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The Bird and The Stream: What do Riparian Areas Mean to Birds?. Birds are cool. Do you know what part-time Montana avian resident has the longest migration route?

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The Bird and The Stream:What do Riparian Areas Mean to Birds?


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Birds are cool...

  • Do you know what part-time Montana avian resident has the longest migration route?

  • The Wandering Albatross has the longest wingspan of any bird in the world at 11 FEET! Can you guess what bird has the longest wingspan in Montana?

  • The Brown-headed Cowbird: A Real Avian “Rustler”


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Bird ID – a 5 step process

Habitat

Bird shape

Field marks (not just color!)

Behavior

Songs & calls


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Bird ID – a 5 step process

Habitat- different birds live in different places

Shape & posture of the bird

Plumage and color- using field marks you can ID a bird in a flash!

Behavior- how is the bird foraging?

Songs and calls- many birds literally sing out their names!



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Riparian Habitat:What does it mean to birds?


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Definitions of “Riparian” and “Habitat”

  • Riparian:Describes the area next to a stream, river, creek or other small body of water

  • Habitat:The physical location or type of environment in which a plant or animal lives. A home.


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Warning: Riparian Birds Declining

  • Great Blue Herons down 81%

  • Blue-winged Teal down 72%

  • Killdeer down 80%

  • Belted King Fisher down 88%

    What should this tell us???


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Threats to Montana’s Riparian Areas

  • Residential Development

  • Urban Pollution

  • Extractive Industries (Mining, logging, etc.)

  • Infrastructure development/improvements

  • Global Climate Change



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  • Heavy Metals and Arsenic

  • Highly Acidic Soils (Acid Rock or Mine Drainage)

  • Constant toxic threats to the environment

  • Low insect/fish populations

  • Severely limited/damaged plant communities


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Bird Banding at Grant-Kohrs Ranch:Looking at Birds in a Damaged Riparian Habitat


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Bird ID – a 5 step process

Habitat- different birds live in different places

Shape & posture of the bird

Plumage and color- using field marks you can ID a bird in a flash!

Behavior- how is the bird foraging?

Songs and calls- many birds literally sing out their names!


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Identifying birds by shape

Fowl

Raptors

Waterfowl & marsh birds


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Identifying birds by shape

Passerines or songbirds

Non-passerine landbirds

And bird shapes are just the beginning! You can also look at the bird’s posture, bill type, feet, etc...



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Bird ID – a 5 step process

Habitat- different birds live in different places

Shape & posture of the bird

Plumage and color- using field marks you can ID a bird in a flash!

Behavior- how is the bird foraging?

Songs and calls- many birds literally sing out their names!


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Learning the field marks...

  • Names of field marks are precise

  • However-- multiple names for the same part do exist...


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Bird ID – a 5 step process

Habitat- different birds live in different places

Shape & posture of the bird

Plumage and color- using field marks you can ID a bird in a flash!

Behavior- how is the bird foraging?

Songs and calls- many birds literally sing out their names!



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Bird ID – a 5 step process

Habitat- different birds live in different places

Shape & posture of the bird

Plumage and color- using field marks you can ID a bird in a flash!

Behavior- how is the bird foraging?

Songs and calls - many birds literally sing out their names!




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Least Flycatcher

Willow

Flycatcher

Dusky Flycatcher








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Brown-headedCowbird


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AmericanGoldfinch

Says “potato chip” really fast


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Quiz time!

Open your eyes and your ears as we try to match birds to their calls…


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Willow Flycatcher

American Goldfinch

Song Sparrow

Yellow Warbler


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Song Sparrow

Birdsong 1

Birdsong 4

Birdsong 2

Birdsong 3


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American Robin

Red-Naped Sapsucker

Brown-Headed Cowbird

American Goldfinch


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Birdsong 1

Birdsong 2

Birdsong 3

Cedar Waxwing

Birdsong 4


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Black-Capped Chickadee

Red-Naped Sapsucker

Brown-Headed Cowbird

Common Yellowthroat


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American Goldfinch

Birdsong 1

Birdsong 2

Birdsong 3

Birdsong 4


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