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Updated on Sunday, March 8 at 01:33 AM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


Black Oropendola,©BirdQuest

07 Mar Bear Canyon today ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
7 Mar Re: Migration Ft. Peck ["gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
7 Mar Re: Freezout Sat AM ["gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
07 Mar Re: Freezout Sat AM ["Carlene Farmer birddog AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
07 Mar Freezout Sat AM ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
6 Mar Migration Ft. Peck ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
06 Mar Forgot California Guls ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
06 Mar Freezout P.M. ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
06 Mar Freezout Fri AM ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
05 Mar Poll results for MOB-Montana []
5 Mar Re: Hawk Identification ["'Stierle, Andrea' andrea.stierle AT mso.umt.edu [MOB-Montana]" ]
5 Mar Re: Hawk Identification ["Hilary Turner birder0288 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
5 Mar Re: Hawk Identification ["'Stierle, Andrea' andrea.stierle AT mso.umt.edu [MOB-Montana]" ]
05 Mar Re: Hawk Identification ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
05 Mar Re: Hawk Identification ["jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
5 Mar Re: Hawk Identification ["Karen Lund catbirder813 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
5 Mar Re: Hawk Identification ["'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
5 Mar Hawk Identification ["'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
5 Mar Re: Battle Ridge Saw-whet Owls, Rosy-Finches ["Ashley Jensen smashley_138 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
4 Mar summer job opportunity ["Maureen OMara mo1_omara AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
04 Mar Battle Ridge Saw-whet Owls, Rosy-Finches ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
3 Mar Re: Swans giant springs ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
03 Mar Swans giant springs ["jcb3825 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
03 Mar Boreal owl nest box ["oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
02 Mar Re: Re: McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
02 Mar Sign of Spring in Whitefish ["bj AT theworldteam.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
02 Mar Clyde Park observations ["steel_rsd AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
2 Mar Re: Re: McKay's Bunting ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
2 Mar Billings observations ["'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
2 Mar Re: McKay's Bunting ["'Stierle, Andrea' andrea.stierle AT mso.umt.edu [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar Re: McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar Re: McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar New poll for MOB-Montana []
01 Mar February Photos ["jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar New Helena Yardbird - Pine Grosbeaks ["birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar Re: McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Feb Re: Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck ["gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Feb Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Feb Rosy-finch ["Kitty Knaphus kmknaphus AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Feb Eurasian Wigeon in Somers, Red-necked Grebe at Yellow Bay, Polson East Bay ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
27 Feb Ross' Goose & Sandhill Crane ["Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
27 Feb Re: MOB Year List vs. eBird ["shirlmt9 AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Feb Eurasian Wigeons at Nine Pipe NWR ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Feb MOB Year List vs. eBird ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
25 Feb Hybrid goose--Ft. Peck ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
24 Feb snow geese ["parkview AT cyberport.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
24 Feb Mountain Bluebird ["conundrumjp AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Crossbills at Highland ["Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Re: Canyon Ferry Lake ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch [1 Attachment] ["steel_rsd AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb 2 male Meadowlarks singing at National Bison Range near Moise ["'A Montana View' merle AT amontanaview.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Bluebird! ["beckfarm AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Re: tundra swans & redheads ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Canyon Ferry Lake ["Carlene Farmer birddog AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
22 Feb Ring-bill Gull -West Bank Park ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
22 Feb My GBBC highlights ["Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
22 Feb Western Bluebirds in Eureka ["llyoung AT interbel.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb Great Falls birding ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb tundra swans & redheads ["oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb Lewis & Clark Caverns and beyond ["Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb Warm Springs WMA ["birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb Tundra swans & redheads ["oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
19 Feb Re: Even More Gulls ["birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
19 Feb Even More Gulls ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
19 Feb Freezout A.M. ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Feb Re: Spring migration. ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
17 Feb Re: Spring migration. ["jcs1255 jcs1255 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
17 Feb Spring migration. ["deafduck52 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
17 Feb Freezout Tuesday AM. ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
16 Feb Freezout A.M. ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
16 Feb Confusing times ["'Steve Sherman' wstevesherman AT q.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
15 Feb California Gulls ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
15 Feb Ferruginous Hawk, Santa Rita, Montana, Feb 15 2015 ["kathleenatkins AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
15 Feb Freezout Sunday AM ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
15 Feb Open Invitation to MOB'rs - Browns Canyon, Buenos Aires NWR ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]

Subject: Bear Canyon today
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 07 Mar 2015 22:02:21 -0800
MOB-sters:
 

 I took a small trip to the "desert" today, visiting Bear Canyon on the south 
side of the Pryor Mountains. Horned Larks were the only species I saw in the 
flats approaching the mouth of the canyon, but I did get a couple of personal 
FOY birds in the lower canyon (I walked the first mile in), including Canyon 
Wren and Pinyon Jays. Here is my eBird checklist: 

 

 Bear Canyon, Carbon, US-MT
Mar 7, 2015 12:55 PM - 2:11 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
Comments: 55F, sunny, light breeze. Parked before rockiest lower part of road, 
and hiked in a mile from there. Submitted from BirdLog NA for Android v1.9.6Bear 
Canyon (lower) 

7 species

Golden Eagle  1
Northern Harrier 1 A few of the Pinyon Jays escorted this bird across the 
canyon. 

Pinyon Jay 27 Pinyon 
Jay 

Clark's Nutcracker  2
Common Raven  1
Mountain Chickadee 3 Mountain 
Chickadee 

Canyon Wren  1

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ 
checklist?subID=S22216531 http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22216531 


This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org 
http://ebird.org/) 


 

 Dan Casey
 Billings
 

 

Subject: Re: Migration Ft. Peck
From: "gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 19:52:51 -0500 (EST)
I also found my first gulls of the year today at WS WMA. There were 4 
Ring-billed and 7 California. 



Gary Swant 
Deer Lodge 

----- Original Message -----

From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" 
 

To: "MOB"  
Sent: Friday, March 6, 2015 10:00:30 PM 
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Migration Ft. Peck 








Mobsters 

It has finally started here. Aside from the tens of thousands of Canada Geese 
that have been here during the past two months we are just now starting to see 
some other migrants. This morning I found 3 California Gulls on the river, and 
this afternoon there were 7. I expect to see more gulls soon and the gull watch 
starts. I’m hoping for some good ones. 


In addition to the gulls there were several Lesser Scaup that joined the small 
group of Redheads that wintered here and as I was counting Northern Pintails a 
new flock of around 40 birds flew in. 


Chuck Carlson 
Ft. Peck 

 
Subject: Re: Freezout Sat AM
From: "gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 19:49:29 -0500 (EST)
Today at WS WMA there were about 500 Tundra Swans and 5000 pintails. I counted 
16 species of waterfowl. The Bald Eagles that lost there nest last year to a 
wind storm have rebuilt in a tree about 300 yards to the east. 



Gary Swant 
Deer Lodge 
----- Original Message -----

From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" 
 

To: "MOB"  
Cc: "Brent Miller" , "Mark Schlepp" 
 

Sent: Saturday, March 7, 2015 2:14:08 PM 
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Freezout Sat AM 





MOBsters, 
If you read Chuck Carlson's post and looking at Freezout this morning 
you can imagine there must have been masses of migrating birds over 
Montana last night. 
At Freezout the "count" of white geese was up to 5,000, Tundra Swans 
were about 1,000 and Northern Pintails were flocks everywhere. 
Unfortunately, the lake was still frozen. The best views were of birds 
heading out to feed at sunrise or feeding up on Fairfield Bench. 
Is tomorrow a good day to look at the birds; you bet. 
Mike Schwitters 
Choteau MT 


 
Subject: Re: Freezout Sat AM
From: "Carlene Farmer birddog AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2015 14:46:01 -0700
same at Canyon Ferry Mike.  still lots of Canada geese although not as 
many as earlier.  also a fair number of tundra swans with some 
trumpeters, 4 of which flew right over my head yesterday.  but also 
"tons" of pintails today; it was awesome to see them and hear so many of 
them. but we do not get many snow geese and have not seen any yet. we do 
have some open water.

