Montana


The Western Meadowlark was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana.

The Western Meadowlark was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Western Meadowlark

The Western Meadowlark is a chunky brown speckled brown bird with a bright yellow throat and breast with a black V on the breast. It has a short tail with a patch of white on each side. It is paler than the Eastern Meadowlark. The cheek is yellow that differentiates it for the eastern Meadowlark. It has a range from southwest Canada and the western half of the United States to central Mexico. It has a habitat of open fields, pastures, meadows, and prairies. It is usually not first seen, but heard by a guttural chatter that is a distinctive sound. Its diet consists of mostly insects and seeds by foraging while walking on the ground.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Eastern Meadowlark

 

The light phase Swainson's Hawk was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

The light phase Swainson’s Hawk was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Swainson’s Hawk

This Swainson’s Hawk is a light phase brown above with a tan breast band and white face, and a narrow gray-banded rounded tail often ending in white. It has a range of northwestern North America to northern Mexico, mostly western. It has a habitat of plains, range, and open hills, sparse trees. Usually soars over the grassland, or by perching and scanning the ground.

The Common Snipe was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana.

The Common Snipe was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Common Snipe

The Common Snipe is brown with buff and bold zigzag stripes on the back, a striped head, an extremely long bill, greenish legs, and a short orange tail. The range is most of North America. It has a habitat of marshes, bogs and wet meadows. It is a solitary creature of wet fields and bogs. It can often be heard sitting from atop a fence post or dead tree. It has a diet of mostly insects and earthworms found from probing in soft mud.

 

The summer breeding American Avocet was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Managemnet Area in Montana

The summer breeding American Avocet was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the American Avocet

Select this link to see panorama photos of Freezout Lake

The American Avocet is a large slim shorebird with a very slender upturned bill that has a striking white-black pattern body, a pinkish tan head and neck, and bluish legs. It has a range of the southwestern Canada, western United States and the southwestern and southern coasts. It has a habitat of beaches, flats, shallow lakes, and prairie ponds. It favors salty lakes more than fresh water. It has a diet of mostly small crustaceans, insects, and some seeds. They often feed walking forward while swing their bills from side to side over the water.

The Marbled Godwit was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

The Marbled Godwit was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Marbled Godwit

The Marbled Godwit is a large rich mottled buff-brown color upper and lighter buff-brown color lower with dark legs and a slightly turned up bill. It has a range of the Northern Great Plains of the United States and Canada. It has a habitat of prairies, pools, shores, and tide flats mostly in the Northern Great Plains. When it leaves the prairies after summer it usually goes as a large flock to coastal regions. It has a diet of insects, mollusks, and crustaceans.