20 Common Birds in Montana

Hi there!

If you’ve ever marveled at the beauty and diversity of birds in Montana, you’re in for a treat.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 20 common bird species that call this breathtaking state their home.

From majestic raptors soaring through the sky to tiny songbirds filling the air with melodious tunes, Montana is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

So grab your binoculars and join me as we explore the fascinating world of avian residents in the Big Sky Country.

American Robin

American Robin

  • Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius
  • Family Name: Turdidae
  • Length: 23-28 cm
  • Weight: 72-95 grams
  • Wingspan: 31-41 cm
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Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

  • Scientific Name: Spizella passerina
  • Family Name: Passerellidae
  • Length: 12-15 cm
  • Weight: 11-18 grams
  • Wingspan: 20-23 cm
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Western Wood-Pewee

Western Wood-Pewee

  • Scientific Name: Contopus sordidulus
  • Family Name: Tyrannidae
  • Length: 6-7 inches (15-18 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 ounces (11-17 grams)
  • Wingspan: 10-11 inches (25-28 cm)
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Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

  • Scientific Name: Dumetella carolinensis
  • Family Name: Mimidae
  • Length: 8-9 inches (20-23 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.4 ounces (23-40 grams)
  • Wingspan: 9-12 inches (23-30 cm)
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Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

  • Scientific Name: Agelaius phoeniceus
  • Family Name: Icteridae
  • Length: 7-9 inches (18-23 cm)
  • Weight: 1.4-2.7 ounces (40-77 grams)
  • Wingspan: 13-15 inches (33-38 cm)
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Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

  • Scientific Name: Colaptes auratus
  • Family Name: Picidae
  • Length: 11-14 inches (28-36 cm)
  • Weight: 3.9-5.6 ounces (110-160 grams)
  • Wingspan: 16-20 inches (41-51 cm)
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Steller’s Jay

Steller’s Jay

  • Scientific Name: Cyanocitta stelleri
  • Family Name: Corvidae
  • Length: 11-12 inches (28-30 cm)
  • Weight: 3.5-4.9 ounces (100-140 grams)
  • Wingspan: 16-18 inches (40-46 cm)
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Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

  • Scientific Name: Zenaida macroura
  • Family Name: Columbidae
  • Length: 9-13 inches (23-33 cm)
  • Weight: 4-6 ounces (113-170 grams)
  • Wingspan: 17-18 inches (43-46 cm)
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Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

  • Scientific Name: Sturnella neglecta
  • Family Name: Icteridae
  • Length: 9.5-11 inches (24-28 cm)
  • Weight: 4-6 ounces (113-170 grams)
  • Wingspan: 16-18 inches (41-46 cm)
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Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

  • Scientific Name: Molothrus ater
  • Family Name: Icteridae
  • Length: 7.5-8.75 inches (19-22 cm)
  • Weight: 1.4-2.1 ounces (40-60 grams)
  • Wingspan: 13-15 inches (33-38 cm)
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Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin

  • Scientific Name: Spinus pinus
  • Family Name: Fringillidae
  • Length: 4.7-5.9 inches (12-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 ounces (11-18 grams)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 inches (20-25 cm)
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Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

  • Scientific Name: Bombycilla cedrorum
  • Family Name: Bombycillidae
  • Length: 6.5-7 inches (16-18 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.6 ounces (30-45 grams)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 inches (25-30 cm)
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Mountain Chickadee

Mountain Chickadee

  • Scientific Name: Poecile gambeli
  • Family Name: Paridae
  • Length: 4.7-5.9 inches (12-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 ounces (8-12 grams)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 inches (20-23 cm)
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Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

  • Scientific Name: Setophaga coronata
  • Family Name: Parulidae
  • Length: 5.5-6.3 inches (14-16 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 ounces (11-17 grams)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-10.6 inches (25-27 cm)
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Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

  • Scientific Name: Dryobates pubescens
  • Family Name: Picidae
  • Length: 5.5-6.5 inches (14-16.5 cm)
  • Weight: 0.7-1.0 ounces (20-28 grams)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 inches (25-30 cm)
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House Wren

House Wren

  • Scientific Name: Troglodytes aedon
  • Family Name: Troglodytidae
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 ounces (8-12 grams)
  • Wingspan: 6.7-7.5 inches (17-19 cm)
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White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