Carlene Farmer
Clancy, MT



On 3/7/2015 2:14 PM, Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana] 
wrote:
>
> MOBsters,
> If you read Chuck Carlson's post and looking at Freezout this morning
> you can imagine there must have been masses of migrating birds over
> Montana last night.
> At Freezout the "count" of white geese was up to 5,000, Tundra Swans
> were about 1,000 and Northern Pintails were flocks everywhere.
> Unfortunately, the lake was still frozen. The best views were of birds
> heading out to feed at sunrise or feeding up on Fairfield Bench.
> Is tomorrow a good day to look at the birds; you bet.
> Mike Schwitters
> Choteau MT
>
> 
Subject: Freezout Sat AM
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2015 14:14:08 -0700
MOBsters,
If you read Chuck Carlson's post and looking at Freezout this morning 
you can imagine there must have been masses of migrating birds over 
Montana last night.
At Freezout the "count" of white geese was up to 5,000, Tundra Swans 
were about 1,000 and Northern Pintails were flocks everywhere. 
Unfortunately, the lake was still frozen.  The best views were of birds 
heading out to feed at sunrise or feeding up on Fairfield Bench.
Is tomorrow a good day to look at the birds; you bet.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT




------------------------------------
Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Migration Ft. Peck
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 22:00:30 -0700
Mobsters

It has finally started here. Aside from the tens of thousands of Canada Geese 
that have been here during the past two months we are just now starting to see 
some other migrants. This morning I found 3 California Gulls on the river, and 
this afternoon there were 7. I expect to see more gulls soon and the gull watch 
starts. I’m hoping for some good ones. 


In addition to the gulls there were several Lesser Scaup that joined the small 
group of Redheads that wintered here and as I was counting Northern Pintails a 
new flock of around 40 birds flew in. 


Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck
Subject: Forgot California Guls
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 06 Mar 2015 18:50:41 -0800
Forgot to add 4 California Gulls on Priest Butte Lake. first for the year. 
Larry Carter 
Subject: Freezout P.M.
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 06 Mar 2015 18:43:42 -0800
MOB, checked out Freezout this afternoon. A large flock of White Geese moved in 
resting on Pond 5 with an estimated around 2,000 birds. Several Tundra Swans 
all over the lake, Mike's estimated is close as you will get. I estimated at 
least 2,000 Mallards and around 800 Pintail Ducks. One juvenile Golden Eagle 
flying over Priest Butte Lake. Southeast of lake saw one Rough-legged Hawk and 
one male Northern Harrier. All for now, good birding Larry Carter Fairfield 
Subject: Freezout Fri AM
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:42:37 -0700
MOBsters,
High clouds and mild temps.
The Lake is mostly all ice but birds are increasing.  The count of 
Canada Geese was 2,847 (about half were up on the Fairfield Bench). 
There were 811 Tundra Swans; 40 were also up on the Bench.  When I see 
swans in the stubble I figure they are in trouble--lack of food.  There 
were about 3,000 puddle ducks--about half N. Pintails. There were 300 
white geese Wednesday, only saw about 5 this morning.
I saw one large gull on the ice (California?).
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT




------------------------------------
Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Poll results for MOB-Montana
From: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com
Date: 05 Mar 2015 15:38:24 -0800
The following MOB-Montana poll is now closed. Here are the
final results




The February photo of the Month contest is now open. Voting will end on March 
5, 2015. 

Created by: mccownii




1. Canada Goose 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506162 
12.12%(4) 

2. Gray Partridge 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506152 
6.06%(2) 

3. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506163 
18.18%(6) 

4. Pine Grosbeak 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506164 
3.03%(1) 

5. Black Rosy-Finch 1 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506129 
39.39%(13) 

6. Black Rosy-Finch 2 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506130 
21.21%(7) 







For more information about this group, please visit
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana




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Subject: Re: Hawk Identification
From: "'Stierle, Andrea' andrea.stierle AT mso.umt.edu [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 21:23:06 +0000
I just realized that I have been looking at a gorgeous photo posted earlier by 
Chuck Carlson, not the photo posted by John Carlson. On the photo John posted 
the photographer came up as "McGownii". I was really wondering why everyone was 
leaning towards Cooper's on this photo. Now that I see the actual photo being 
discussed it is pretty why. Embarrassing, but still a good learning experience! 


Andrea Stierle,
Missoula and Butte
Subject: Re: Hawk Identification
From: "Hilary Turner birder0288 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 14:37:34 -0600
MOB and John,

Thanks so much for the clarification. It was me, Hilary A. Turner, a
student at UM who is currently studying abroad in Oaxaca, MX (birding down
here has been insane!). Sorry for not including my name with the comment on
your photo - I will be sure to do so in the future.

I thought the nape looked pale and also noticed a distinct darker cap and
flattened head on the bird in your photo. The tarsus looks thick to me and
the tail tip is very white. I am certainly no expert in this matter, but
really enjoyed reading through everyone's comments regarding the hawk.

The identification between Sharp-shinned and Cooper's is always so
difficult for me in the field, but with your sharp, clear image of this
bird, I thought it might be a Coop.

Thanks again for your help!

Hilary A. Turner
Missoula, MT (currently Oaxaca, MX)

On Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 10:10 AM, 'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com
[MOB-Montana]  wrote:

>
>
> A couple of days ago I posted a photo of an accipter that I found perched
> on a sign behind my office.  I made a quick and lazy ID based on my
> impression of the size of the bird, my known tendancy to often ID
> Sharp-shinned Hawks as Coopers Hawks, and a history of having a hard time
> distinguishing between the two. I didn't go back and critically look at the
> photos. Then I noticed a comment on the photo - "Would you be kind enough
> to provide some useful hints on the identficiation of this bird? It is
> always so difficult for me to distinguish between the two and I think I may
> have gone with Cooper's based on the photo alone. Thanks so much for your
> help" from birder0288.
>
> Busted. Not only was I being asked to justify my ID by providing field
> marks, but I was also being asked about my conclusion that this was a
> Sharp-shinned Hawk (in a very polite way I might add). Good for you
> birder0288! Thanks for keeping me on my toes. As I noted above, I also have
> a hard time distinguishing between these two species so I did what I have
> done for many years - I asked my Dad for help.
>
> He originally thought that it might be a Sharp-shinned as well, but after
> I sent a couple of other photos with slightly different angles he changed
> his mind and thought that it was a Cooper's. Here is what he suggested to
> me - The outer tail feathers are shorter than the inner ones and the
> Sharp-shinned should have tail feathers of roughly the same length and the
> dark sub-terminal band on the tail is wider than the others. A
> Sharp-shinned tail bands are roughly the same width.
>
> So, I am going to edit the label on the photo to reflect this new
> identification of this bird, but I would also appreciate any other thoughts
> on the ID of this bird.  I will also post another couple of photos of the
> bird when I get home this evening.
>
> Thanks again to birder0288 whoever you are.
>
> John Carlson
> Billings, MT
> jccarlson AT surfbirder.com
> www.prairieice.blogspot.com
> http://www.pbase.com/mccownii
>
>  
>
Subject: Re: Hawk Identification
From: "'Stierle, Andrea' andrea.stierle AT mso.umt.edu [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 19:52:17 +0000
John,

Thank you for posting the beautiful photo of the hawk. I hope you can post a 
few more photos - this is a great shot but a few more angles are always 
helpful. 


