One of my favorite young childhood memories at my grandparents' house was watching birds at the birdfeeder on their back porch. My grandmother was an avid birdwatcher and her bird knowledge impressed my young brain. Many Montanans have bird feeders and enjoy watching the avian activities of the feeder guests. If you love birds, perhaps you'd like to participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. Read on to learn more.

Photo by Andrea Lightfoot on Unsplash
Photo by Andrea Lightfoot on Unsplash
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Celebrating 25 years of backyard bird counting.

According to a story in the Associated Press that caught my eye today, over 380,000 people from 192 countries around the globe participated in the four-day event in 2022. The crowd-sourced data helps scientists track bird populations, as participants take note of birds they spot in their neighborhoods. The Great Backyard Bird Count says,

Spend time in your favorite places watching birds–then tell us about them! In as little as 15 minutes notice the birds around you. Identify them, count them, and submit them to help scientists better understand and protect birds around the world.

Organizers recommend two popular apps to help in your bird-counting/identification activities, Merlin and eBird. Experts say a detailed, full-color field guide is necessary. Recommended options include the National Audubon Society's Birds of North America, 'The Sibley Guide to Birds, and the Peterson Field Guide series.

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Photo by Trac Vu on Unsplash
Photo by Trac Vu on Unsplash
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How well do you know our backyard birds?

I can identify most of the commonly found birds in Montana. Here are the top ten that can frequently be spotted throughout our state.

  1. American Robin
  2. Black-billed Magpie
  3. Black-capped Chickadee
  4. Northern Flicker
  5. European Starling
  6. Red-winged Blackbird
  7. House Finch
  8. House Sparrow
  9. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  10. Red-breasted Nuthatch

See the complete list of 27 fairly common Montana birds at WhatBirdIsInMyBackyard.com HERE.

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