Birds of Western Montana

My family and I return regularly to Bozeman and other parts of Montana for mountain getaways. I figured I might as well start collecting birds from that area, too. For this set I have a new lens--a Tamron 150-600mm supertele. I did some learning on the fly, so to speak, and had some success after a little early fumbling. It turns out that tracking a bird on the wing at 600mm is a bit like looking through a drinking straw. As the 600 is very heavy, I didn't carry it on all outings. Some photos were shot with the Canon 70-200 f/4 L.

American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

american crow th 1

American Dipper

Cinclus mexicanus

american dipper th 1 american dipper th 2

Bald Eagle (juvenile)

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

bald eagle th 1 bald eagle th 2

Black-billed Magpie

Pica hudsonia

black billed magpie th 1 black billed magpie th 2

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

canada goose th 1

Cedar Waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum

cedar waxwing th 1

Chipping Sparrow


chipping sparrow th 1

Common Raven

Corvus Corax

common raven th 1

Dark-eyed Junco (juvenile)

Passerella iliaca

dark-eyed junco th 1

Hairy Woodpecker

Picoides villosus

hairy woodpecker th 1 hairy woodpecker th 2


Charadrius vociferus

killdeer th 1

Mountain Chickadee

Poecile gambeli

mountain chickadee th 1 mountain chickadee th 2

Northern Flicker

Colaptes auratus

northern flicker th 1

Northern Harrier

Colaptes auratus

northern harrier th 1

Pine Siskin

Spinus pinus

pine siskin th 1

Red-tailed Hawk (adult & juvenile)

Buteo jamaicensis

red tailed hawk th 1 red tailed hawk th 2

Rock Dove (Pigeon)

Columba livia

rock dove th 1

Sandhill Crane

Grus canadensis

sandhill crane th 1 sandhill crane th 2

Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

turkey vulture th 1 turkey vulture th 2

Western Bluebird

Sturnella neglecta

western bluebirdth 1 western bluebirdth 2

White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)

Spizella passerina

white-crowned sparrow th 1 white-crowned sparrow th 2

White-winged Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

white-winged crossbill th 1 white-winged crossbill th 2

Birds of Central Minnesota

I've decided to start a formal collection of Minnesota's birds. Here are some of the best shots I have for any species I've captured, most of them since May 2016. Some aren't very good at all, but that sets a goal for me... improve for that species.

The majority of these shots were made with a Canon 7D and the Tamron 150-600mm, and the rest were with Canon's 70-200 f/4L. The Tamron isn't as fast or sharp as the 200, but sure helps me reach the birds when they're small or far off.

Bird identification can be a challenge, since individuals can vary and I'm new to the game. If you have corrections, please let me know. Scientific names are linked for more information.

See a timeline of sightings for selected species by clicking the icons. See the Exif data for images in the popup view by clicking the icon.

American Coot

Fulica americana

american coot th 1 american coot th 2

American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

american crow th 1 american crow th 2

American Goldfinch

Spinus tristis

american goldfinch th 1 american goldfinch th 2

American Kestrel

Falco sparverius

american kestrel th 3 american kestrel th 1 american kestrel th 2

American Redstart (Warbler) (male & female)

Setophaga ruticilla

american redstart th 1 american redstart th 2

American Robin

Turdus migratorius

american robin th 1 american robin th 2

Read more: Birds of Central Minnesota

Birds of the Northern Great Plains

Travelling between Minnesota and western Montana means spending quite a bit of time in the Dakotas and eastern Montana. There's really no avoiding it. The truth is that there's much beauty to be found there, and I don't mind. I particularly like the "tree graveyards", those somewhat rare wetlands and small lakes that have stands of dead trees in them, seemingly preserved forever.

American Coot

Fulica americana

american coot th 1 american coot th 2

American Kestrel

Falco sparverius

american kestrel th 1 american kestrel th 2

Caspian Tern

Hydroprogne caspia

caspian tern th 1 caspian tern th 2

Cooper's Hawk (juvenile)

Accipiter cooperii

coopers hawk th 1 coopers hawk th 2

Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

double crested cormorant th 2

Lesser Scaup

Aythya affinis

lesser scaup th 1 lesser scaup th 2


Falco columbarius

merlin th 1 merlin th 2

Northern Flicker

Colaptes auratus

northern flicker th 1

Northern Pintail

Anus acuta

northern pintail th 1 northern pintail th 2

Nothern Shoveler

Anas clypeata

northern shoveler th 1 northern shoveler th 2

Red-tailed Hawk (juvenile eastern)

Buteo jamaicensis

red tailed hawk th 1

Ring-necked Pheasant

Phasianus colchicus

ring necked pheasant th 1 ring necked pheasant th 2

Western Meadowlark

Sturnella neglecta

western meadowlark th 1 western meadowlark th 2