There is a good website from Cornell labs that helps compare and contrast these 
two accipiters. One of the key differences they emphasize is the general body 
shape of these two birds - the Sharpie has broader shoulders and narrow hips 
and a higher center of gravity, while the Cooper's has a more tubular shape 
(shoulders and hips are roughly the same) and a lower center of gravity. A hawk 
expert once told me that HIS key diagnostic is the color of the auriculars 
(feathers behind and below the eyes). Those of the Sharpie are generally more 
rust colored than those of the Cooper's. 


This is the Cornell website comparing the two birds:


http://feederwatch.org/learn/tricky-bird-ids/coopers-hawk-and-sharp-shinned-hawk/ 


Just looking at the picture, your bird looks like it has the rounded head, 
rusty auriculars and the broad shoulders and narrow hips. More typical of a 
Sharpie. 


Take care,

Andrea Stierle
Missoula and Butte
Subject: Re: Hawk Identification
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 05 Mar 2015 08:52:05 -0800
John et al: 

 I agree with the "blocky head and thick tarsi" assessment. I would typically 
expect a wider white tail tip for a Cooper's, but wear could certainly have 
diminished that. The "eye-forward" look of a Cooper's gives it a fiercer 
countenance than the more central placement of the eye on a Sharp-shinned, 
which has a more "wide-eyed" look. That may seem subjective, but it seems to be 
pretty consistent. I certainly would call this a Cooper's. Nice shot. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Billings
Subject: Re: Hawk Identification
From: "jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 05 Mar 2015 08:31:48 -0800
I just figured out that birder0288 is Hilary Turner, so thank you Hilary for 
asking about my ID. John. 
Subject: Re: Hawk Identification
From: "Karen Lund catbirder813 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 10:26:24 -0600
Thick tarsi and "blockhead" appearance also seem to lean toward cooper's
hawk.

Karen Lund
Genoa, IL

On Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 10:21 AM, 'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana] <
MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com> wrote:

>
>
> 
> Hey John,
>
> What do the other photos show in terms of the contrast between the crown
> and nape/mantle of the bird?
>
> I must admit to thinking it looked like a Cooper's (if so, surely a male)
> on the basis of the dark cap and seemingly lighter nape, although not
> much of the nape was visible on the photo posted.
>
> JM
>
> *******************
> Jeff Marks
> 4241 SE Liebe Street
> Portland, OR 97206
> 503-774-4783
> Birds of Montana Project
> http://mtaudubon.org/
> *******************
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* 'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]
> 
> *To:* MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com
> *Sent:* Thursday, March 05, 2015 8:10 AM
> *Subject:* [MOB-Montana] Hawk Identification
>
>
>
>  A couple of days ago I posted a photo of an accipter that I found
> perched on a sign behind my office.  I made a quick and lazy ID based on my
> impression of the size of the bird, my known tendancy to often ID
> Sharp-shinned Hawks as Coopers Hawks, and a history of having a hard time
> distinguishing between the two. I didn't go back and critically look at the
> photos. Then I noticed a comment on the photo - "Would you be kind enough
> to provide some useful hints on the identficiation of this bird? It is
> always so difficult for me to distinguish between the two and I think I may
> have gone with Cooper's based on the photo alone. Thanks so much for your
> help" from birder0288.
>
> Busted. Not only was I being asked to justify my ID by providing field
> marks, but I was also being asked about my conclusion that this was a
> Sharp-shinned Hawk (in a very polite way I might add). Good for you
> birder0288! Thanks for keeping me on my toes. As I noted above, I also have
> a hard time distinguishing between these two species so I did what I have
> done for many years - I asked my Dad for help.
>
> He originally thought that it might be a Sharp-shinned as well, but after
> I sent a couple of other photos with slightly different angles he changed
> his mind and thought that it was a Cooper's. Here is what he suggested to
> me - The outer tail feathers are shorter than the inner ones and the
> Sharp-shinned should have tail feathers of roughly the same length and the
> dark sub-terminal band on the tail is wider than the others. A
> Sharp-shinned tail bands are roughly the same width.
>
> So, I am going to edit the label on the photo to reflect this new
> identification of this bird, but I would also appreciate any other thoughts
> on the ID of this bird.  I will also post another couple of photos of the
> bird when I get home this evening.
>
> Thanks again to birder0288 whoever you are.
>
> John Carlson
> Billings, MT
> jccarlson AT surfbirder.com
> www.prairieice.blogspot.com
> http://www.pbase.com/mccownii
>
>  
>
Subject: Re: Hawk Identification
From: "'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 08:21:19 -0800
Hey John,

What do the other photos show in terms of the contrast between the crown and 
nape/mantle of the bird? 


I must admit to thinking it looked like a Cooper's (if so, surely a male) on 
the basis of the dark cap and seemingly lighter nape, although not much of the 
nape was visible on the photo posted. 


JM

*******************
Jeff Marks
4241 SE Liebe Street
Portland, OR 97206
503-774-4783
Birds of Montana Project
http://mtaudubon.org/
*******************
  ----- Original Message ----- 
 From: 'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com 
[MOB-Montana] 

  To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2015 8:10 AM
  Subject: [MOB-Montana] Hawk Identification


    

 A couple of days ago I posted a photo of an accipter that I found perched on a 
sign behind my office. I made a quick and lazy ID based on my impression of the 
size of the bird, my known tendancy to often ID Sharp-shinned Hawks as Coopers 
Hawks, and a history of having a hard time distinguishing between the two. I 
didn't go back and critically look at the photos. Then I noticed a comment on 
the photo - "Would you be kind enough to provide some useful hints on the 
identficiation of this bird? It is always so difficult for me to distinguish 
between the two and I think I may have gone with Cooper's based on the photo 
alone. Thanks so much for your help" from birder0288. 


 Busted. Not only was I being asked to justify my ID by providing field marks, 
but I was also being asked about my conclusion that this was a Sharp-shinned 
Hawk (in a very polite way I might add). Good for you birder0288! Thanks for 
keeping me on my toes. As I noted above, I also have a hard time distinguishing 
between these two species so I did what I have done for many years - I asked my 
Dad for help. 


 He originally thought that it might be a Sharp-shinned as well, but after I 
sent a couple of other photos with slightly different angles he changed his 
mind and thought that it was a Cooper's. Here is what he suggested to me - The 
outer tail feathers are shorter than the inner ones and the Sharp-shinned 
should have tail feathers of roughly the same length and the dark sub-terminal 
band on the tail is wider than the others. A Sharp-shinned tail bands are 
roughly the same width. 


 So, I am going to edit the label on the photo to reflect this new 
identification of this bird, but I would also appreciate any other thoughts on 
the ID of this bird. I will also post another couple of photos of the bird when 
I get home this evening. 


  Thanks again to birder0288 whoever you are. 

  John Carlson
  Billings, MT
  jccarlson AT surfbirder.com
  www.prairieice.blogspot.com
  http://www.pbase.com/mccownii

  
Subject: Hawk Identification
From: "'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 08:10:48 -0800




Subject: Re: Battle Ridge Saw-whet Owls, Rosy-Finches
From: "Ashley Jensen smashley_138 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 10:42:13 +0000 (UTC)
WHAT?! 1000! That's awesome. When I was there there were about 350. It's really 
interesting that the group is continuing to grow. 


