List of birds of Glacier National Park (U.S.)
This list of birds of Glacier National Park includes every wild bird species recorded in the park based on the Birds of Glacier National Park-Field Check List compiled by the National Park Service. More than 260 species of birds are found in the varied habitats of Glacier National Park in Montana, United States. Variable climatic conditions created by the Continental Divide yield a patchwork of aquatic, riparian and terrestrial habitats ideally suited to birds.
This list is presented in taxonomic order and follows the Check-list of North American Birds (7th ed., revised August 2008), published by the American Ornithologists' Union. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account.
- 1 Legend
- 2 Ducks, geese and swans
- 3 Partridges, grouse, turkeys and Old World quail
- 4 Loons
- 5 Grebes
- 6 Cormorants
- 7 Pelicans
- 8 Bitterns, herons and egrets
- 9 New World vultures
- 10 Osprey
- 11 Hawks, kites and eagles
- 12 Caracaras and falcons
- 13 Rails, gallinules and coots
- 14 Cranes
- 15 Lapwings and plovers
- 16 Stilts and avocets
- 17 Sandpipers, curlews, stints, godwits, snipes and phalaropes
- 18 Skuas, gulls, terns and skimmers
- 19 Pigeons and doves
- 20 Typical owls
- 21 Nightjars
- 22 Swifts
- 23 Hummingbirds
- 24 Kingfishers
- 25 Woodpeckers, sapsuckers and flickers
- 26 Tyrant flycatchers
- 27 Shrikes
- 28 Vireos
- 29 Jays, crows, magpies and ravens
- 30 Larks
- 31 Swallows and martins
- 32 Chickadees and titmice
- 33 Nuthatches
- 34 Treecreepers
- 35 Wrens
- 36 Dippers
- 37 Kinglets
- 38 Thrushes
- 39 Mockingbirds and thrashers
- 40 Starlings
- 41 Wagtails and pipits
- 42 Waxwings
- 43 Longspurs and snow buntings
- 44 Wood-warblers
- 45 American sparrows, towhees and juncos
- 46 Cardinals, saltators and grosbeaks
- 47 Icterids
- 48 Fringilline finches, cardueline finches and allies
- 49 Old World sparrows
- 50 See also
- 51 Further reading
- 52 Notes
As listed in the Birds of Glacier National Park-Field Checklist.
- SP=spring (March–May), S=summer (June–August), F=fall (September–November), W=winter (December–February)
- E=east of Continental Divide, W=west of Continental Divide
- A=occurs in alpine areas
Ducks, geese and swans
The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, bills which are flattened to a greater or lesser extent, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to special oils. There are 33 Glacier species.
- Greater white-fronted goose, Anser albifrons; W, F=r
- Snow goose, Chen caerulescens; E, W, SP=u, S=r, F=u
- Ross's goose, Chen rossii; • E, W, SP=r
- Canada goose, Branta canadensis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=u
- Trumpeter swan, Cygnus buccinator; E, W, SP=r, S=r, W=r
- Tundra swan, Cygnus columbianus; E, W, SP=c, F=c
- Wood duck, Aix sponsa; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Gadwall, Anas strepera; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Eurasian wigeon, Anas penelope; W, SP=a, S=a, F=a
- American wigeon, Anas americana; E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=r
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Blue-winged teal, Anas discors; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Cinnamon teal, Anas cyanoptera; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Northern shoveler, Anas clypeata; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Green-winged teal, Anas crecca; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Canvasback, Aythya valisineria; E, W, SP=r, F=r
- Redhead, Aythya americana; E, W, SP=u, F=u, W=r
- Bufflehead, Bucephala albeola; E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=u
- Ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u
- Greater scaup, Aythya marila; W, SP=a
- Lesser scaup, Aythya affinis; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Harlequin duck, Histrionicus histrionicus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=r
- Surf scoter, Melanitta perspicillata; W, F=r
- White-winged scoter, Melanitta fusca; E, W, SP=u, F=u
- Long-tailed duck, Clangula hyemalis; W, F=a
- Common goldeneye, Bucephala clangula; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=u
- Barrow's goldeneye, Bucephala islandica; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=r
- Hooded merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Common merganser, Mergus merganser; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator; • E, W, SP=r, F=r
- Ruddy duck, Oxyura jamaicensis; E, W, SP=u, S=r, F=u
Partridges, grouse, turkeys and Old World quail
Phasianidae consists of the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial species, variable in size but generally plump with broad relatively short wings. Many species are gamebirds or have been domesticated as a food source for humans. There are 8 Glacier species.
