April 30, 2017: Bees and pleas

We identified only three new bird species since our last blog post, and even that is a stretch.  To wit, the winter wren is listed by the Montana Field Guide as an accidental species and therefore was not initially included in our list of 348 birds to be photographed.  However, we captured a picture of this little darling near Missoula and, like any good researcher, we set about finding data to confirm our hopes.  In this case, the hope was that we could find evidence that this bird was a bit more common than the usual accidental species, which would justify placing it back on our list (knowing that adding “1” to both the numerator and denominator of our ratio would raise the final percentage).  After looking long and hard, we noted that the location map in the National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of Western North America indicates that both the summer and winter ranges of the winter wren include substantial parts of Western Montana (or, alternatively, that there was a bit of ink bleeding over the state boundary line during the printing process…).  Ignoring the latter possibility, we have both added the winter wren back into our master list (bringing the total to be obtained to 349) and crossed it off with one stroke of our…keyboard.  This leaves us with 141 total species identified out of 349 = 40.4%.  Slow progress is progress nonetheless.  With spring having arrived in Western Montana and several trips planned to other parts of the state, we are optimistic that the tally will grow swiftly in the coming months.  In any case, we’ve added three new galleries to the Every Bird section of the website on the aptly named waxwings, the confusingly named American dipper, and the too-cute-to-be-believed nuthatches.  
We’ve also added a brand new gallery on bees, and major updates to the Deer oh dear gallery (almost all new pictures) as well as the elk page and the great blue heron page. 
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