Ashley- Missoula
Subject: summer job opportunity
From: "Maureen OMara mo1_omara AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:54:58 +0000 (UTC)
Hello MOB,
This was posted to ECOLOG, Conservation Biology, and Texa A&M's wildlife job 
board, but I thought I would also pass the word on in case any Mobsters know of 
someone who would qualify and is looking for summer only work.  We are 
collaborating with several bird folks over in ND on the ornithological part of 
this research. 


I can also be contacted for questions, but all application materials need to go 
to Erin Espeland. 

Thank you!  Mo O'Mara, Sidney, MT
"Deepecology in the Bakken oilfield: bird biologist needed Summerfield work 
position ($11.87/hour): to measure birds, insects, soils, andplants. 
 Thisposition is for a project in western North Dakota that determines how 
speciesdiversity and soil productivity predict the presence of exotic and 
invasivespecies within the Bakken oilfield. The job will be to perform breeding 
season transect counts of birds and insect sweeps independently in the field 
until earlyJuly. In the later season, the worker will operate as part of a team 
collectingsoils and plant data. Startdate is May 18. End date is 
flexible.  Experiencerequired: visual and auditory bird identification, using 
GPS technology tolocate sites, experience with ecological sampling, and working 
independently. The qualified person will be experienced in, and comfortable 
with,independent decision making in the field. Off road driving experience 
ishelpful. Must be able to work pre-dawn hours. The person hired will be 
trainedfor additional field work that includes measuring plant frequency, 
collectingsoils, quantifying soil conditions, and performing insect 
sweeps. Non-fielddays will be in the lab sorting insect samples. Toapply, 
please send a resume and cover letter to 
erin.espeland AT ars.usda.govApplicationswill be accepted until 3/12/15" 
Subject: Battle Ridge Saw-whet Owls, Rosy-Finches
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 04 Mar 2015 07:24:52 -0800
MOB-sters:
 

 Last night two out-of-state birders joined me for an owling effort in the 
Battle Ridge Campground area north of Bozeman. It was -4F, calm and beautifully 
moon-lit. We tried playback for Boreal and Great Gray Owls with no success, but 
had two different pairs of countersinging Northern Saw-whet Owls. One pair was 
at the campground, and the other was about a half-mile southwest of the summit 
heading back toward Bridger Bowl. 

 

 This morning we briefly visited the feeder north of Bozeman that has hosted 
many Rosy-Finches this winter, and were rewarded by an estimated 1000 birds, 
with about 10% being "Hepburn's". We saw just one Black in the group. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Billings 
Subject: Re: Swans giant springs
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 23:16:44 -0700
I had 8Tundra Swans fly in for about a minute Saturday afternoon behind the
refinery.  They landed, looked around and took off to the south. Talk about
timing.
Beth Hill
Great Falls

On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, jcb3825 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana] <
MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com> wrote:

>
>
> Six. Swans below Giant Springs
>
> John Beer3/3/15
>
>  
>
Subject: Swans giant springs
From: "jcb3825 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 03 Mar 2015 20:00:59 -0800
Six. Swans below Giant Springs
 John Beer3/3/15
Subject: Boreal owl nest box
From: "oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 03 Mar 2015 19:29:55 -0800
Apparently flying squirrels like them too-a lifer for me!  
 

 It came out of the box and climbed after we tapped on the tree and then took 
off gliding from about 50 ft up. 

 

 No luck on the owl.
 

 Jim Oates
 Polson
Subject: Re: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 02 Mar 2015 21:26:37 -0800
This has become an amazing conversation. In researching for more information, I 
can see that experts have been having this conversation for quite some time. 
Thanks to each of you for your technical information and insights. I wish I had 
a photo of the tail and wing with more spread. However, I'm going to add a 
couple more (5) photos that might show a slightly different angle. I'm not sure 
if these will shed any more light on this subject, but more visual information 
can't hurt. 

  
 Debbie Krantz, Polson  
Subject: Sign of Spring in Whitefish
From: "bj AT theworldteam.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 02 Mar 2015 14:04:57 -0800
The first Varied Thrush to visit our yard in 2015 arrived today - about a week 
earlier than usual. This male had to fend off snow flurries and only had 
minimal snow-free ground for foraging. bj worth, Whitefish. 
Subject: Clyde Park observations
From: "steel_rsd AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 02 Mar 2015 13:21:07 -0800
MOB, We had a single Common Redpoll on Sunday which other than 2013, is getting 
to be late. American Tree Sparrows are still present but not in as large of 
numbers. Am. Goldfinches and House Finches are becoming increasingly common. 
Several Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and few Evening Grosbeaks as well. I 
watched a young Golden Eagle circle low overhead and take a gopher from the 
adjacent field. 

 Scott Dean, Clyde Park 
Subject: Re: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2015 14:14:41 -0700
Debbie, Jeff

I think this change of plumage that Jeff mentions is quite interesting and 
could be pertinent to the ID. However I could find nothing that shows dark 
greater wing coverts on McKay’s, except in juveniles which don’t show much 
white overall. Also the wing coverts on Debbie’s bird do not show any white 
on the inner parts of the feathers. The upper tail coverts on this bird show 
dark markings which don’t seem to appear on McKay’s. 


One reference I have says McKay’s molt sequence is presumably like that of 
Snow Bunting, which says that the definitive basic molt is complete (meaning 
all feathers) and begins in mid-July and is completed in early September. So 
after this molt a young bird would be a first winter male or a winter female of 
any age.. 


Birds Of North America has a sentence in the description saying “Some birds 
show a mix of characters and are best left unidentified in the field; these are 
potentially hybrids.” 


Since I have no first hand knowledge of McKay’s I would also like to hear 
from someone who does. It may just be a Snow Bunting with some leucistic 
tendencies, but... 


Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck

From: mailto:MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 10:13 PM
To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com ; sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com 
Subject: Re: [MOB-Montana] Re: McKay's Bunting

  
 

Debbie,

Interestingly, Snow Buntings (and I assume McKay's) don't go through a molt to 
attain so-called breeding plumage. Rather, the change in appearance of adult 
males is the result of plumage wear in which males rub the snow and ground to 
abrade the tips of their body feathers until they are pretty much black and 
white. The change occurs from Feb to Mar and is complete by Apr 


Jeff 

*******************
Jeff Marks
4241 SE Liebe Street
Portland, OR 97206
503-774-4783
Birds of Montana Project
http://mtaudubon.org/
*******************
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana] 
  To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 8:50 PM
  Subject: [MOB-Montana] Re: McKay's Bunting

    

 Thanks Jeff and Chuck for your input. I am learning a great deal in 
researching this identification, some of which I mentioned in my reply to Mike 
Schwitters. The extensive white, rather than rust or darker color, on the lower 
back and rump seems to be a significant identifier. I'm looking at those 
feathers that Chuck described as well. When would we usually expect a bunting 
to begin to lose the winter plumage? Is there a timeline on that? February 28th 
seems a bit early for that, but I don't have knowledge of this. 




  I appreciate this valuable feedback  

  Debbie Krantz, Polson, MT

Subject: Billings observations
From: "'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2015 08:35:36 -0800




Subject: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "'Stierle, Andrea' andrea.stierle AT mso.umt.edu [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2015 16:17:46 +0000
Good morning,

I love these discussions. Nothing helps me become a better birder than hearing 
other birders debate the identity of a bird. Beautiful photos, by the way. The 
Cornell website indicates two key physical features that distinguish the two 
birds - the Snow Bunting has a black back and far more black in the tail than 
the McKay's Bunting. If these two factors are used, then the bird in Debbie's 
photos looks like a Snow Bunting to me. 