- Gray partridge, Perdix perdix; W, I, SP=r
- Ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus; W, I, SP=r
- Ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Spruce grouse, Dendragapus canadensis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Willow ptarmigan, Lagopus lagopus; A, S=a
- White-tailed ptarmigan, Lagopus leucurus; • A, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Blue grouse, Dendragapus obscurus; • E, W, A SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus; E, S=r
Loons are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely gray or black, and they have spear-shaped bills. Loons swim well and fly adequately, but are almost hopeless on land, because their legs are placed towards the rear of the body. There are 4 Glacier species.
- Red-throated loon, Gavia stellata; W, F=a
- Pacific loon, Gavia pacifica; W, F=r
- Common loon, Gavia immer; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Yellow-billed loon, Gavia adamsii; W, SP=a
Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 5 Glacier species.
- Pied-billed grebe, Podilymbus podiceps; E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r, W=r
- Horned grebe, Podiceps auritus; E, W, SP=c, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Red-necked grebe, Podiceps grisegena; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Eared grebe, Podiceps nigricollis; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Western grebe, Aechmorphorus occidentalis; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
Cormorants are medium-to-large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of colored skin on the face. The bill is long, thin and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature among the Pelecaniformes order. There is 1 Glacier species.
- Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus; E, W, S=r, F=r
Pelicans are very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. Like other birds in the order Pelecaniformes, they have four webbed toes. There is 1 Glacier species.
- American white pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos; E, W, SP=r, S=r
Bitterns, herons and egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets and bitterns. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more secretive. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills. There are 4 Glacier species.
- American bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus; • E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Great blue heron, Ardea herodias; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Great egret, Ardea alba; W, SP=r
- Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax; W, SP=a
New World vultures
The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers, however, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carcasses. There is 1 Glacier species.
- Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura; E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
Hawks, kites and eagles
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight. There are 12 Glacier species.
- Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Northern harrier, Circus cyaneus; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Sharp-shinned hawk, Accipiter striatus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Cooper's hawk, Accipiter cooperii; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Red-shouldered hawk, Buteo lineatus; W, F=a
- Broad-winged hawk, Buteo platypterus; E, W, SP=a, F=a
- Swainson's hawk, Buteo swainsoni; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r
- Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c
- Ferruginous hawk, Buteo regalis; E, W, S=r
- Rough-legged hawk, Buteo lagopus; E, W, SP=r, F=r, W=r
- Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=r
Caracaras and falcons
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey, notably the falcons and caracaras. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are 5 Glacier species.
- American kestrel, Falco sparverius; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Merlin, Falco columbarius; E, W, A, SP=r, S=r, F=r
- Gyrfalcon, Falco rusticolus; A, S=a F=a
- Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus; E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r
- Prairie falcon, Falco mexicanus; • E, W, A, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
Rails, gallinules and coots
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. The most typical family members occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and tend to be weak fliers. There are 2 Glacier species.
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There is 1 Glacier species.
- Sandhill crane, Grus canadensis; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r
Lapwings and plovers
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 3 Glacier species.
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola; E, W, SP=a, F=a
- Semipalmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus; E, W, SP=a, S=a
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
Stilts and avocets
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There is 1 Glacier species.
- American avocet, Recurvirostra americana, E, W, SP=u, F=u
Sandpipers, curlews, stints, godwits, snipes and phalaropes
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of legs and bills enable multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 19 Glacier species.
- Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=c
- Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca; E, W, SP=r
- Willet, Tringa semipalmata; E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Lesser yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes; E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda; E, SP=r
- Long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus; E, W, SP=u
- Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos; E, W, SP=r
- Baird's sandpiper, Calidris bairdii; E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r
- Least sandpiper, Calidris minutilla; W, F=r
- Semipalmated sandpiper, Calidris pusilla; W, S=r, F=r
- Western sandpiper, Calidris mauri; W, SP=r, F=r
- Sanderling, Calidris alba; W, SP=r
- Long-billed dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus; E, W, SP=r
- Marbled godwit, Limosa fedoa; E, W, SP=r
- Black turnstone, Tournepierre noir; E, SP=a
- Wilson's snipe, Gallinago delicata; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u
- Wilson's phalarope, Phalaropus tricolor; E, W, SP=u, F=u
- Red-necked phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus; E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r
Skuas, gulls, terns and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes jaegers, skuas, gulls, terns, kittiwakes and skimmers. They are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 12 Glacier species.