  • Scientific Name: Zonotrichia albicollis
  • Family Name: Passerellidae
  • Length: 6.3-7.5 inches (16-19 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.1 ounces (22-30 grams)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 inches (20-23 cm)
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Common Starling

Common Starling

  • Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris
  • Family Name: Sturnidae
  • Length: 7.5-9 inches (19-23 cm)
  • Weight: 2.8-3.6 ounces (80-103 grams)
  • Wingspan: 12-15 inches (30-38 cm)
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Eurasian-collared Dove

Eurasian-collared Dove

  • Scientific Name: Streptopelia decaocto
  • Family Name: Columbidae
  • Length: 12-14 inches (30-35 cm)
  • Weight: 5.3-8.8 ounces (150-250 grams)
  • Wingspan: 18-22 inches (46-56 cm)
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American Crow

American Crow

  • Scientific Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
  • Family Name: Corvidae
  • Length: 16-21 inches (41-53 cm)
  • Weight: 11-21 ounces (316-595 grams)
  • Wingspan: 33-39 inches (84-99 cm)
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If you don’t have the time to read the whole article, check out this video on Common Birds in Montana for a quick understanding.

Common Birds in Montana

1. American Robin

American Robin

American Robins are frequent on lawns because they eat earthworms.

Their breast and backs are riddled with red or orange blackheads.

As it is liked these birds to perch in the trees all across the winter season, Woodlands, woods, hills, farms, gardens, and lawns are just a few of the places where American Robins may be found.

Among their preferred snacks are insects, bugs, snails, and berries.

American Robins are among Montana’s most beautiful songbirds.

The American Robin may be seen throughout the year, but the ideal time to observe it in Montana is from mid-May to early June.

The months of June and July are the best months to see them.

Below are the characteristics of the American Robin,

Scientific Name Turdus migratorius
Family Name Turdidae
Length 23-28 cm
Weight 72-95 grams
Wingspan 31-41 cm
Habitat Woodlands, gardens, parks, and open fields across North America
Food Earthworms, insects, fruits, berries, and occasionally small amphibians and reptiles

2. Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

The Chipping Sparrow, is a little songbird’s top and lower portions are brown, black, and mostly grey.

These birds are mostly encountered in the summer in North America.

Male and female birds are very similar, making it difficult to tell them apart.

Male Chipping Sparrows are bigger, heavier, and have a wider chest and wingspan than females.

Males’ black, brown, and grey coloring is shinier than females’.

The Chipping Sparrow visits the bird feeders for food during the summer.

Tiny insects and their eggs, beetles, seeds from young trees, and berries from various plants are among their favorite foods.

Below are the characteristics of the Chipping Sparrow,

Scientific Name Spizella passerina
Family Name Passerellidae
Length 12-15 cm
Weight 11-18 grams
Wingspan 20-23 cm
Habitat Open woodlands, forests, gardens, and parks across North America
Food Seeds, insects, spiders, and occasionally fruits and berries

3. Western Wood-Pewee

Western Wood-Pewee

The Western Wood-Pewee, also known as Contopus sordidulus, is a tiny tyrant flycatcher that belongs to the Tyrannidae family of birds.

The Western Wood-Pewee is a bird that is endemic to western North America.

They have a sharp beak, black eyes, dark heads, and a crown over their heads.

The colors of the male and female plumage, as well as their weight, vary somewhat.

An adult Western Wood-body Pewee’s length ranges from 5.5 to 6.3 inches, with a wingspan of about 10.2 inches (26 cm).

A grown-up bird can weigh between 0.4 and 0.5 ounces.

The Western Wood-Pewee tends to swoop down on its prey and hawk it away.

 They hover in the branches for prey, then attack and eat it generally in mid-flight.

Tiny seeds, grains, nuts, cherries, and fruits of various plants are also eaten by them.

Below are the characteristics of the Western Wood-Pewee,

Scientific Name Contopus sordidulus
Family Name Tyrannidae
Length 6-7 inches (15-18 cm)
Weight 0.4-0.6 ounces (11-17 grams)
Wingspan 10-11 inches (25-28 cm)
Habitat Woodlands, forests, and open areas in western North America
Food Primarily insects, including flies, bees, wasps, beetles, and ants

4. Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

The Gray Catbird is small to medium-sized bird of the mimid family.

