Birds of Western Montana

My family and I return regularly to Bozeman and other parts of Montana for mountain getaways. I figured I might as well start collecting birds from that area, too. Some of this set  were shot with a Tamron 150-600mm supertele, and more recently with a Canon 100-400 L ISii. I did some learning on the fly, so to speak, and had some success after a little early fumbling. It turns out that tracking a bird on the wing at 600mm is a bit like looking through a drinking straw. As the 600 is very heavy, I didn't carry it on all outings. Some photos were shot with the Canon 70-200 f/4 L.

American Robin

Turdus migratorius

american robin th 1

American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

american crow th 1 american crow th 2

American Dipper

Cinclus mexicanus

american dipper th 1 american dipper th 2

Bald Eagle (juvenile)

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

bald eagle th 1 bald eagle th 2

Black-billed Magpie

Pica hudsonia

black billed magpie th 1 black billed magpie th 2

Black-capped Chickadee

Poecile atricapillus

black capped chickadee th 1 black capped chickadee th 2

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

cackling goose th 1

Cedar Waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum

cedar waxwing th 1

Chipping Sparrow


chipping sparrow th 1

Common Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula

common goldeneye th 1 common goldeneye th 2

Common Raven

Corvus Corax

common raven th 1

Dark-eyed Junco (juvenile)

Passerella iliaca

dark-eyed junco th 1

Downy Woodpecker

Picoides pubescens

downy woodpecker th 1

Eurasian Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

deurasian collared dove th 1 deurasian collared dove th 2

Gray Partridge

Perdix perdix

gray partridge th 1 gray partridge th 2

Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus

great horned owl th 1

Hairy Woodpecker

Picoides villosus

hairy woodpecker th 1 hairy woodpecker th 2


Charadrius vociferus

killdeer th 1

Mountain Bluebird

Sialia currucoides

mountain bluebirdth 1 mountain bluebirdth 2

Mountain Chickadee

Poecile gambeli

mountain chickadee th 1 mountain chickadee th 2

Northern Flicker

Colaptes auratus

northern flicker th 1

Northern Harrier

Colaptes auratus

northern harrier th 1

Pine Siskin

Spinus pinus

pine siskin th 1

Pinyon Jay

Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus

pinyon jay th 1 pinyon jay th 2

Pygmy Nuthatch

Sitta pygmaea

pygmy nuthatch th 1 pygmy nuthatch th 2

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Sitta canadensis

red breasted nuthatch th 1 red breasted nuthatch th 2

Red-tailed Hawk (adult & juvenile)

Buteo jamaicensis

red tailed hawk th 1 red tailed hawk th 2

Rock Dove (Pigeon)

Columba livia

rock dove th 1

Rough-legged Hawk

Buteo lagopus

rough legged hawk th 1 rough legged hawk th 2

Sandhill Crane

Grus canadensis

sandhill crane th 1 sandhill crane th 2

Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

turkey vulture th 1 turkey vulture th 2

White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)

Spizella passerina

white-crowned sparrow th 1 white-crowned sparrow th 2

White-winged Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

white-winged crossbill th 1 white-winged crossbill th 2

Birds of the Tampa Bay Area

My aunt and uncle keep a place on the bay in St. Petersburg, and we're fortunate enough to have spent some time there in the spring. Birds are plentiful along the gulf coast, including many species we see here in Minnesota during the summer. Most were shot with the second-generation Tamron 150-600mm on my trusty Canon 7D. As with my other species lists, this is a record of sightings. See just my best shots of Florida's birds.


Anhinga anhinga

anhinga th 4 anhinga th 2 anhinga th 3 anhinga th 1

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

Barn Swallow th 1 Barn Swallow th 2

Black Skimmer

Rynchops niger

Black Skimmer th 3 Black Skimmer th 2 Black Skimmer th 1

Black Vulture

Coragyps atratus

Black vultureth 1

Blue Jay

Cyanocitta cristata

Blue Jay th 1

Blue Grosbeak

Passerina caerulea

Blue Grosbeak th 1 Blue Grosbeak th 3 Blue Grosbeak th 2

Boat-tailed Grackle

Quiscalus major

Boat-tailed Grackle th 1 Boat-tailed Grackle th 2 Boat-tailed Grackle th 3

Brown Pelican

Pelecanus occidentalis

Brown Pelican th 3 Brown Pelican th 1 Brown Pelican th 2 Brown Pelican th 4 Brown Pelican th 5

