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Montana Birding and Nature Trail
Discover the Nature of Montana...

Trails and Maps


Northeastern Plains Birding and Nature Trail

"The grass was the country, as the water is the sea."
   -Willa Cather

Explore sweeping native grasslands, badlands and prairie potholes. Wake to song of a Baird’s sparrow as the sun lights up wildflower-studded prairie. Observe one of the largest breeding colonies of American White Pelicans in the world.

Bitter Creek Wilderness Study Area

This Globally Important Bird Area harbors Pipits, Longspurs, Grassland Sparrows and is the only place on the Northeastern Plains Birding Trail to see the swift fox.

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

Walk out in the grasslands and wildflowers surrounding Lake Bowdoin to listen to the spring symphony of birds that thrive in this important prairie landscape.

Camp Creek Campground/Little Rocky Mountains

The first island mountain range visible from U.S. Highway 2 for travelers heading west is a haven for mountain and forest wildlife, from Pinyon Jays in pines to bighorn sheep in mountain meadows.

Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge Auto Tour Route

The auto tour route samples an extensive refuge on both sides of the Missouri River that’s home to a keystone species—the prairie dog that, in turn, makes life possible for the endangered black-footed ferret and Mountain Plover.

Fort Peck Campground/Interpretive Center Trail And Missouri River

Gulls from Pacific and Atlantic coasts share river sandbars below the interpretive center in winter. Western songbirds rest in shrubs next to eastern warblers. Why this mingling? Combine the Missouri River riparian corridor with two flyways that overlap and you’ll find plenty of bird surprises, even hybrid species.

Fort Union Trading Post—Fort Buford National Historic Sites and Missouri–Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center

Visit the confluence of two mighty rivers and the fort where John James Audubon’s expedition spent a summer in 1843, discovering two birds new to science: Sprague’s Pipit and Baird’s Sparrow.

Grasslands National Park, Saskatechewan, Canada

The only national park in North America to preserve native prairie is a fitting tribute to the west’s great writer and conservationist Wallace Stegner, who grew up here among the now rare grassland birds and wildlife.

Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Sheltering one of the largest breeding colonies of American White Pelicans in the world, the refuge in Montana’s far corner has become a premier birding destination.

Westby City Park & Nearby Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs)

A forested oasis in the prairie that’s smack dab in the middle of a migration corridor where eastern and western bird species overlap makes this park a birder’s dream. More than 200 species of birds have been seen in the one-acre park, including 29 species of warblers.

Elk Island Fishing Access And Wildlife Management Area

A sizeable public access area on the Yellowstone River gives birders a chance to stretch their legs and look for songbirds in the big cottonwood trees and thick shrubs.

Seven Sisters Fishing Access And Wildlife Management Area

The Yellowstone River nourishes trees and creates sloughs and even a sandy soil prairie—a feast of habitats that correlates with an exciting mix of birds and wildlife species.

Fox Lake Wildlife Management Area

A lake and marsh in the arid prairie draws in birds from miles around and is a haven for migrating waterfowl in spring and fall.