Best birdwatching locations in Montana

Montana is a beautiful country with plenty of untouched forests, lakes, and wildlife. It’s a popular destination for people who like to enjoy nature and hike through the many paths through the woods. Another hobby that’s great to practice here is birdwatching. Montana has a couple of interesting spots, first of which is the Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area located 30 miles off the Great Falls.

This is the most popular bird watching attraction because over 100 species of birds that can be seen here. Some of them are very rare and hard to spot. But, there are a couple more places ideal for watching birds in the state of Montana. Here are some of the spots you just have to visit when you come through Montana.

Onstad Park in Westby

birdThis is the place for watching warblers in Montana as it has the highest concentration. They can be spotted every May, when they make their way from the south to Alaska and Alberta, where they nest. The park is only 1-acres and during the migration, every tree, bush, and hedge are decorated with birds. As many as 29 species of warblers can be spotted here.

The Westby park is a safe spot for warblers. They can be seen in August and September. Some of the rarest birds spotted here are the Philadelphia vireo, the Connecticut warbler, and the yellow-bellied flycatcher.

State Land in North Valley County

The second most popular place for bird watching in Montana is located on the State Land in North Valley County, just north of Glasgow Base Pond. The location is a part of the NASIBA called North Valley Grasslands.

What looks like an ordinary grass land at the first glance turns out to be a place with a huge variety of plant and bird life. The plant diversity attracts a variety of bird species such as Baird’s sparrow, McCown’s longspur, western meadowlark and others. You will be able to hear them sing beautiful songs in May and June. This is truly a unique place with dozens of species to watch.

Bridger Hawk Watch, Bridger Bowl

TO reach HawkWatch International, you will have to climb up a 2,100-foot trail located above Bridger Bowl. The scenery is amazing and the views are incredible. This is a place where you can see golden eagles, sometimes so close, you don’t even need binoculars.

The view is completely unobstructed. The observation deck is located on the top of the hill and you can watch birds coming in from any direction. The best time to visit this site is during the first weeks of October.

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

At Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge you can spot long-billed curlews and chestnut-collared longspurs. When you get close to the water, you can see dozens of different species at all times. The most common birds here are the yellow-headed blackbirds, marsh wrens, Franklin’s gulls, eared grebes, and many more.

The NWR is located 10 miles north of Great Falls so you can even catch sharp-tailed grouse early in the morning during April and May. You will have to be ready before down to get in on the action.