It has been wonderful waking up to all of the bird vocalizations these past few 
weeks. We had a flock of Pine Grosbeaks, two male Song Sparrows, and a 
Steller's Jay competing for "best song" in our neighbors' spruce trees in the 
upper Rattlesnake this morning. Springtime in the Rockies! 


Andrea Stierle
Missoula and Butte
Subject: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 20:50:41 -0800
Thanks Jeff and Chuck for your input. I am learning a great deal in researching 
this identification, some of which I mentioned in my reply to Mike Schwitters. 
The extensive white, rather than rust or darker color, on the lower back and 
rump seems to be a significant identifier. I'm looking at those feathers that 
Chuck described as well. When would we usually expect a bunting to begin to 
lose the winter plumage? Is there a timeline on that? February 28th seems a bit 
early for that, but I don't have knowledge of this. 

  
 I appreciate this valuable feedback  
 Debbie Krantz, Polson, MT

Subject: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 20:21:01 -0800
Hello Mike,
  
 Thank you for the information that you sent about the McKay's identification. 
My computer would not display the photo that you had shared, so I googled the 
text and found the very comprehensive paper that you wrote regarding bird 
identification and information. Obviously you have a great deal of experience 
in this, and I have bookmarked your report for further review. Absolutely, when 
I was trying to ascertain the identity of this bird, I realized that this is 
not a species that should be found in Montana. That said, I understand that 
there may be other options here than the one that I have proposed, including 
conversations about a hybrid bird. I am continuing to research all the 
information I can access, and anticipate that I will learn a great deal through 
this process. 

  
 In my research, one of the articles that I found quite helpful was on the 
American Birding Association website, and was written by Jason Rogers. Mr. 
Rogers included some photos that lend some credence to the possibility of the 
bird that I photographed being, or looking a lot like, a McKay's. Those photos 
are found near the end of the article. That article is found at: 
https://www.aba.org/birding/v37n6p618.pdf 
https://www.aba.org/birding/v37n6p618.pdf 

  
 While it is clear that this species is pretty much limited to the Alaskan 
coastline/Bering Sea, Mr. Rogers indicates that there have been several 
sightings of single birds on a rare occasion outside of their usual migration 
regions. He states: "It may be that female McKay's Buntings, like female Snow 
Buntings, winter on average farther south than do their male counterparts. If 
so, the winter range of McKay's Bunting may not be fully known. The discovery 
of a female in British Columbia in December 2004 indicates that fall and winter 
females may occur well to the south of Alaska..... On Alaska's Pacific coast, 
McKay's Bunting is a casual winter visitant. Records of its occurrence exist 
for Kodiak, Homer, Seward and Valdez. Outside of Alaska, the species has been 
seen at Pacific Rim National Park and Richmond in British Columbia, The Lummi 
Indian Reservation and Ocean Shores in Washington, and Fort Stevens State Park 
and Depoe Bay in Oregon." 

  
 I understand that this may or may not be the McKay's (in my photo), but I do 
believe that with the changing environment and weather patterns that we are 
seeing, there is potential for a lone bird (of various species) to show up 
occasionally where it does not belong. That alone, I think, is fascinating. 

  
 Thanks so much for this valuable feedback.
 Debbie Krantz,
 Polson, MT
  
  
  
  
  
  
 

Subject: New poll for MOB-Montana
From: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com
Date: 01 Mar 2015 18:19:05 -0800
Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the MOB-Montana group:


The February photo of the Month contest is now open. Voting will end on March 
5, 2015. 

Created by: mccownii




1. Canada Goose 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506162 

2. Gray Partridge 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506152 

3. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506163 

4. Pine Grosbeak 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506164 

5. Black Rosy-Finch 1 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506129 

6. Black Rosy-Finch 2 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506130 







Thanks!


Subject: February Photos
From: "jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 14:05:01 -0800
Hi all,
 A few more hours and I will close the February photo contest. If you have any 
photos you would like to have included, please place them in the February photo 
contest folder soon. Thanks - John 
Subject: New Helena Yardbird - Pine Grosbeaks
From: "birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 12:50:53 -0800
All:

As I glanced out the window awhile ago at a bird perched on a far mountain ash 
tree, I thought to myself, that is the reddest house finch I have ever seen. A 
bino view aided in readily determining that it was a male Pine Grosbeak. It and 
others of its kind - perhaps as many as 8 - were mixed in with a bunch of 
waxwings on the Mountain Ash. They separated soon after that and I watched them 
for perhaps 10 minutes as they flew frequently and perched at the tops of 
conifers nearby. That is the first time I have seen this species in Helena, 
although they are often found in the nearby mountains. 


Bob Martinka
Subject: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 08:52:22 -0800
I posted a comment on each photo with identification, rather than on the file 
name. My apologies if that was not the correct format, but all are noted with 
that comment. Thanks! 
Subject: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 08:50:14 -0800
I have posted several photos of a bird that my husband found this week, and 
took me to see yesterday. I understand completely that it would be quite rare 
to see a McKay's Bunting in Montana, but I spent a great deal of time last 
night researching both that bird and the winter plumage of the Snow Bunting, 
and I really believe that this is likely a female McKay's Bunting (however lost 
it may be). It was in rocky terrain, ground feeding both times it has been seen 
in the same location. The white back near the tail, the lack of color (only 
slight rustiness appears) on the head and upper chest, and the wing feathers 
that are white, with only black tips lead me to believe that this is not a Snow 
Bunting. The photos are posted in the folder "Deb Krantz Photos". The bird was 
found west of Elmo, MT in a very open area of tribal ground--hike in only, 
tribal permit required. 
Subject: Re: Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck
From: "gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:45:08 -0500 (EST)
I had about 75 Common Redpolls and 1 Hoary Redpoll in the south valley by Deer 
Lodge the other day. They were under a number of dead cottonwood trees feeding 
on dry cow manure. These were the first I had seen this winter, although a few 
were recorded on the WS CBC. 



Gary Swant 
Deer Lodge 




From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" 
 

To: "MOB"  
Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2015 12:47:32 PM 
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck 








Mobsters 

A small flock of 10 or 12 Common Redpolls showed up in the yard today, the 
first in quite a while. 


Chuck Carlson 
Ft. Peck 

 
Subject: Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:47:32 -0700
Mobsters

A small flock of 10 or 12 Common Redpolls showed up in the yard today, the 
first in quite a while. 


Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck
Subject: Rosy-finch
From: "Kitty Knaphus kmknaphus AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:24:32 +0000 (UTC)
We just had an estimated 200 Gray-crowned Rosy Finch mob the feeders.  Don't 
know how long they will stick around.  They have been gone most of this week. 


Kitty & Kris Knaphus778 10 Mile RoadCascade 
468-2493
Subject: Eurasian Wigeon in Somers, Red-necked Grebe at Yellow Bay, Polson East Bay
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 28 Feb 2015 07:01:46 -0800
Greetings MOBsters,
 

 Yesterday Katie Heath and I birded Somers for the first time. What a pleasant 
place and very birdy. While scoping Somers bay for Red-breasted Merganser 
(which we did not observe) we spotted a male Eurasian Wigeon in breeding 
plumage foraging with several American Wigeon and, after a few minutes of 
watching him, noticed a Eurasian Wigeon hen in close attendance. 

 

 We birded our way around the East side of Flathead Lake heading South. At 
Yellow Bay we noted a Red-necked Grebe. 

