Birding

We organize a variety of birding activities throughout the year, as summarized below.

Field Trips

We have field trips in and around Missoula, and further afield within western Montana and sometimes a little beyond. Experienced birders lead group outings to observe birds and other wildlife. People of all ages and birding experience may participate in these opportunities to spend time with birding enthusiasts, improve bird identification skills, and enjoy the natural world. Check our calendar for a schedule of upcoming outings.

Bird Surveys

Understanding bird population trends and habitat needs is central to meaningful bird conservation. Our bird surveys engage citizens in bird observation that collects important population and habitat information. The data we gather form the basis for citizen science that supports conservation efforts. These surveys usually take place in late spring or early summer (nesting season) – if you’re interested in participating, please complete this questionnaire and we’ll be in touch.

Christmas Bird Count

Each December, groups of birders of all experience levels participate in the counting of bird species and their numbers in the Missoula area. These results, which are combined with data from other CBCs conducted throughout the hemisphere, contribute baseline information for a variety of studies and conservation efforts. An evening potluck supper follows to tally birds and share stories. If you’d like to participate, please contact us.

Birdathon

Teams of birders ranging from novice to veteran have fun counting bird species over the course of a 24-hour day each spring. Sponsors’ pledges are based on the number of species seen by participants. This annual event raises funds to support our research awards and environmental education projects. If you’d like to participate, please contact us.

Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Everyone is welcome—from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website. Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see for the GBBC photo contest. A selection of images is posted in the online photo gallery.