Nomadic Winter Birds

by Pat Jaquith
pat@westvalleynaturalists.org

Bohemian Waxwings in freezing fog 1.17.2018

Many birds migrate from a winter home to take advantage of an abundance of insects, longer periods of daylight for scavenging, and increased success in raising a brood in the north. As winter arrives and insects become scarce their survival depends on their returning to a warm climate where insects are available.
Birds that depend on non-insect food sources and move from place to place in response to the availability of food sources, independent of season, are referred to as nomads. They often travel in flocks of the same species, searching out food, and moving on.

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Fall Bird Migration

by Laura Katzman, Land Protection Specialist, Flathead Land Trust
lkatzman@flatheadlandtrust.org

Fall bird migration is in full swing in the West Valley. Last week 800 snow geese, 1,000 Canada geese, 150 sandhill cranes and hundreds of ducks were seen at the West Valley Wildlife Viewing area. With the cold weather over the weekend the West Valley Wetland ponds have become mostly ice-covered, but yesterday hundreds of snow geese and a couple hundred sandhill cranes were seen feeding in the nearby fields so birds still can be seen in the area.

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Wings over the Valley

by Pat Jaquith
pat@westvalleynaturalists.org

Geese, Cranes, Ducks and Gulls flock to the West Valley Wildlife Viewing Area 10.20.20

Throughout the fall, as birds start moving from nesting sites toward warmer climates and more plentiful food sources, they teach us how they value our valley as many species gather in the harvested fields and in and around the several potholes for rest, food, and perhaps reunions before moving on.

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