 

 We also visited the Ducharme fishing access to look at Polson's East Bay and 
it was hopping. I counted 431 Trumpeter/Tundra Swan, really too far to ID but 
easy to pick out among the thousands of waterfowl present including Common 
Merganser, Redheads, Pintail, Mallard, American Wigeon, Common Goldeneye and 
Canada Geese. There were rafts of waterfowl in the center of the bay too 
distant for accurate ID. 

 

 Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer, Missoula
 

 eBird checklists:
 Somers: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22093567 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22093567 

 Flathead WPA West: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22094129 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22094129 

 Wayfarers State Park: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22096222 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22096222 

 Yellow Bay State Park: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22097144 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22097144 

 Flathead Lake--Ducharme Fishing Access Site: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22097906 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22097906 


 

Subject: Ross' Goose & Sandhill Crane
From: "Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:57:16 -0700
Hi MOB,
I headed from Bozeman to Sheridan MT to see my parents yesterday afternoon
and stopped by Ennis Lake. The lake was almost  completely re frozen but
there was some open water at the Meadow Lake access and amongst a large
flock of Canada Geese was one small white bird that turned out to have a
pure white head and very small triangular bill.

Shortly after I found  my FOY Sandhill Crane in the Ruby Valley letting out
repeated bugles. With the Red - winged Blackbirds singing actively it
really felt like spring was closing in.
Tom Forwood in Bozeman
Subject: Re: MOB Year List vs. eBird
From: "shirlmt9 AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 27 Feb 2015 07:23:49 -0800
i'd entered northern pintail in MOB's database but then erased it when i found 
posts to the group that mentioned seeing them way earlier than my date (early 
february). i thought it was best to leave it blank than to put in a date i knew 
was incorrect - i hope that's what's preferred? 
Subject: Eurasian Wigeons at Nine Pipe NWR
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Feb 2015 22:07:45 -0800
Greetings MOBsters,
 

 Today Katie Heath and I observed 2 Eurasian Wigeon among a group of American 
Wigeon at Nine Pipe NWR. 

 

 Ebird Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22083517 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22083517 

 

 The eBird checklist contains a link to a distant image.
 

 Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer
  
Subject: MOB Year List vs. eBird
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Feb 2015 15:00:57 -0800
MOB-sters:
 

 I have noticed a growing disconnect between the 2015 Big Year database on the 
MOB and 2015 Montana list to date on eBird. Currently, the former lists first 
dates for 121 species, and the later lists 152. While I do not think that it is 
particularly important to have these two sources in sync, it makes sense that 
each should be as complete as possible, particularly given that some birders 
use only one or the other as a resource. The only species reported on the MOB 
list so far that has not been entered in eBird yet in 2015 is Chukar. But there 
are 32 species that have been reported at least once on eBird that have not yet 
have entries made on the MOB database. Rather than list them all here, I would 
urge those of you who are interested in such things to visit the database and 
populate it for any species for which you have an observation location and 
date. 

 

 Of course, you should only edit entries for which you have an earlier date 
than the one currently listed, or for which there are no current entries (Snow 
Goose, Northern Pintail, Red-tailed Hawk (!), Great Gray Owl, and Marsh Wren 
are among the missing, for example). 

 

 I cannot say that I am surprised that there has been a lull in database 
entries between the New Year's rush and the flush of arrivals that is about to 
begin. But as food for thought, eBird does this automatically, and provides 
both first seen and last seen dates for each species, statewide, or by 
county...just go to the eBird website and click on "Explore Data". 

 

 Dan Casey
 Billings
  
Subject: Hybrid goose--Ft. Peck
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:56:20 -0700
Mobsters

Yesterday Dave Allen showed me a strange goose mixed with a large flock of 
Canadas. Photos showed reddish-orange legs and bill. It is some sort of 
barnyard goose and Canada and is a very strong flyer. I have posted a shot of 
the bird in MOB. 


The flocks of geese have increased over the past two weeks and the huge number 
of birds in the area is very hard to estimate as they are lining the river 
banks from the powerplants to at least Nelson Dredge. There are undoubtedly 
Cacklers in the flocks. 


The one California Gull that was seen several weeks ago has not been seen again 
and I’m still waiting for them to show up. 


Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck
Subject: snow geese
From: "parkview AT cyberport.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 24 Feb 2015 16:10:41 -0800
15 snow geese were seen in migration flying above route 82 between Bigfork and 
Somers on 2/23 at 16:30. 

Barbara Summer, Bigfork
 

Subject: Mountain Bluebird
From: "conundrumjp AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 24 Feb 2015 15:18:28 -0800
A male Mountain Bluebird has arrived in the Gallatin Valley ahead of the storm 
front that is now settling into the valley. The bluebird was seen along Pass 
Creek Road, north of Bozeman. 


Six Tundra Swans were at Central Park Pond along with 38 Trumpeter Swans. The 
male Canvasback was still present along with eight other duck species and two 
coots. 


John Parker
 Bozeman

Subject: Crossbills at Highland
From: "Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:06:22 -0700
Highland Cemetery, Cascade, US-MT
Feb 23, 2015 1:38 PM - 2:48 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
Comments:     dusting of snow in some places
10 species

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  5     fly over
Great Horned Owl  2     she is on the nest that has been used now for a
number of years
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  2
Black-billed Magpie  6
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
European Starling  50
Pine Grosbeak  8
Red Crossbill  5
White-winged Crossbill  1

View this checklist online at
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22047498

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Arla Eckert Great Falls




------------------------------------
Posted by: Arla Eckert 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Re: Canyon Ferry Lake
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:26:03 -0700
Carlene,
I know where a couple thousand of the Canada Geese came from. Freezout 
Lake and ponds are mostly frozen.  There were few birds this morning.  
About 600 Canada Geese were out on the ice.  The swans were gone as were 
the ducks.  Oh well we'll get to see them come through again.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



On 2/23/2015 9:05 AM, Carlene Farmer birddog AT mt.net [MOB-Montana] wrote:
>
>
> there are "zillions" of Canada geese on Canyon Ferry Lake.  we go down 
> there a lot as it is one of our favorite places to take our dogs for 
> walks.  there was just a cacophony of wonderful goose talk. also a 
> couple of small bunches of swans, goodly number of mallard and some 
> divers we were not able to get a good look at. also rough-legged 
> hawks, bald and golden eagles, lots of ravens and magpies, turkeys 
> (man, can they run fast!).
>
> Carlene Farmer
> Clancy
>
>
> 
Subject: Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch [1 Attachment]
From: "steel_rsd AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 23 Feb 2015 12:39:02 -0800
A work colleague of mine reported a single Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch this past 
weekend (2/21/15) in the middle of Bozeman. Specifically in the Prairie Ave. 
area which is just west of Bozeman Pond. Not a common sighting inside the city 
limits. 

 

 Scott Dean
 Clyde Park
Subject: 2 male Meadowlarks singing at National Bison Range near Moise
From: "'A Montana View' merle AT amontanaview.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:09:07 -0700
Heard the Meadowlark song when I stopped the car with my windows rolled
down. It was the cold, snowy morning of Feb 21, bright sunny day. I looked
and looked - far away on top of some aspen I saw the two males singing away.
They were at the very east end of NBR near Mission Creek and the fence line
of the cattle farm. Way too far for my 500mm lens. Beautiful golden jewels
on a snowy background. Dang.

Another note, had a TICK in my hair after a hike in the Bitterroots
yesterday.