- Black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla; W, F=a
- Franklin's gull, Larus pipixcan; E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia; E, W, SP=r, F=u
- Ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis; E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c
- California gull, Larus californicus; E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c
- Herring gull, Larus argentatus; E, W, F=r
- Glaucous-winged gull, Larus glaucescens; W, F=a
- Glaucous gull, Larus hyperboreus; W, F=a
- Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri; E, W, F=r
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo; E, SP=r, F=r
- Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia; E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Black tern, Chlidonias niger; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
Pigeons and doves
Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 3 Glacier species.
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia; E, W, I, S=r, F=r
- Band-tailed pigeon, Patagioenas fasciata; W, F=a
- Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide, 21 North American species and 12 Glacier species.
- Western screech-owl, Megascops kennicottii; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r, W=r
- Great horned owl, Bubo virginianus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Snowy owl, Bubo scandiacus; E, W, F=r, W=r
- Northern hawk owl, Surnia ulula; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, W=r
- Northern pygmy-owl, Glaucidium gnoma; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia; E, W, SP=r
- Barred owl, Strix varia; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Great gray owl, Strix nebulosa; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r, W=r
- Long-eared owl, Asio otus; • E, W, S=r, F=r
- Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus; E, W, S=r, F=r
- Boreal owl, Aegolius funereus; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r, W=r
- Northern saw-whet owl, Aegolius acadicus; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r, W=r
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is cryptically colored to resemble bark or leaves. There is 1 Glacier species.
- Common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
The swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have very long, swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 3 Glacier species.
- Black swift, Cypseloides niger; • E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Vaux's swift, Chaetura vauxi; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- White-throated swift, Aeronautes saxatalis; E, W, SP=r, S=r
Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. There are 4 Glacier species.
- Black-chinned hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri; • W, SP=r, S=r
- Calliope hummingbird, Selasphorus calliope; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c
- Broad-tailed hummingbird, Selasphorus platycercus; E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Rufous hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There is 1 Glacier species.
- Belted kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
Woodpeckers, sapsuckers and flickers
Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 11 Glacier species.
- Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis; E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Red-headed woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus; E, S=a
- Williamson's sapsucker, Sphyrapicus thyroideus; • E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Red-naped sapsucker, Sphyrapicus nuchalis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u
- Downy woodpecker, Picoides pubescens; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- White-headed woodpecker, Picoides albolarvatus; W, F=a
- American three-toed woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Black-backed woodpecker, Picoides arcticus; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r, W=r
- Northern flicker, Colaptes auratus; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=r
- Pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
Tyrant flycatchers are Passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, are rather plain. As the name implies, most are insectivorous. There are 12 Glacier species.
- Olive-sided flycatcher, Contopus cooperi; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Western wood-pewee, Contopus sordidulus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Willow flycatcher, Empidonax traillii; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Least flycatcher, Empidonax minimus; E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Hammond's flycatcher, Empidonax hammondii; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Dusky flycatcher, Empidonax oberholseri; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Cordilleran flycatcher, Empidonax occidentalis; E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya; E, W, S=r, F=r
- Ash-throated flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens; W, F=a
- Western kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis; E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Scissor-tailed flycatcher, Tyrannus forficatus; W, SP=a
Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 2 Glacier species.
- Loggerhead shrike, Lanius ludovicianus; E, W, SP=r F=u, W=r
- Northern shrike, Lanius excubitor; E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r
The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in color and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are 3 Glacier species.
- Cassin's vireo, Vireo cassinii; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Warbling vireo, Vireo gilvus; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Red-eyed vireo, Vireo olivaceus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
Jays, crows, magpies and ravens
The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence. There are 7 Glacier species.
- Gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata; E, W, SP=r, F=r
- Clark's nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana; • E, W, A, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Black-billed magpie, Pica hudsonia; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- American crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Common raven, Corvus corax; E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There is 1 Glacier species.
