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Field Guides Tour Report
Jun 8, 2017 to Jun 18, 2017
Terry McEneaney

Landscape view of the Lamar Valley, with a herd of bison. We had many fabulous views like this on our tour. Photo by guide Terry McEneaney.

Our 1,950 mile Yellowstone to Glacier loop tour, turned out surprisingly good considering the amount of rainy and windy weather that was encountered. We got to see a large section of Montana (in particular western Montana) including mountains and plains, rivers and lakes, geothermal features and glaciers, clouds and storms, sunrises and sunsets, and of course the vast array of birds and mammals. We ended up with approximately 181 species of birds (182 taxa--seen and heard) and 27 species of mammals. These were faunal numbers that were predicted and expected, and within the range of expected norm (prior to tour 170+ species birds, 25+ species mammals were predicted to be encountered).

Highlight birds included: Harlequin Duck, Tundra Swan (yes), Trumpeter Swan, Greater Scaup, Common Loon, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Great Egret, Clark’s Grebe, Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Black Tern, Caspian Tern, Upland Sandpiper, Sprague’s Pipit, Wilson’s Phalarope, Alder and Cordilleran Flycatcher, Cassin’s Vireo, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Burrowing Owl, Black-backed Woodpecker, Lewis’ Woodpecker, American Dipper, Chestnut-collared and McCown’s longspurs, Varied Thrush, Veery, Tennessee and Townsend’s warblers, Yellow-breasted Chat, Clay-colored and Fox sparrows, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet and seven Black Swift. Our long mammal list was equally impressive. We observed 3 grizzlies, 10 wolves, 5 black bear, 4 moose, 20 mountain goats, and the myriads of elk, bison, bighorn sheep, mule and white-tailed deer, and pronghorn. Our rarest mammal for the trip was a River Otter swimming a stock pond in the Mission Valley.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to show you Yellowstone and Glacier and parts of Montana and the BIG SKY state very few people are fortunate enough to experience.

Take good care!

Terry and Karen

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis) – Found nearly every day and numerous. Large numbers molting in Yellowstone.
TRUMPETER SWAN (Cygnus buccinator) – Found on days 5 and 9----Cottonwood Reservoir and Ninepipes NWR come to mind.
TUNDRA SWAN (WHISTLING) (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) – Found an odd ball still around-observed off Highway 89 (Freezout Lake).
WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa) – Observed on day 1.
GADWALL (Anas strepera) – Quite numerous and regular.
AMERICAN WIGEON (Anas americana) – Found nearly every day and common.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – Found every day-numerous.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – Observed mainly out on the plains. Not many in the mountains.
CINNAMON TEAL (Anas cyanoptera) – Observed on 5 of the 9 full days in the field.

This view of the Yellowstone River was taken on a previous tour. The dots on the far side of the river are a flock of geese, grounded because they are in heavy molt. We saw geese in this same condition. Photo by guide Terry McEneaney.

NORTHERN SHOVELER (Anas clypeata) – Found on 4 of the 9 days in the field.
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta) – Found on days 5 and 6.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis) – Found on 5 of the 9 days in the field.
CANVASBACK (Aythya valisineria) – Found on 3 of the 9 days in the field-more numerous on the plains.
REDHEAD (Aythya americana) – Found on 4 of the 9 days in the field.
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) – Found on 3 of the 9 days in the field-not as numerous as other years.
GREATER SCAUP (Aythya marila) – Observed at Warm Springs and Blackfoot Potholes.
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis) – Found nearly every day-the more numerous of the two species in Montana.
HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histrionicus) – Observed on days 3, 7, and 8--in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.
BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola) – Found on days 5 and 6--more numerous other years but many were nesting and harder to see.
COMMON GOLDENEYE (Bucephala clangula) – Found on days 1 and 6.
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica) – Found on days 1, 4, and 8.
HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus) – This time of the year they are nesting or with young. Found on day 9 (Ninepipes area). Observed adult female with 6 adventurous merganserlings.
COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser) – Again, this is the time of year they are nesting-found on days 1-5--one adult female with 6 merganserlings and some riding on her back.

Harlequin Ducks are always a tour highlight. This image was taken on a previous tour, but we were able to see these beauties on several days. Photo by guide Terry McEneaney.