Merle Ann Loman, A Montana View Photography
516 Chickadee Lane
P.O. Box 755
Victor, MT 59875

  A Montana View - my website and connect with
me on
  Facebook,
 Twitter- AT AMontanaView and
 LinkedIn

 
Subject: Bluebird!
From: "beckfarm AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 23 Feb 2015 09:37:56 -0800
Yes, sitting on a neighbor's porch this morning, the first mountain bluebird, 
at least around here! The two-day cold snap didn't stop the push to spring. 

 No "morning chorus" today, though, but last week, in one warm morning, I heard 
not only robins "in full throated ease," but a new song sparrow that literally 
could not stop for a breath for a good five minutes, a shrike that "sang" for a 
half hour straight at the top of a cottonwood, at least a dozen red-wings 
around the feeders in unrusty voice, a pair of noisy hairy woodpeckers, 
collared doves in pairs, dippers chattering on the creek, tree sparrows in the 
shrubs, horned larks rising in small musical groups in the fields, both 
chickadee species, and always above it all the house finches in a bright red 
not seen all winter long singing all day in assorted warbles and burrs. Should 
I mention the starlings with their catcalls and phony curlew whistles? Let'em 
sing, it's (almost) spring! 

 

 Mike Becker
 Harrison 
Subject: Re: tundra swans & redheads
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 23 Feb 2015 09:33:21 -0800
MOBsters, 

 Katie Heath and I stopped by the Ducharme Fishing Access and took a look at 
the bay East of Polson yesterday. There were several groups of swans with 60+ 
in each group as well as many waterfowl. The water level of the lake is quite 
low, leaving a gap of several hundred feet between the shoreline and fishing 
access, making ID of any birds extremely difficult. We drove around for a few 
minutes, but the lakeshore is all private property there and we couldn't find a 
way to get closer. Unfortunately we did not have a scope with us, but even with 
a scope ID would have been very difficult. I'm going to upload a few images 
that I captured at 400mm to the album T.Kallmeyer and would appreciate it if 
folks would take a look and consider whether ID of the swans is possible. 

 

 Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer, Missoula
Subject: Canyon Ferry Lake
From: "Carlene Farmer birddog AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:05:28 -0700
there are "zillions" of Canada geese on Canyon Ferry Lake.  we go down 
there a lot as it is one of our favorite places to take our dogs for 
walks.  there was just a cacophony of wonderful goose talk.  also a 
couple of small bunches of swans, goodly number of mallard and some 
divers we were not able to get a good look at.  also rough-legged hawks, 
bald and golden eagles, lots of ravens and magpies, turkeys (man, can 
they run fast!).

Carlene Farmer
Clancy
Subject: Ring-bill Gull -West Bank Park
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 18:16:11 -0700
It was bound to happen.  I had a dozen California Gulls yesterday morning,
5 earlier today.  But, this evening I saw one lone Ringbill Gull.  there
was no doubt at all as he was close enough for a decent picture.  Northern
Pintails showed up here today as well.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: My GBBC highlights
From: "Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 12:09:58 -0700
My GBBC highlights
I ended up doing 32 counts this year. My yard was way down in numbers with
the good weather. Along the river here in Great Falls I did a lot of counts
working from the one end to the other. Found geese, 1 Pied-billed Grebe,
mallards, 1 American Wigeon, 1 Canvasback, 36 Redheads, 16 Ring-necked
Ducks, Common Goldeneye, Barrows Goldeneye, Bufflehead, only 1 Hooded
Merganser, Common Merganser, 1 Ruddy Duck, Bald Eagles, 1 Coopers Hawk,
American Coots and 3 California Gulls. No Killdeer at all which was a
surprise to me. The number of Hooded Mergansers seemed to me to be very low.
A run out to Morony Dam paid off with a nice male Long-tailed Duck being
seen. Benton Lake was good for a Golden Eagle who gave me great views. It
was interesting that the Horned Larks seemed to be in pairs not the large
flocks I have had other years. Did see Rough-legged Hawks and Northern
Harriers along the back roads. Found 2 Ring-necked Pheasants and 2 Huns.
Highland Cemetery yielded a Brown Creeper, lots of Black-capped Chickadees,
House Finch, Pine Grosbeaks, 2 Great Horned owls, European Starlings,
magpies, but no American Robins and no Townsend s Solitaire, which is
unheard of, and it has been that way all winter for me there. The Rock
Pigeon number seems to be way down so far this winter. I often get up to
2,000 at the rail yard and this year under 600. Also no big birds of prey
hunting that area for them so far this winter. Just not sure what is going
on.  The robin numbers seem to be down this winter and there is fruit for
them here and there. I did find a number of crows the day after the count.
Oh well. It was an interesting 4 days of counting. Arla Eckert Great Falls




------------------------------------
Posted by: Arla Eckert 
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Subject: Western Bluebirds in Eureka
From: "llyoung AT interbel.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 22 Feb 2015 10:27:24 -0800
Saw our first Western Bluebirds this morning here in Eureka area.
 

 Lewis Young
 Eureka
Subject: Great Falls birding
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Feb 2015 19:59:46 -0800
MOB, checked out Great Falls today had extra time. First West Bank mostly 
Common Goldeneyes and a few Buffleheads with Mallards. On to Giant Springs 
State Park first of year birds seen there are--2 Common Mergansers, one Belted 
Kingfisher, a couple of rafts of American Coots. Other birds worth a note are- 
several Common Goldeneyes, a few Buffleheads, one fly over of an adult Bald 
Eagle, a flock of Cedar Waxwings, a flock of Black-capped Chickadees. Then on 
to Highland Cemetery where I saw first Pine Grosbeak's for the year saw 8 of 
them. Also saw 2 Red-br. Nuthatches and one Black-capped Chickadee. All for 
now, good birding Larry Carter Fairfield 
Subject: tundra swans & redheads
From: "oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Feb 2015 18:45:23 -0800
This week there has been large flocks of tundra swans (300-500) and redheads 
(several thousand) in Polson's East Bay along with big numbers of mallards and 
coots. 

 

 Jim Oates
Subject: Lewis & Clark Caverns and beyond
From: "Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:14:46 -0700
Hi MOB,
     John Parker and I hiked a nice loop yesterday afternoon at Lewis & 
Clark Caverns State Park that provided some fun birds. We started off 
with a song that made us stop and take a look to find a singing Northern 
Shrike. We followed that up with a Norther Pygmy-Owl perched in a snag 
high up the trail and finished with several Juncos, many Robins and 
Solitaires a high Golden Eagle flyover and in a different place 
entirely, the singing Shrike.
     Not to bury the lead, but I also received a message from a friend 
in Whitehall today that she had a Long-billed Curlew by her place seen 
and heard calling. Where she lives is a spring staging area and breeding 
ground as I've seen them there every year from late April into July. I 
will head that way sometime tomorrow to have a look.
     Good birding all, Tom

-- 
Tom Forwood
Park Ranger
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park
P.O. Box 489
Whitehall, MT   59759
406-287-3541

fwptforwood AT gmail.com



------------------------------------
Posted by: Tom Forwood 
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Subject: Warm Springs WMA
From: "birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Feb 2015 13:46:03 -0800
Nearly all of the ice is gone at WS WMA now. I found 17 species of waterfowl 
today including about 450 Northern Pintail, 2,500 Mallards, and 1,200 Common 
Goldeneye. There were a few Redhead, Canvasback, Gadwall, American Wigeon, 
Lesser Scaup and Barrow's Goldeneye. I did find 2 Greater Scaup as well. There 
were also about 50 Tundra and three Trumpeter Swans. 

 

 A pair of Great Horned Owls are preparing a nest, but the Bald Eagles have not 
started to build a nest to replace the one that fell out of the tree last 
summer. Adult Bald Eagles were in the area, so we shall see if they rebuild or 
move on. 