- Horned lark, Eremophila alpestris; • E, W, A, SP=r, S=r, F=r, W=r
Swallows and martins
The family Hirundinidae is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. These adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 6 Glacier species.
- Tree swallow, Tachycineta bicolor; • E, W, SP=ab, S=ab, F=u
- Violet-green swallow, Tachycineta thalassina; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=u
- Northern rough-winged swallow, Stelgidopteryx serripennis; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Bank swallow, Riparia riparia; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Cliff swallow, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=u
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u
Chickadees and titmice
The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are 4 Glacier species.
- Black-capped chickadee, Poecile atricapilla; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Mountain chickadee, Poecile gambeli; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- Chestnut-backed chickadee, Poecile rufescens; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Boreal chickadee, Poecile hudsonica; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet. There are 2 Glacier species.
- Red-breasted nuthatch, Sitta canadensis, • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- White-breasted nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis, • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There is 1 Glacier species.
- Brown creeper, Certhia americana, • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=u
Wrens are small and inconspicuous birds, except for their loud songs. They have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are 4 Glacier species.
- Rock wren, Salpinctes obsoletus; • E, W, A, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- House wren, Troglodytes aedon; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Winter wren, Troglodytes hiemalis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u, W=r
- Marsh wren, Cistothorus palustris; W, SP=a
Dippers are small, stout, birds that feed in cold, fast moving streams. There is 1 Glacier species.
- American dipper, Cinclus mexicanus, • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=u
The kinglets are a small family of birds which resemble the titmice. They are very small insectivorous birds in the genus Regulus. The adults have colored crowns, giving rise to their names. There are 2 Glacier species.
- Golden-crowned kinglet, Regulus satrapa; • E, W, SP=ab, S=ab, F=c, W=u
- Ruby-crowned kinglet, Regulus calendula; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly but not exclusively in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 9 Glacier species.
- Eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis; E, SP=a
- Western bluebird, Sialia mexicana; E, W, S=r
- Mountain bluebird, Sialia currucoides; • E, W, A SP=c, S=c, F=c
- Townsend's solitaire, Myadestes townsendi; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=u
- Veery, Catharus fuscescens; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Swainson's thrush, Catharus ustulatus; • E, W, SP=ab, S=ab, F=c
- Hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=c
- American robin, Turdus migratorius; • E, W, SP=ab, S=ab, F=c, W=r
- Varied thrush, Ixoreus naevius; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=u
Mockingbirds and thrashers
The mimids are a family of passerine birds which includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalization, especially their remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. The species tend towards dull grays and browns in their appearance. There are 3 Glacier species.
- Gray catbird, Dumetella carolinensis; • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r, W=r
- Northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos; W, S=r
- Sage thrasher, Oreoscoptes montanus; W, SP=a
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are medium-sized passerines with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There is 1 Glacier species.
- European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, • E, W, I, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
Wagtails and pipits
Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 2 Glacier species.
- American pipit, Anthus rubescens; • E, W, A, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Sprague's pipit, Anthus spragueii; E, S=r
The waxwings are a group of passerine birds with soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and cedar waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There are 2 Glacier species.
- Bohemian waxwing, Bombycilla garrulus; E, W, SP=r, F=r, W=r
- Cedar waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c
Longspurs and snow buntings
- McCown's longspur, Calcarius mccownii; E, W, SP=r, F=r
- Lapland longspur, Calcarius lapponicus; E, W, A, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Chestnut-collared longspur, Calcarius ornatus; E, W, SP=u
- Snow bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis; E, W, SP=u, F=u, W=u
The wood warblers are a group of small often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some like the ovenbird and the two waterthrushes, are more terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores.