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) – Observed on 5 of the 9 days in the field. This time of the year the adult males have the bright baby blue bills.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) – Observed about a third of the days in the field. [I]
DUSKY GROUSE (Dendragapus obscurus) – One male found along the road on Blackfeet Indian Reservation near Two Medicine Ridge.
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – Observed on two of the nine days in the field. A adult hen behaved as if it was sheltering newly hatched poults.
Gaviidae (Loons)
COMMON LOON (Gavia immer) – Found two adults on day 7.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
RED-NECKED GREBE (Podiceps grisegena) – Observed on 3 of the 9 days in the field.
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – Observed on 3 of the 9 days in the field.
WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis) – Found on 3 of the 9 days in the field.
CLARK'S GREBE (Aechmophorus clarkii) – Observed just one individual on day 5 with colorful orange-yellow bill.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus) – Observed on 3 of the 9 days in the field.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) – Observed on 5 of the 9 days in the field.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Observed on 6 of the 9 days in the field.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Found a lone individual traveling Highway 89, right off the main highway Freezout Lake.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Found one individual on day 5.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Found on 4 of the 9 days in the field.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Observed every day but one.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos) – Observed 5 of the 9 days in the field---including excellent close views.
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus cyaneus) – Found every day but one.

One of many wonderful views in Glacier National Park. Photo from a previous tour by guide Terry McEneaney.

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus) – Found two individuals circling over Bannack SP.
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – Observed 8 of the 9 days in the field.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – Found on 4 of the 9 days in the field. Most surprising were the discovery of 4-5 (first year) juvenile birds with various individual color morphs on day 2. The prettiest one with a whitish blonde head and breast/dark fu-manchu. [E]
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – Found every day.
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (Buteo regalis) – Found on 3 of the 9 days in the field. Nice looks of one adult female on a nest.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
VIRGINIA RAIL (Rallus limicola) – Had very close looks of one individual 30 feet from the van.
SORA (Porzana carolina) – Never got to see one, just heard a bunch.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – Observed more than half the time in the field.
Gruidae (Cranes)
SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis) – Observed 6 of the 9 days in the field.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) – Surprisingly, found 3 different individuals in flight on the day we traveled north from Yellowstone to Choteau.
LONG-BILLED CURLEW (Numenius americanus)
MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa)
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata)
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
WILLET (WESTERN) (Tringa semipalmata inornata)

A bull bison in full breeding garb: large beard, large horns, an impressive mane, and baggy pantaloons. The gray color is result of wallowing in the dust to ward off flies. Photo from a previous tour by guide Terry McEneaney.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan)
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)
CALIFORNIA GULL (Larus californicus)
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
BLACK TERN (Chlidonias niger) – Found less than one dozen individuals on day 6.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)
FORSTER'S TERN (Sterna forsteri)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Strigidae (Owls)
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – Found two individuals early one morning.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – Found a few individuals on day one.

A first-year Swainson's Hawk, like the ones we saw on Day 2. Photo from a previous tour by guide Terry McEneaney.

SHORT-EARED OWL (Asio flammeus) – Found four individuals on 2 different days.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor)
Apodidae (Swifts)
BLACK SWIFT (Cypseloides niger) – Found seven individuals flying over a lake on day 9.
VAUX'S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri) – Observed one adult male at a feeder on day 9.
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus) – Observed a couple individuals on day 9.
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus rufus)
CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus calliope)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
LEWIS'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes lewis) – Ended the tour observing several individuals on day 9.
RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus nuchalis)
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Picoides pubescens)
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus)
BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (Picoides arcticus) – Found a noisy male flying over the road in Glacier.
NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus cafer)
PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
PRAIRIE FALCON (Falco mexicanus) – Watched one flying away on day one.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

Terry and Karen McEneaney posing during one of our stops. Photo by Karen McEneaney.

WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus)
ALDER FLYCATCHER (Empidonax alnorum) – Found a couple individuals on day 6. [*]
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii)
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii)
DUSKY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax oberholseri)
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis)
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya) – Observed one individual by an old farm building on day 6.
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
CASSIN'S VIREO (Vireo cassinii)
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
GRAY JAY (Perisoreus canadensis)
STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri)
CLARK'S NUTCRACKER (Nucifraga columbiana)
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
Alaudidae (Larks)
HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus)
MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE (Poecile gambeli)
CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE (Poecile rufescens) – Observed a couple individuals on day 9.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are always a treat to see! Photo by guide Terry McEneaney.

