Monday, January 26, 2009

Birds in our yard

One of our greatest accomplishments in our little yard is to provide food, shelters and cover for many species of birds. Although we seasonally have feeders in our yard, the main attraction is the landscaping. Compared to our neighbors, our yard is very unique in town, very little lawn and a lot of structure. We have had over 50 species of birds in the yard- using it for different reasons, from nesting (like black capped chickadees, northern flickers, and red breasted nuthatches), to feeding (on berries, fruits, seeds, insects and other birds), to cover (from small thickets of rose and hawthorn to the small grassland of our front yard), water, and other reasons. Even in a small yard, in the middle of town, far from wilderness, you can attract a fair amount of wildlife.

Here is a list of the birds we have had in our yard- and it is a list of birds that might be likely to visit your yard (in Missoula, anyway).

  • American Crow
  • American Gold finch
  • Black billed magpie
  • Black chinned hummingbird
  • Black capped chickadee
  • Blue Jay
  • Bohemian waxwing
  • Brown creeper
  • Brown headed cowbird
  • Calliope hummingbird
  • Cedar waxwing
  • Chipping sparrow
  • Common nighthawk
  • Common Raven
  • Common red poll
  • Dark eyed junco
  • Downy woodpecker
  • Evening grosbeak
  • Golden crowned kinglet
  • Gray Catbird
  • Hairy woodpecker
  • Hermit thrush
  • House finch
  • House wren
  • Lazuli bunting
  • Macgillivary's warbler
  • Mountain chickadee
  • Mourning dove
  • Nashville warbler
  • Northern flicker
  • Pileated woodpecker
  • Pine grosbeak
  • Pine sisken
  • Red breasted nuthatch
  • Red crossbill
  • Red winged blackbird
  • American Robin
  • Ruby crowned kinglet
  • Rufous hummingbird
  • Sharpshined hawk
  • Song sparrow
  • Spotted towhee
  • Townsend's solitaire
  • Varied thrush
  • Vesper sparrow
  • Western tanager
  • Western wood pewee
  • White breasted nuthatch
  • White crowned sparrow
  • Wilson's warbler
  • Yellow warbler


  1. Hi! What a wonderful list of birds! We have only seen about 1/3 of your list on our 5 acres! I grew up in New Hampshire and we had an abundance of Blue Jays. I've been in Great Falls, MT for 20 years and have never seen a Blue Jay. I didn't know we had any in Montana. I love your blog!

  2. Blue Jays are a relatively new species around here. Their range has been expanding probably with development and urbanization, and more trees (either because of planting trees or changes in fire, and flood regimes). Oddly enough though, they are not just in the "suburbs" but are in some pretty remote places in western MT now (I've seen them outside of Ovando- so half way between you and me). It is a little startling them hear them- they do seem really out of place.