___ Barrow's Goldeneye* c u u o ___ Bufflehead c u u o ___ White-winged Scoter r - - - ___ Harlequin Duck r - - - ___ Ruddy Duck* u o - - ___ Hooded Merganser* u u - - ___ Common Merganser* c c c u ___ Red-breasted Merganser r - - -
EAGLES,HAWKS, & FALCONS S S F W ___ Goshawk u - u u ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u u u u ___ Red-tailed Hawk* u u u - ___ Swainson's Hawk u - - - ___ Rough-legged Hawk - - - c ___ Golden Eagle c - - - ___ Bald Eagle* c c c c ___ Marsh Hawk* u c - - ___ Osprey _ c - - ___ Prairie Falcon o o o - ___ Merlin o r o - ___ American Kestrel* o c o -
GROUSE & PHEASANTS S S F W ___ Blue Grouse o o o o ___ Ruffed Grouse* c c c c ___ Ring-necked Pheasant o o o o
RAILS S S F W ___ Sora* u c - - ___ American Coot* c c c -
PLOVERS S S F W ___ Killdeer* c c c -
SHOREBIRDS, GULLS & TERNS S S F W ___ Common Snipe* c c o u ___ Spotted Sandpiper* c c u - ___ Solitary Sandpiper o r - - ___ Greater Yellowlegs o o - - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs o u - - ___ Least Sandpiper o u - - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher u u - - ___ Marbled Godwit o - - - ___ American Avocet o - - - ___ Black-necked Stilt o - - - ___ Wilson's Phalarope* u u - - ___ California Gull o u u - ___ Ring-billed Gull o c u - ___ Forster's Tern o o o - ___ Black Tern* c c u -
DOVES S S F W ___ Mourning Dove o o o -
OWLS S S F W ___ Screech Owl r o r - ___ Great Horned Owl* u o u u ___ Pygmy Owl o o o o ___ Barred Owl o o u -
GOATSUCKERS, SWIFTS & HUMMINGBIRDS S S F W ___ Common Nighthawk u c - - ___ Vaux's Swift o u o - ___ White-throated Swift o r - - ___ Rufous Hummingbird* u u - - ___ Calliope Hummingbird* u u u - ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird* r u u -
KINGFISHERS & WOODPECKERS S S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher o o o o ___ Common Flicker* u c c u ___ Pileated Woodpecker u u o o ___ Lewis' Woodpecker o o - - ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u u u - ___ Hairy Woodpecker* u u u r ___ Downy Woodpecker* u u u r
FLYCATCHERS S S F W ___ Eastern Kingbird* o u o - ___ Western Kingbird* o c u - ___ Willow Flycatcher* c c - - ___ Hammond's Flycatcher u u - - ___ Dusky Flycatcher o u - - ___ Western Flycatcher o u - - ___ Western Wood Pewee u u - -
LARKS & SWALLOWS S S F W ___ Horned Lark o o r r ___ Violet-green Swallow* c c - - ___ Tree Swallow* c c - - ___ Rough-winged Swallow* c c - - ___ Barn Swallow* u c - - ___ Cliff Swallow* u u - -
JAYS, MAGPIES & CROWS S S F W ___ Gray Jay o o r u ___ Steller's Jay r r o r ___ Black-billed Magpie* c u u u ___ Common Raven* c c c u ___ Common Crow* c u u - ___ Clark's Nutcracker r - o o
CHICKADEES, NUTHATCHES & CREEPERS S S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* c c c c ___ Mountain Chickadee u o u o ___ Chesnut-backed Chickadee* o o u u ___ White-breasted Nuthatch* u u u u ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch* u u u u ___ Brown Creeper* u u o o
DIPPERS S S F W ___ Dipper o o u u
WRENS S S F W ___ Winter Wren o o o o ___ Long-billed Marsh Wren* u c c o
MOCKINGBIRDS S S F W ___ Gray Catbird* u u c -
THRUSHES & BLUEBIRDS S S F W ___ American Robin* u c c u ___ Varied Thrush* c c u r ___ Swainson's Thrush* u u u - ___ Veery o u o - ___ Mountain Bluebird c u o - ___ Townsend's Solitaire o - o -
KINGLETS & PIPITS S S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet u u u u ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u u u u ___ American Pipit u - o o
WAXWINGS, SHRIKES & STARLINGS S S F W ___ Bohemian Waxwing u - - c ___ Cedar Waxwing u u u - ___ Northern Shrike u - u u ___ Starling* c c u -
VIREOS, WOOD WARBLERS & WEAVER FINCHES S S F W ___ Red-eyed Vireo* u u - - ___ Warbling Vireo* o u - - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u u u - ___ Nashville Warbler u u u - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler* c c u - ___ Townsend's Warbler o c u - ___ Northern Waterthrush o c u - ___ MacGillivray's Waterthrush o u u - ___ Common Yellowthroat u u u - ___ Wilson's Warbler o u o - ___ American Redstart o u u - ___ House Sparrow o o - -
BLACKBIRDS & ORIOLES S S F W ___ Bobolink u u - - ___ Western Meadowlark u u u - ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* c c u - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* c c u - ___ Brewer's Blackbird u c - - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* u c - -
TANAGERS S S F W ___ Western Tanager o o - -
GROSBEAKS, SPARROWS & FINCHES S S F W ___ Black-headed Grosbeak* u u - - ___ Lazuli Bunting o u - - ___ Evening Grosbeak* u u u u ___ Cassin's Finch o u o o ___ House Finch o - - - ___ Gray-crowned Rosy Finch o - - - ___ Common Redpoll - - - u ___ Pine Siskin* c c c u ___ American Goldfinch o o u o ___ Red Crossbill* u u u u ___ White-winged Crossbill - - - o ___ Rufous-sided Towhee u o o - ___ Savannah Sparrow* u u u - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow u o u - ___ Vesper Sparrow u c u - ___ Lark Sparrow o - - - ___ Dark-eyed Junco c c c c ___ Tree Sparrow - - - o ___ Chipping Sparrow* o u u - ___ Harris' Sparrow - - - u ___ White-crowned Sparrow u u o o ___ Fox Sparrow o o o - ___ Song Sparrow* c c u u ___ Snow Bunting - - - u
PLEASE NOTE:

We would appreciate your help if you observe birds that are listed as rare to the Swan river National Wildlife Refuge or if you notice unusual concentrations or activities of birds on the Refuge. Please report the following information by letter or telephone to the Refuge Manager:

Your name, address _____________________________________________________________________________

date, weather, exact location __________________________________________________________________

species, number of birds _______________________________________________________________________

distinguishing features and/or activities ______________________________________________________

For further information contact:
                           Refuge Manager
                           Swan River NWR
                           Moiese, Montana 59824       
                           Telephone: 406/644-2211

As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has basic responsibilities for water, fish, wildlife, mineral, land, park, and recreational resources. Indian and territorial affairs are other major concerns of America's "Department of Natural Resources."

The Department works to assure the wisest choice in managing all our resources so each will make its full contribution to a better United States - now and in the future.


This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1982.  Birds of the Swan River National 
     Wildlife Refuge, Montana.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1982.  Birds of the Swan River National 
     Wildlife Refuge, Montana.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govswan.htm  
     (Version 22MAY98).

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