 

 Gary Swant
 Deer Lodge
 

Subject: Tundra swans & redheads
From: "oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Feb 2015 04:23:20 -0800
eBird has been blocking my postings probably because of the large numbers, so 
I'll post to MOB. There have been 300 to 500 tundra swans and several thousand 
redheads on Polson's East Bay this week along with other species that have been 
posted on ebird. They may be gone soon. 


Jim Oates
Polson

------------------------------------
Posted by: oates65 AT gmail.com
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Subject: Re: Even More Gulls
From: "birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 19 Feb 2015 19:17:54 -0800
All:

A few more gulls are also showing up at the Helena landfill - with 3 CA and 3 
Herring on Tuesday! 


Bob Martinka
Subject: Even More Gulls
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:46:18 -0700
It started with 2 on Monday, then there were 4 Wednesday morning.  This
evening I saw 7 California Gulls sitting on a new sand bar off West Bank
Park.  It wasn't just 2 errant birds arriving early.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: Freezout A.M.
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:06:12 +0000
MOB, checked out Freezout this morning. New birds for 2015 were--Trumpter Swan 
saw three 2 adults one juvenile on Pond 5 and one Canvasback at the Dike. Other 
birds worth a note are-at least 1,000Canada Geese, 1,400 Mallards both all over 
Freezout. Saw 130 Tundra Swans on Pond 4 Saw first flock of 36 White Geese for 
the year saw them first on Pond 5 then they flew over Freezout. All for now. 
Good birding Larry Carter Fairfield 







Sent from Windows Mail
Subject: Re: Spring migration.
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Feb 2015 14:15:40 -0800
deaduck52 (please include your real name with your MOB posts): 

 There are indeed concerns that as climate changes, bird migration and breeding 
will be "out of synch" with the foliage, insects and other foods that birds 
depend on. And there are certainly some patterns emerging that indicate birds 
are wintering further north, or lingering longer, due to higher temperatures. 
Every spring there are individuals that arrive well ahead of the true wave of 
migrants. Many waterfowl species actually winter at our latitudes or close by, 
and will respond to the availability of open water to some extent. 
Traditionally early migrants such as Varied Thrush, American Robin (many of 
which overwinter), Starlings, Red-winged Blackbirds, etc. may indeed "arrive" 
earlier in years such as this. But the later we get into the spring, the more 
predictable most (long-distance) migrants become in their arrival dates (with 
scattered individuals sometimes arriving much earlier). It will be interesting 
to see how the rest of this migration season unfolds. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Billings
Subject: Re: Spring migration.
From: "jcs1255 jcs1255 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:36:59 -0700
Don't know if migration us officially early and for what species. However we 
have watched our retail hawks return earlier each year, about four weeks 
earlier this year. They are already using up the nest. Sadly I have also seen 
them lose the young in late spring storms for 2 of past 3 yrs. Evaro, MT 



Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone
Subject: Spring migration.
From: "deafduck52 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 17 Feb 2015 15:50:06 -0800
MOBsters , I beg your forgiveness if this question is inappropriate to this 
group. Seemingly the initiation of spring migration is something like four 
weeks early. I am wondering if this is accurate and/or precedented. How does 
this affect nesting and brood raising for the subsequent season? Is this 
indiciative of or concerning in terms of global warming, or do I need a life? 
:-) 
Subject: Freezout Tuesday AM.
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:00:33 -0700
Howdy MOB,
Nearly clear this morning.
Things are coming in and I added a number of species to the year list.  
These included Starling, a Meadowlark, Common Mergansers, and 
Bufflehead.  Add to those a large bunch of Canada Geese (3,527), the 
good numbers of Mallards and Tundra Swans (104!).
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



------------------------------------
Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
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Subject: Freezout A.M.
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 16 Feb 2015 15:03:14 -0800
MOB, checked out Freezout this morning. Still several Canada Geese with an 
estimate around1,500 and Mallards with an estimate of 1,740 at least. Other 
sightings worth a note are--one lone Snow Goose with a flock of Canada Geese 
near the Thumb, saw first Northern Pintails saw 10 on Pond 5, first Gadwall of 
year saw 4 on Pond 5, 46 Tundra Swans near Pond 3,first Buffleheads for year 
saw a pair on Pond 1. At the Sunset Hills Cemetery outside of Fairfield saw 16 
Common Redpolls. All for now, good birding Larry Carter Fairfield 
Subject: Confusing times
From: "'Steve Sherman' wstevesherman AT q.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:09:55 -0700
The calendar says winter – the weather says spring. What's a bird to do? 
Last week I saw 150+/- Pintails and Widgeon on Clark Canyon Reservoir, very 
early for this time of year. They usually arrive, in these numbers in late 
March or early April. 

Yesterday I had Red-winged Blackbirds at my feeder. They usually arrive mid to 
late March. 

I counted ten pair of Trumpeter Swans at Clark Canyon this morning. They have 
been here all winter, where ever there is open water. 

With the early reports of Sharp-tails on the leks I checked out a Sage Grouse 
lek this morning and found thirteen males displaying (no females). The leks are 
usually occupied from mid March to mid May 

Steve Sherman
Dillon
Subject: California Gulls
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 19:26:11 -0700
All this talk about some early California Gulls.  Arla said she had
probably seen some during the GBBC period.  It had me curious if they would
show up in the West Bank area.  Sure enough, I went out for a late look
around at 5:30 tonight and sure enough there was a pair sitting on the
large (former) sand bar.  One was clearly in winter plumage, the other in
transition (didn't have the red spot yet).  Other than that I've had
nothing but Canada Geese, Common Goldeneye, Buffleheads, Mallards, Barrow's
Goldeneye and the occasional Hooded Mergansers, even less common a Lesser
Scaup and Common Merganser all winter.  I was sure ready for something
different.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: Ferruginous Hawk, Santa Rita, Montana, Feb 15 2015
From: "kathleenatkins AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 15 Feb 2015 17:12:43 -0800
Howdy MOB,
 

 Tom M. and I rolled around checking out some roads in the Cut Bank area we 
hadn't yet driven, and found a rather white-breasted buteo on a power pole that 
we were not at all expecting to see - a male Ferruginous Hawk! The power pole 
was located within 500 yards of an absolutely massive nest in a cottonwood 
tree. 

 

 Here are a couple of pics, no filters, only cropped: 
 https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/photos/albums/1643030727 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/photos/albums/1643030727 


 

 We also saw our first of year Richardson's ground squirrel scamper across the 
road a bit north. In our travels (up to the abandoned radar station near Del 
Bonita and back down 444) we also saw 9 Rough-legged Hawks, 3 Golden Eagles, 2 
Bald Eagles, 1 Prairie Falcon, and 1 Northern Shrike. 

 

 Good birding,
 Kate Atkins
 Cut Bank
 

Subject: Freezout Sunday AM
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 14:33:33 -0700
Howdy MOB,
Started the day with a soft snowfall that ended by 10:00AM.
I found 2,636 Canada Geese...all feeding in fields east of the Lake.  
The first gull of the year was found far out in Pond 4 and an immature 
bird so species remained an unknown.  The same 10 Tundra Swans continued.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



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Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
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Subject: Open Invitation to MOB'rs - Browns Canyon, Buenos Aires NWR
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 15 Feb 2015 08:04:57 -0800
Ken Joki and I have arranged for a hike into the above rather unique speck of 
habitat for 4 March 2015. Would have room for maybe 4-6 snow-birders that might 
in the area. 


Mike Lesnik
vagapaddler AT yahoo.com
Cochise Co for a couple more days