Bird Watching in Missouri River Country

Bird Watching

Our big skies are full of some colorful residents with over 200 species of birds calling this section of the Great Plains home. Birding in Northeast Montana is a dream, with great access to wildlife refuge areas and water access points to view birds throughout the year.

Click here to learn more about the Northeast Montana Birding Trail.

Bird Species

Blue Heron

Blue Heron

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Cormorant

Cormorant

Duck

Waterfowl

Eagle

Eagles

Grouse

Grouse

Hungarian Partridge

Hungarian Partridge

Osprey

Osprey

Pheasant

Pheasant

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Turkey

Turkey

White Pelican

White Pelican

Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge

The second largest wildlife refuge in the lower 48 states (about 1.1 million acres), the CMR is one of America’s great wilderness regions, as well as a wildlife refuge. It embraces about 229 of the nearly 300 Missouri River Breaks’ miles, surrounds Fort Peck Lake with its 1,600 miles of shoreline and is about 125 miles long. This wild country is remote, rough and spectacular. The canyons, some a thousand feet deep, buttes, hills, coulees and river bottoms, harbor elk, bighorn sheep, antelope, deer and prairie dog towns. More than 200 species of birds and 40 species of mammals have been identified on the refuge. There are many access points spread out over a vast landscape. For maps and information, call the CMR National Wildlife Refuges at 406.538.8706.

Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Just south of Plentywood, this body of water is a prairie gem and a summer home to more than 100,000 migratory waterfowl. It’s a place of high wildlife activity. A 14-mile-long driving route provides ample access to the refuge. Call 406.789.2305 or click here for more information.

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

Best known for its nesting colonies of white pelicans, this series of wetlands and lakes eight miles east of Malta, is the habitat for more than 230 different species of birds and waterfowl. There are many access points to the heart of the refuge and a 90­-minute auto­route enables you to see much of this haven. Call 406­.654­.2863 for further information.

UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge

Big game, as well as all the lesser critters, roam here. Isolated and beautiful, this refuge is located deep in the Missouri River Breaks about 50 miles south of Malta and 40 miles southeast of Zortman. Visitors need to negotiate rough roads to reach the UL Bend and these passages are often impassable in wet weather. The UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge is contiguous to the UL Bend Wilderness and the CMR. Call the CMR number for information, 406.538.8706.

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