Their population migrates to various states throughout the winter, which is why they are less visible during that time.

The typical adult is just 8 inches long, with a wingspan of 11 inches.

The weight of an adult bird ranges from 30 to 50 grams.

Lead-gray feathers cover the whole body. Male and female Gray Catbirds seem virtually identical, making it difficult to tell them apart.

Small insects and beetles are eaten by the Gray Catbird.

They eat the nuts and berries of a range of small plants, as well.

They also consume the grains and seeds of several tiny shrubs and grasses.

Below are the characteristics of the Gray Catbird,

Scientific Name Dumetella carolinensis
Family Name Mimidae
Length 8-9 inches (20-23 cm)
Weight 0.8-1.4 ounces (23-40 grams)
Wingspan 9-12 inches (23-30 cm)
Habitat Woodlands, thickets, shrubbery, gardens, and parks in North America
Food Primarily insects, berries, fruits, and occasionally seeds

5. Red-winged Blackbird

Red-Winged Blackbird

The red-winged blackbird’s all-black plumage, but the bright yellow and red shoulder patches, make them easy to see in the winter season, they tend to fly in very large-scaled flock that reaches even up to millions.

To lure as many of these birds as possible, spread mixed and various seeds on the land.

They’ll also devour massive platform feeders or tube feeders.

The red-winged blackbird’s all-black plumage, but for the bright yellow and red shoulder patches, making them easy to see.

Worms, tiny insects such as crawlers, and ant larvae are favorites of the Red-winged Blackbird.

They also consume many trees and shrubs’ seeds, broken nuts, and berries.

Below are the characteristics of the Red-winged Blackbird,

Scientific Name Agelaius phoeniceus
Family Name Icteridae
Length 7-9 inches (18-23 cm)
Weight 1.4-2.7 ounces (40-77 grams)
Wingspan 13-15 inches (33-38 cm)
Habitat Wetlands, marshes, meadows, and open areas across North America
Food Primarily insects, seeds, grains, and occasionally small vertebrates

6. Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

Northern Flickers are large woodpeckers about the same size as a robin or crow.

They also possess brown coloration, blackish patches on their skin, crescents, lines, and red on the neck region.

The wings and tails of eastern birds are brilliant yellows, whereas those of western species are red.

They can be seen searching for insects and bugs in woodlands and forest borders on the ground.

Northern Flickers also like black oil, sunflower seeds, and suet.

The Northern Flicker is a woodpecker species whose homeland is believed to be Northern America.

Fields, woodlands, and lawns with trees are among their preferred habitats.

The Northern Flicker feeds on insects found on the ground, such as ants and beetles.

Below are the characteristics of the Northern Flicker,

Scientific Name Colaptes auratus
Family Name Picidae
Length 11-14 inches (28-36 cm)
Weight 3.9-5.6 ounces (110-160 grams)
Wingspan 16-20 inches (41-51 cm)
Habitat Woodlands, forests, open areas, and suburban landscapes across North America
Food Primarily insects, especially ants and beetles, as well as fruits, berries, and seeds

7. Steller’s Jay

Steller's Jay

The beautiful Steller’s Jay has an evony-colored head with black coloring that extends farther down, almost like a hood.

The rest of the body has a brilliant blue hue, which stands out even more because the belly isn’t white like many other Jays’.

The Steller’s Jay has a distinctive crest on the top of its head that is standing straight up, with small white lines penciled in above each eye.

Their beaks are likewise long and somewhat curled.

This is a huge bird with a length of 11.8–13.4 inches and a wingspan of 17.3 inches.

Steller’s Jays can be found in evergreen forests, parks, and backyards.

Black Oil Sunflower, Peanuts, Suet, Peanut Butter & White Proso Millet Cornmeal, Black Oil Sunflower are liked by these birds.

Below are the characteristics of the Steller’s Jay,

Scientific Name Cyanocitta stelleri
Family Name Corvidae
Length 11-12 inches (28-30 cm)
Weight 3.5-4.9 ounces (100-140 grams)
Wingspan 16-18 inches (40-46 cm)
Habitat Coniferous forests, mixed woodlands, and mountainous regions in western North America
Food Omnivorous diet including insects, seeds, nuts, berries, small vertebrates, and eggs

8. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves have elongated tails and plump bodies and are petite, beautiful birds.

