Fort Missoula Ponds Spring 2023 Bird Surveys

To Birders,

This past year we did breeding bird and fall migration bird surveys at the Fort Missoula Ponds owned by the City of Missoula. We plan to do six spring migration bird surveys to complete the bird use picture for a full year at the Fort Missoula ponds. We are gathering data about bird use at the ponds to help the Missoula City staff in their planning on how best to manage the ponds to protect the wildlife values while allowing the public to access and enjoy the natural values.

The bird surveys will begin at 9:00 am and are scheduled for: 

  • Sunday March 26
  • Tuesday April 4 
  • Friday April 14 
  • Monday April 24
  • Thursday May 4
  • Sunday May 14

We’ll meet by the former Knife River office, which is at the Northwest corner of the city property to the South of South Ave. To get to our meeting area, turn South off of South Avenue onto 40th Ave. If you’re coming West on South Ave from town, this will be a left turn. There is a marquee for Target Range School (and the school itself), also on the left side, on the far side of the 40th Ave turnoff. The street address for the school is 4095 South Ave West. (If you pass the school you’ve gone too far.) Follow 40th Ave past the running track and take the curve to the left that leads to a low building inside a fenced area. 

Poody Mclaughlin will be organizing the on-site effort. We will break into 3 groups: North Pond, South Pond and River Riparian Zone. Each group will have an experienced birder or two. In addition, someone in each group will need to record sightings onto the data sheets we will provide. We will record number of individuals by species and note any evidence of courtship behavior or other breeding behavior. We plan to get started at 9:00 am so arrive a little before then to get organized. It will probably take about 2 hours to complete the field work.

Send us an email at and include Fort Missoula Ponds Survey in the subject line if you would like to participate and on what dates you might be available. You can always cancel or add a date as your plans might change. It does help us in planning to get a tally early on of who and when folks think they can help. We will send an email as the first survey approaches to update information and confirm any changes you might have in your schedule.