Missoula Birding

Montana 2021-22 Christmas Bird Count #122

Montana Summary 26 April 2022 from Rosemary H. Leach

Total Counts Run and Total Species Found

In spite of Covid restrictions again this year, our data generally compared favorably with
past years. This year we tallied data from 30 count circles of our total 34. Three counts
did not run (Chester, Little Rocky Mountains, and Musselshell Valley) because of either
covid issues, lack of field participants, or bad weather. One circle—Cut Bank—has
been orphaned, and needs a new compiler and some hearty souls to renew the count.
If you can handle high winds and low temperatures, this might be the count for you.
Total number of species this year was—142 (Appendix 1), which equaled the average
of the total number of species from the past 7 years (CBC #115-121). This year we
added no new species to our cumulative state list of 221.

We had 7 Count Week (CW) birds this year that were not reported from any circle
during a count day, including Ross’s Goose (Bozeman); Long-tailed Duck (Missoula);
Red-breasted Merganser (Great Falls); Mew Gull (recent split, now Short-billed Gull but
still Mew Gull in the CBC database; the bird was found at Bigfork); Barred Owl
(Missoula); Gyrfalcon (Bigfork); and Gray Catbird (Missoula). Count Week birds were a
bit higher than past years, perhaps because the fall and early winter were unseasonably
warm in much of the state, and then the first sub-zero temperatures of the season
descended just as the count period began. At least some of the waterfowl moved on
due to iced-over ponds.

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