The wings are bright brown with black patterns on them.

Mourning Doves can be seen throughout the year in the lower 48 states, but they also move toward the north.

They eat grains or from platform feeders.

They will eat black sunflower seed, cracked corn, and near peanut hearts.

They are amongst North America’s most frequent birds.

They are commonly seen in the United States and Canada and even span from Alaska to Mexico.

Mourning doves may be found in various environments, including farms, woods, mountains, and even beaches.

Seeds and grains and insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, and caterpillars are eaten by mourning doves.

Because they move south during the winter and then return north in the spring, they have a large range.

Below are the characteristics of the Mourning Dove,

Scientific Name Zenaida macroura
Family Name Columbidae
Length 9-13 inches (23-33 cm)
Weight 4-6 ounces (113-170 grams)
Wingspan 17-18 inches (43-46 cm)
Habitat Open fields, grasslands, wood edges, and urban areas across North America
Food Mostly seeds and grains, as well as some fruits, flowers, and insects

9. Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlarks are small black avians with a unique blackish V-Shaped band along with their yellowish breast that lightens in color and turns grey in the winter season. 

Before moving towards the south, they used to mate in the north of the United States and Canada.

Those birds which live in the west and the middle of the country tend to stay all across the whole year in grasslands and meadows.

Western Meadowlarks can be seen hunting bugs and seeds, either alone or in small groups.

Western Meadowlarks are tiny to medium-sized birds that prefer to eat on the ground and reside in open areas.

The Western Meadowlark may be found east of the Rocky Mountains in much of North America.

It breeds from Alaska to Labrador, south through Mexico and Arizona, and all the way down to Florida along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

Any open environment with little flora, such as meadows or agricultural areas, is suitable for this bird.

They are not migratory.

However, they may migrate to warmer climates for feeding, breeding, and wintering.

Below are the characteristics of the Western Meadowlark,

Scientific Name Sturnella neglecta
Family Name Icteridae
Length 9.5-11 inches (24-28 cm)
Weight 4-6 ounces (113-170 grams)
Wingspan 16-18 inches (41-46 cm)
Habitat Grasslands, meadows, prairies, and agricultural fields in western North America
Food Primarily insects, seeds, and small invertebrates

10. Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

The Brown-headed Cowbird, commonly known as the Molothrus ater, is a North American medium-sized bird.

The Brown-headed Cowbird is a transitory bird that migrates from one location to another based on food, weather, and climate conditions.

The Brown-headed Cowbird’s plumage is entirely black, except for the head and neck, which are brown instead of black.

This bird’s black plumage is bluish-black in hue instead of perfect black.

Males have shinier and more colorful plumage than females.

The female has brown and black plumage.

Females are smaller than males, with a smaller wingspan and weight.

Females are easily identifiable within the flock because their coloration differs from males’.

To attract females for mating, the bird sings a high-pitched song.

They are migratory birds, meaning they migrate from one location to another.

Bugs, caterpillars, plant seeds, berries, and cherries are all eaten by the birds.

Below are the characteristics of the Brown-headed Cowbird,

Scientific Name Molothrus ater
Family Name Icteridae
Length 7.5-8.75 inches (19-22 cm)
Weight 1.4-2.1 ounces (40-60 grams)
Wingspan 13-15 inches (33-38 cm)
Habitat Various habitats including open woodlands, grasslands, and agricultural areas across North America
Food Primarily seeds, grains, and insects, as well as occasionally fruits and berries

11. Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskins are little birds with brown and yellow stripes on their wings and tails.

They inherit a forked tail and pointed wings and a small pointed beak.

Pine Siskins reproduce in Canada and can overwinter in much of the United States.

However, they may not migrate in some years due to low pine cone yields.

On the other hand, some birds spend an entire year in the pine woods of the West.

As their name indicates, Pine Siskins consume seeds from coniferous trees, but they also eat young buds and pollen from grasses and weeds.

Those feeders with suet, nyjer, and black sunflower seeds lure many of these birds.

The Pine Siskin is a Spines family bird native to North America.

It’s a migratory bird with a discontinuous winter range and no forever home in the United States.

It migrates from the Northern Pacific towards the Southern Atlantic as part of its life cycle.