Cape May Warbler

Setophaga tigrina

Cape May Warbler th 1 Cape May Warbler th 2

Common Ground Dove

Columbina passerina

common ground dove th 1 common ground dove th 2

Common Gallinule

Gallinula galeata

 th 1  th 2

Common Tern

Sterna hirundo

common tern th 1 common tern th 2

Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

double-crested cormorant th 3 double-crested cormorant th 4 double-crested cormorant th 1 double-crested cormorant th 2

Eastern Towhee

Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Eastern Towhee th 1 Eastern Towhee th 2

Eurasian Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Eurasian Collared Dove th 1 Eurasian Collared Dove th 2

European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

European Starling th 1 European Starling th 2

Fish Crow

Corvus ossifragus

Fish Crow th 2 Fish Crow th 3

Gray Catbird

Dumetella carolinensis

Gray Catbird th 1 Gray Catbird th 2

Great-crested Flycatcher

Ardea herodias

great-crested flycatcher th 1

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

great blue heron th 3 great blue heron th 2 great blue heron th 1 great blue heron th 4

Great Egret

Ardea alba

Great Egret th 1

Green Heron

Butorides virescens

Green Heron th 1

Hooded Warbler

Setophaga citrina

Hooded Warbler th 1

Laughing Gull

Leucophaeus atricilla

laughing gull th 3 laughing gull th 1 laughing gull th 2 laughing gull th 4 laughing gull th 5

Least Sandpiper

Calidris minutilla

Least Sandpiper th 1

Little Blue Heron

Egretta caerulea

Little Blue Heron th 1 Little Blue Heron th 2 Little Blue Heron th 3

Loggerhead Shrike

Lanius ludovicianus

Loggerhead Shrike th 1 Loggerhead Shrike th 3 Loggerhead Shrike th 2


Anas platyrhynchos

Mallard th 1

Mourning Dove

Zenaida macroura

Mourning Dove th 1

Nanday Parakeet

Aratinga nenday

Nanday Parakeet th 1 Nanday Parakeet th 2 Nanday Parakeet th 3

Northern Cardinal

Cardinalis cardinalis

Northern Cardinal th 2 Northern Cardinal th 1

Northern Mockingbird

Mimus polyglottos

northern mockingbird th 1 northern mockingbird th 2 northern mockingbird th 3

Northern Parula (Warbler)