Sittidae (Nuthatches)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
PACIFIC WREN (Troglodytes pacificus) – Nice looks at a lone individual on day 8.
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris)
Cinclidae (Dippers)
AMERICAN DIPPER (Cinclus mexicanus) – Great views of two dippers traveling back and forth to a nest situated in back of a waterfall in Glacier.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus satrapa) – Found on days 5 and 9.
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (Sialia currucoides)
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi)
VEERY (Catharus fuscescens)
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus)

This Wilson's Snipe posed nicely for us. Photo by guide Terry McEneaney.

HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
VARIED THRUSH (Ixoreus naevius) – Real good views of Varied Thrushes including one singing.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)
SAGE THRASHER (Oreoscoptes montanus) – Singing on Northern Range in Yellowstone. [*]
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
SPRAGUE'S PIPIT (Anthus spragueii) – Found one singing on day 5. Sprague's Pipits are getting very hard to find on the Rocky Mountain Front.
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Calcariidae (Longspurs and Snow Buntings)
CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR (Calcarius ornatus) – Found two different individuals on days 5 and 6.
MCCOWN'S LONGSPUR (Rhynchophanes mccownii)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Sensational looks at a Tennessee Warbler.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata)
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens) [*]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (Spizella pallida) – Real good views.
BREWER'S SPARROW (BREWERI) (Spizella breweri breweri)
FOX SPARROW (SLATE-COLORED) (Passerella iliaca schistacea) – Close views of a "gray-headed morph".
DARK-EYED JUNCO (OREGON) (Junco hyemalis oreganus) – Observed in Glacier NP.

We saw a number of Red-necked Grebes on several different days. Photo by guide Terry McEneaney, from a previous tour.

DARK-EYED JUNCO (PINK-SIDED) (Junco hyemalis mearnsi) – Found in Yellowstone NP.
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (ORIANTHA) (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha)
VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii) – Real good views of this species.
GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE (Pipilo chlorurus)
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
WESTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella neglecta)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)
BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus)
COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula)
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii)
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra)
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus)
EVENING GROSBEAK (Coccothraustes vespertinus)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

SNOWSHOE HARE (Lepus americanus) – Wonderful close views of this brownish-gray hare with white ear trim and white legs.
LEAST CHIPMUNK (Tamias minimus)

No trip to Yellowstone is complete without a view of a spouting geyser. This is Old Faithful, as seen on a previous tour. Photo by guide Terry McEneaney.

RED-TAILED CHIPMUNK (Tamias ruficaudus)
YELLOW-BELLIED MARMOT (Marmota flaviventris)
COLUMBIAN GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus columbianus)
RICHARDSON'S GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus richardsonii)
UINTA GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus armatus)
BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG (Cynomys ludovicianus)
RED SQUIRREL (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
MOUNTAIN VOLE (Microtus montana)
MUSKRAT (Ondatra zibethica)
RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes) – Found one close by the road near Siver Gate, Montana.
COYOTE (Canis latrans)
GRAY WOLF (Canis lupus) – Found 10 wolves in 2 packs (2 adults w/ 3 pups, and 5 adults).
BLACK BEAR (Ursus americanus) – Found 4 black bear (3 YNP, 1 GNP).
BROWN (INCL. GRIZZLY) BEAR (Ursus arctos) – Observed 3 grizzlies in Yellowstone (one sow with two cubs).
NORTH AMERICAN RIVER OTTER (Lontra canadensis) – Got lucky and found most likely a lone male in a small stock pond in the Mission Valley.
ELK (Cervus canadensis)
MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus)
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)
MOOSE (Alces alces) – Found 4 moose --three on day 3 (cow/calf and small bull) then real close views of a large bull on day 6.
PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana)
AMERICAN BISON (Bison bison) – Thousands--perhaps in excess of three thousand.
MOUNTAIN GOAT (Oreamnos americanus) – Found around 20 individuals all in Yellowstone.
BIGHORN SHEEP (Ovis canadensis)
PAINTED TURTLE (Chrysemys picta)


Totals for the tour: 182 bird taxa and 27 mammal taxa