It has a long flying range and can travel thousands of miles from its birthplace.

Their diet comprises a variety of plants, including cedar oak hemlock, juniper pines, and ash.

Below are the characteristics of the Pine Siskin,

Scientific Name Spinus pinus
Family Name Fringillidae
Length 4.7-5.9 inches (12-15 cm)
Weight 0.4-0.6 ounces (11-18 grams)
Wingspan 7.9-9.8 inches (20-25 cm)
Habitat Coniferous forests, mixed woodlands, and mountainous regions across North America
Food Primarily seeds, especially from conifer trees, as well as buds, berries, and insects

12. Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwings have breasts and heads of brown color and a crest that fades to grey on the back, wings, and tail.

Their tail tip is a brilliant yellow color, while their belly is a pastel yellow color.

Their eyes are veiled under a black mask, and their wingtips are a fiery red.

They live in the north for the full year and in the south for the winter.

They breed in Montana and spend the winters in California.

Some of them become used to life in the Clark Fork Valley.

This cedar waxwing is around 7 inches long and 1.1 ounces in weight.

It bears a bright tip on its tail.

The feathers have a silky texture and a golden belly.

The wings are a bluish-black combination of colors.

Dark streaking patterns may be seen on the juvenile birds.

Shrubs and trees that are bearing tiny fruit or berries attract Cedar Waxwing.

Fruit is another option for platform feeders.

Montana is home to a large number of cedar waxwings.

Below are the characteristics of the Cedar Waxwing,

Scientific Name Bombycilla cedrorum
Family Name Bombycillidae
Length 6.5-7 inches (16-18 cm)
Weight 1.1-1.6 ounces (30-45 grams)
Wingspan 9.8-11.8 inches (25-30 cm)
Habitat Woodlands, orchards, and open areas across North America
Food Primarily fruits, berries, and insects

13. Mountain Chickadee

Mountain Chickadee

Mountain Chickadees may be found in abundance in Montana’s mountains, making them an excellent choice for any wildlife-watching excursion.

They are superb climbers and prefer hanging from trees, so if you go on a bird-watching tour in the woods, they will be the birds that catch your eye.

If you visit a national park or a wildlife refuge, the Mountain Chickadee population in Montana will be bigger.

Mountain Chickadees have spread throughout North America and their prominence in Montana.

They’re excellent swimmers, and you’ll find many of them along river banks and creeks if you’re searching for a wonderful spot for an afternoon picnic.

Their natural habitat consists primarily of forested slopes where they may hide among brush droppings.

Below are the characteristics of the Mountain Chickadee,

Scientific Name Poecile gambeli
Family Name Paridae
Length 4.7-5.9 inches (12-15 cm)
Weight 0.3-0.4 ounces (8-12 grams)
Wingspan 7.9-9.1 inches (20-23 cm)
Habitat Coniferous forests and mountainous regions in western North America
Food Primarily insects, seeds, berries, and small invertebrates

14. Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers have a gray body, yellowish flashes on the face, flanks, rump, and white wings.

Females possess a relatively browner shade of skin as compared to the males, and during winter, birds are lighter brown with bright yellow tails and sides, which turn bright yellow and gray in spring.

Soon after mating, basically, in Canada, they tend to move towards southern and central northern America, the Pacific coast, as well as Mexico Sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter, all are considered really helpful to attract the Yellow-rumped Warblers to your yard

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is a creature that is mostly migrating.

This bird basically lives in the east of North America.

The range of Yellow-rumped Warblers includes Eastern United States, Southern Canada, and the Western United States.

Because they are hunting for nesting locations or food supplies, they reside in deciduous woods with numerous dead trees.

The warblers eat tiny insects, including ants, spiders, caterpillars, beetles, and fruits like wild cherries, mulberries, and sumac berries.

During the winter, these birds travel to the United States before returning to their summer homes in South America, Central America, and Canada.

Below are the characteristics of the Yellow-rumped Warbler,

Scientific Name Setophaga coronata
Family Name Parulidae
Length 5.5-6.3 inches (14-16 cm)
Weight 0.4-0.6 ounces (11-17 grams)
Wingspan 9.8-10.6 inches (25-27 cm)
Habitat Various habitats including coniferous forests, mixed woodlands, and coastal areas across North America
Food Primarily insects, berries, fruits, and occasionally seeds

15. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are small birds that feed on bird feeders in backyards.