Setophaga americana

Northern Parula th 1 Northern Parula th 2

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Mimus polyglottos

Northern Rough-winged Swallow th 1


Pandion haliaetus

osprey th 1 osprey th 2 osprey th 3 osprey th 4

Palm Warbler

Setophaga palmarum

Palm Warbler th 1 Palm Warbler th 2

Painted Bunting

Passerina ciris

Painted Bunting th 1 Painted Bunting th 2

Prairie Warbler

Setophaga discolor

Prairie Warbler th 1 Prairie Warbler th 2

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Melanerpes carolinus

Red-bellied Woodpecker th 1

Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus serrator

red-breasted merganser th 1 red-breasted merganser th 2

Red-shouldered Hawk

Buteo lineatus

red-shouldered hawk th 1 red-shouldered hawk th 2

Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus

Red-winged Blackbird th 1 Red-winged Blackbird th 2

Red Knot

Calidris canutus

Red Knot th 1 Red Knot th 2

Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis

Ring-billed Gull th 1 Ring-billed Gull th 2 Ring-billed Gull th 3

Royal Tern

Thalasseus maximus

Royal Tern th 1 Royal Tern th 2 Royal Tern th 3

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Archilochus colubris

Ruby-throated Hummingbird th 1

Ruddy Turnstone

Arenaria interpres

Ruddy Turnstone th 1 Ruddy Turnstone th 2


Calidris alba

sanderling th 1 sanderling th 2

Scarlet Tanager

Piranga olivacea

scarlet-tanager th 1

Semipalmated Plover

Charadrius semipalmatus

Semipalmated Plover th 1 Semipalmated Plover th 2

Snowy Egret

Egretta thula

Snowy Egret th 1

Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularius

Spotted Sandpiper th 1

Swamp Sparrow

Melospiza georgiana

swamp sparrow th 1

Tufted Titmouse

Baeolophus bicolor

Tufted Titmouse th 1 Tufted Titmouse th 2

White Eyed Vireo

Vireo griseus

White Eyed Vireo th 1 White Eyed Vireo th 3 White Eyed Vireo th 2

White Ibis

Eudocimus albus

White Ibis th 1 White Ibis th 2


Tringa semipalmata

Willet th 1 Willet th 2 Willet th 3

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Yellow-crowned Night Heron th 1 Yellow-crowned Night Heron th 2

Birds of Central Minnesota

I've decided to start a formal collection of Minnesota's birds. Here are some of the best shots I have for any species I've captured, most of them since May 2016. Some aren't very good at all, but that sets a goal for me... improve for that species. See just my best shots of Minnesota's birds. 

The majority of these shots were made with a Canon 7D (original or Mark II) and the first or second gen Tamron 150-600mm, and the rest were with Canon's 70-200 f/4L. The Tamron isn't as fast or sharp as the 200, but sure helps me reach the birds when they're small or far off.

Bird identification can be a challenge, since individuals can vary and I'm new to the game. If you have corrections, please let me know. Scientific names are linked for more information.

See a timeline of sightings for selected species by clicking the icons. See the Exif data for images in the popup view by clicking the icon.

American Coot

Fulica americana

american coot th 1 american coot th 2

American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

american crow th 1 american crow th 2

American Goldfinch

Spinus tristis

american goldfinch th 1 american goldfinch th 2

American Kestrel

Falco sparverius

american kestrel th 3 american kestrel th 1 american kestrel th 2 american kestrel th 4

American Redstart (Warbler)

Setophaga ruticilla

american redstart th 1 american redstart th 2

American Robin

Turdus migratorius

american robin th 1 american robin th 2

Read more: Birds of Central Minnesota

Birds of the Northern Great Plains

Travelling between Minnesota and western Montana means spending quite a bit of time in the Dakotas and eastern Montana. There's really no avoiding it. The truth is that there's much beauty to be found there, and I don't mind. I particularly like the "tree graveyards", those somewhat rare wetlands and small lakes that have stands of dead trees in them, seemingly preserved forever.

American Coot

Fulica americana

american coot th 1 american coot th 2

American Kestrel

Falco sparverius

american kestrel th 1 american kestrel th 2

Belted Kingfisher

Megaceryle alcyon

belted kingfisher th 1 belted kingfisher th 2

Burrowing Owl

Athene cunicularia

burrowing owl th 1

Caspian Tern

Hydroprogne caspia

caspian tern th 1 caspian tern th 2

Cedar Waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum

cedar waxwing th 1 cedar-waxwing th 2

Cooper's Hawk (juvenile)

Accipiter cooperii

coopers hawk th 1 coopers hawk th 2

Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

double crested cormorant th 2

Lesser Scaup

Aythya affinis

lesser scaup th 1 lesser scaup th 2

Mourning Dove

Zenaida macroura

mourning dove th 1


Falco columbarius

merlin th 1 merlin th 2

Northern Flicker

Colaptes auratus

northern flicker th 1

Northern Pintail

Anus acuta

northern pintail th 1 northern pintail th 2

Nothern Shoveler

Anas clypeata

northern shoveler th 1 northern shoveler th 2

Prairie Falcon

Falco mexicanus

prairie falcon th 1 prairie falcon th 2

Red-tailed Hawk

Buteo jamaicensis

red tailed hawk th 1 red tailed hawk th 2

Ring-necked Pheasant

Phasianus colchicus

ring necked pheasant th 1 ring necked pheasant th 2

Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

turkey vulture th 1 turkey vulture th 2

Western Meadowlark

Sturnella neglecta

western meadowlark th 1 western meadowlark th 2

Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana

western tanager th 1 western tanager th 2

White-faced Ibis

Plegadis chihi

white-faced ibis th 1 white-faced ibis th 2

Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

wood duck th 1