Birding and Bird Watching Glacier National Park & Western Montana

Birding and Bird Watching

Enter today for a chance to win monthly prizes in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Enter today for a chance to win monthly prizes in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Montana is for the Birds

From migrating golden eagles on the Rocky Mountain Front to great Blue Herons in Missoula, Western Montana is an outstanding destination for birding. With our region's diverse terrain, many species call Western Montana and our rugged terrain and sheltered valleys home.

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Glacier National Park

When visiting Glacier National Park, keep your eyes open for the 260 species of birds that make their home here. The park may be one of the best places to see harlequin ducks in the lower 48 states. The "clown ducks" (called such because of their gray/orange/black/white costume) are partial to the waters of McDonald Creek. You're also likely to encounter blue heron, tundra swan, Canada goose and the great horned owl. Year-round residents include raptors such as bald eagles, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey and hawks.

For more information, visit the The U.S. National Park Service.

Missoula Valley

The Missoula Valley has its own birding and nature trail, helping birders, naturalists and eco-tourists access key birding locations. With 14 locations on the map, ranging from in town locations to more secluded destinations, there are plenty of viewing opportunities.

For black-backed woodpeckers, visit the Blue Mountain Nature Trail. Or for great blue herons and Lewis's woodpeckers, visit Kelly Island in the Clark Fork River near downtown Missoula. To see an American dipper and its nest, stroll though Greenough Park.

For maps and additional information on birding in the Missoula Valley, visit the Montana Birding & Nature Trail.

Bitterroot Valley

With a variety of habitats ranging from wetlands and river bottoms to forested terrain, the 25 birding sites on the Bitterroot Birding and Nature Trail provide a range of birding experiences and opportunities. For tundra swans, woodpeckers and bald eagles, visit the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville. If you're looking for warbling vireo or black-headed grosbecks, stroll through Travelers' Rest State Park. And for yellow warblers and gray jays, visit Indian Trees Campground near Sula.

For maps and additional information on birding in the Bitterroot Valley, visit the Montana Birding & Nature Trail.


Birding and Bird Watching in Western Montana & Glacier National Park

Western Montana's Glacier Country

News from Glacier National Park: Currently 12.5 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

Bird Woman Falls

An icon in Glacier National Park, Bird Woman Falls is a glistening 492-foot-high waterfall that cascades down the side of Mt. Oberlin. From West Glacier, travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Bird Woman Falls Overlook, located on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Trail of the Cedars

This short boardwalk trail (ADA accessible) takes visitors through an old growth cedar forest. It’s also the beginning of the Avalanche Lake Trail (just over two miles long) that leads to Avalanche Lake—one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier National Park. Trail of the Cedars is located about five and a half miles north of Lake McDonald Lodge.

Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road

If your time in Glacier National Park is limited, one must-see attraction is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile long road takes travelers between St. Mary and West Glacier through the heart of the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There are numerous pullouts along the road, ideal for taking photographs and enjoying the scenery.

See a Glacier

As you’re traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road, pull over at Jackson Glacier Overlook (located east of Logan Pass). The overlook offers the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road.

Many Glacier Valley

Home to incredible mountains, active glaciers, abundant wildlife and miles of hiking trails, Many Glacier is located in the northeast section of Glacier National Park. Trails leave from this valley in numerous directions, with popular hiking destinations including Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel.

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