Chickadees and nuthatches, among other species, are frequently mistaken for them.

They had a crimson marks on the back of their heads and seemed to be black and white.

They show a close resemblance to the Hairy Woodpecker.

However, they are smaller.

In North America, Downy Woodpeckers are a common bird.

They may be found all throughout the continent, from Mexico to Canada.

They may be found in both urban and rural settings, although they prefer mixed woodlands with plenty of dead trees to drill into.

They are both omnivores and insectivores, feeding on insects, berries, nuts, and seeds.

Downy Woodpeckers move back and forth between continents in search of food during the migratory season, with birds migrating south in the winter and north in the summer.

Bugs, beetles, caterpillars, cherries, nuts, and grains are eaten by downy woodpeckers, which can be found in woodlots along waterways, city parks, and backyards.

Suet feeders are an excellent way to increase the number of Downy Woodpeckers in your backyard.

Below are the characteristics of the Downy Woodpecker,

Scientific Name Dryobates pubescens
Family Name Picidae
Length 5.5-6.5 inches (14-16.5 cm)
Weight 0.7-1.0 ounces (20-28 grams)
Wingspan 9.8-11.8 inches (25-30 cm)
Habitat Woodlands, forests, and suburban areas across North America
Food Primarily insects, especially beetles and ants, as well as seeds and berries

16. House Wren

House Wren

House Wrens are little brown birds that have darkly patterned wings and tails and lighter necks.

Before traveling to the extreme south and Mexico for the winter, they reproduce in the majority of states.

House Wrens may be seen in backyards, parks, and open forests, hunting for spiders and insects such as bugs, moths, and earwigs among brush piles.

They may often be spotted jumping over tangles and low branches, their tails lifted, pausing to sing their cheerful song.

They frequently assault larger birds in order to get access to the finest nesting sites, pulling eggs or nestlings away from the desired nest location.

You may attract more birds to your yard by leaving brush piles or building a nest box. 

Below are the characteristics of the House Wren,

Scientific Name Troglodytes aedon
Family Name Troglodytidae
Length 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm)
Weight 0.3-0.4 ounces (8-12 grams)
Wingspan 6.7-7.5 inches (17-19 cm)
Habitat Woodlands, forests, gardens, and residential areas across North America
Food Primarily insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates

17. White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

For a brief period of time, several birds can be found in Montana.

These are migratory birds.

Therefore look for habitats in Montana at specified times of the year.

Normally, these Montana birds reside in Canada, but they travel to Montana in the spring and fall.

White-throated sparrows are similar to white crown sparrows in appearance.

The head of this sparrow is striped black and white.

White-throated sparrows have a white neck area, thus the name.

Between its eyes and beak, it has yellowish feathers with a darker bill. 

They’re usually seated on a low plant, singing in wide, shrubby, and moist surroundings.

At backyard feeders, they’re regularly sighted.

The insects and plants that Singing Sparrows consume include beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms.

They’ll eat buckwheat, sunflowers, raspberry, natural cherry, blackberries, wheat, and rice, among many other things.

More song sparrows will come to your backyard feeders if you put black oil seeds, crushed corn, and Nyjer on platform feeders.

Below are the characteristics of the White-throated Sparrow,

Scientific Name Zonotrichia albicollis
Family Name Passerellidae
Length 6.3-7.5 inches (16-19 cm)
Weight 0.8-1.1 ounces (22-30 grams)
Wingspan 7.9-9.1 inches (20-23 cm)
Habitat Woodlands, shrubby areas, and forest edges across North America
Food Primarily seeds, insects, and small fruits

18. Common Starling

European Starling

The European Starling (Common Starling) is a bird that may be found in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

They stretch all the way across southern Canada to Argentina and South America.

These birds’ habitat ranges from temperate to tropical climes and marshes, woodlands, and gardens.

These birds consume insects, but they also eat small vertebrates like frogs, snakes, rodents, and food like berries and figs, seeds, and plants like ferns, grasses, and mosses, and invertebrates like earthworms.

In terms of migration, they tend to go southward for the winter, while some may stay in warmer locations all year.