- Black-and-white warbler, Mniotilta varia, E, W, Sp=a
- Tennessee warbler, Oreothlypis peregrina; • E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Orange-crowned warbler, Oreothlypis celata; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Nashville warbler, Oreothlypis ruficapilla; E, W, SP=r
- Northern parula, Setophaga americana; W, SP=a
- Yellow warbler, Setophaga petechia; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u
- Cape May warbler, Setophaga tigrina; E, W, SP=a, S=a, F=a
- Yellow-rumped warbler, Setophaga coronata; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u, W=a
- Townsend's warbler, Setophaga townsendi; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Bay-breasted warbler, Setophaga castanea; W, S=a
- Blackpoll warbler, Setophaga striata; E, W, SP=r
- American redstart, Setophaga ruticilla; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Ovenbird, Seiurus aurocapilla; E, S=r
- Northern waterthrush, Parkesia noveboracensis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- MacGillivray's warbler, Geothlypis tolmiei; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Common yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Wilson's warbler, Cardellina pusilla; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Yellow-breasted chat, Icteria virens; W, SP=a, S=a
American sparrows, towhees and juncos
Emberizidae is a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are 20 Glacier species.
- Green-tailed towhee, Pipilo chlorurus; E, F=a
- Spotted towhee, Pipilo maculatus; E, W, SP=u, S=u
- American tree sparrow, Spizelloides arborea; E, W, SP=r F=r, W=r
- Chipping sparrow, Spizella passerina; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u
- Clay-colored sparrow, Spizella pallida; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Brewer's sparrow, Spizella breweri; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Field sparrow, Spizella pusilla; W, F=a
- Vesper sparrow, Pooecetes gramineus; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Lark sparrow, Chondestes grammacus; W, SP=a
- Lark bunting, Calamospiza melanocorys; E, W, S=r
- Savannah sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Le Conte's sparrow, Ammodramus leconteii; • E, W, SP=r, S=r
- Fox sparrow, Passerella iliaca; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=u
- Song sparrow, Melospiza melodia; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Lincoln's sparrow, Melospiza lincolnii; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- White-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis; E, W, S=r, W=r
- Harris's sparrow, Zonotrichia querula; E, W, SP=r, F=r
- White-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=c
- Golden-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapiclla; E, W, S=a
- Dark-eyed junco, Junco hyemalis; • E, W, SP=ab, S=ab, F=ab, W=u
Cardinals, saltators and grosbeaks
The cardinals are a family of robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. There are 5 Glacier species.
- Western tanager, Piranga ludoviciana; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=r
- Rose-breasted grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus,• E, W, SP=a
- Black-headed grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus, • E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r
- Lazuli bunting, Passerina amoena; • E, W, SP=u, S=u
- Indigo bunting, Passerina cyanea; W, S=r
The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds and New World orioles. Most species have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. There are 9 Glacier species.
- Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus; E, W, S=r
- Red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus; • E, W, SP=c, S=c
- Western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Yellow-headed blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus; E, W, SP=r
- Rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus; E, W, S=r, F=r
- Brewer's blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus; E, W, SP=r, S=u, F=u, W=r
- Common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula; E, S=r
- Brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater; • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- Bullock's oriole, Icterus bullockii; • E, W, SP=r, S=r
Fringilline finches, cardueline finches and allies
Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 11 Glacier species.
- Gray-crowned rosy-finch, Leucosticte tephrocotis; • E, W, A, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Pine grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator, • E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Cassin's finch, Haemorhous cassinii; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u
- House finch, Haemorhous mexicanus; W, S=r, W=r
- Red crossbill, Loxia curvirostra; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
- White-winged crossbill, Loxia leucoptera; E, W, SP=u, S=u, F=u, W=u
- Common redpoll, Acanthis flammea; E, W, SP=u, F=u, W=u
- Hoary redpoll, Acanthis hornemanni; W, SP=r
- Pine siskin, Spinus pinus; • E, W, A, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=u
- American goldfinch, Spinus tristis; E, W, SP=r, S=r, F=r
- Evening grosbeak, Coccothraustes vespertinus; • E, W, SP=c, S=c, F=c, W=c
Old World sparrows
Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or grayish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There is 1 Glacier species.
- House sparrow, Passer domesticus; E, W, I, F=r
- Bailey, Vernon; Bailey, Florence Merriam (2007). Wild Animals of Glacier National Park: The Mammals and the Birds. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishers. ISBN 0-548-13995-4.
- Parrat, Lloyd P. (1973). Birds of Glacier National Park. West Glacier, Montana: Glacier Natural History Association, Inc.,.
- "Official State Bird List (Montana)". Helena, MT: Montana Audubon. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- "The A.O.U. Check-list of North American Birds" (7th ed.). American Ornithologists' Union. August 2008. Retrieved 2014-10-18.