Below are the characteristics of the Common Starling,

Scientific Name Sturnus vulgaris
Family Name Sturnidae
Length 7.5-9 inches (19-23 cm)
Weight 2.8-3.6 ounces (80-103 grams)
Wingspan 12-15 inches (30-38 cm)
Habitat Various habitats including urban areas, agricultural fields, and open woodlands
Food Omnivorous diet including insects, fruits, seeds, and human-provided food

19. Eurasian-collared Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove

The most extensively dispersed bird on the earth is the Eurasian Collared-Dove.

It may be found across Asia and Europe but is also found in North America.

They may be found in a variety of settings, although they favor deserts, open fields, parks, and gardens since they have minimal vegetation or large trees.

It may be found in Montana at a variety of locations, including all along the western flank of the Continental Divide, on the Plains, along the Rocky Mountains, and even in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Seeds, fruit, and insects that they locate just on land below them are eaten by Eurasian Collared Doves.

They prefer eating nuts, grains, berries, tiny fruits, suet, and black sunflower seeds.

Below are the characteristics of the Eurasian-collared Dove,

Scientific Name Streptopelia decaocto
Family Name Columbidae
Length 12-14 inches (30-35 cm)
Weight 5.3-8.8 ounces (150-250 grams)
Wingspan 18-22 inches (46-56 cm)
Habitat Urban areas, agricultural lands, and open woodlands across Eurasia and introduced to other parts of the world
Food Mostly seeds, grains, fruits, and occasionally insects

20. American Crow

American Crow

The American Crow is the most common and numerous among all Northern American crows.

Spanning southern Canada to Central America, they have a range that stretches nearly the whole length of the continent.

Suburban parks, rural farming, deserts, and rainforests are among their natural habitats.

Their food is omnivorous, although they favor big insects like grasshoppers, beetles, & cricket; eggs; smaller animals such mouse or hares; carrion (dead animals); urban trash; and occasional fruit.

During the winter, this species migrates southward to Mexico or Central America before heading north in the spring.

These birds may be found all around the state.

Below are the characteristics of the American Crow,

Scientific Name Corvus brachyrhynchos
Family Name Corvidae
Length 16-21 inches (41-53 cm)
Weight 11-21 ounces (316-595 grams)
Wingspan 33-39 inches (84-99 cm)
Habitat Diverse habitats including forests, fields, urban areas, and coastlines across North America
Food Omnivorous diet including insects, fruits, seeds, small animals, carrion, and human-provided food


In conclusion, Montana is a haven for bird enthusiasts, offering a remarkable array of feathered wonders to discover.

From the iconic Steller’s Jay and Downy Woodpecker to the charming Mountain Bluebirds and Western Meadowlarks, the state’s diverse habitats provide a home for an incredible variety of bird species.

Whether you’re an avid birder or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, exploring Montana’s avian inhabitants is an experience not to be missed.

So next time you find yourself in the Big Sky Country, take the time to observe and appreciate these remarkable creatures in their natural habitats.

Remember to bring your binoculars, a field guide, and an open mind as you embark on your own birding adventure, and who knows, you might just witness something truly extraordinary.

Happy birdwatching!


When is the best time to go birdwatching in Montana?

The best time for birdwatching in Montana is during the spring and summer months when migratory birds are passing through or nesting in the state. However, different species have different migration patterns, so it’s worth researching specific birds you want to see to plan your trip accordingly.

Where are the best places for birdwatching in Montana?

Montana offers numerous excellent birdwatching spots. Some popular locations include National Wildlife Refuges such as the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge, and Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge. State parks like Makoshika State Park and Glacier National Park are also known for their bird diversity.

What equipment do I need for birdwatching in Montana?

Essential equipment includes a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the birds, a field guide or birding app to help with identification, comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear for outdoor exploration, and optionally, a camera to capture memorable moments.

Are there any endangered bird species in Montana?

Yes, Montana is home to some endangered bird species, including the Whooping Crane and the Greater Sage-Grouse. Conservation efforts are in place to protect these species and their habitats.

Can I participate in bird citizen science projects in Montana?

Yes, there are several bird citizen science projects in Montana, such as the Montana Bird Distribution Project and eBird. These projects allow birdwatchers to contribute their observations, helping scientists gather valuable data on bird populations and distribution.

Last Updated on July 13, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

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