August 18, 2016: Birds, Bugs, and Beavers

So, do you want the good news or the bad news first? Personally I always prefer to have the good news first, giving me something to desperately cling to while emotionally fending off the bad news. Well in this case the good news and the bad news are the same news; let's call it good news with a qualification. After combing through all of our pictures from the past two years, it was determined that of the 353 bird species that are non-accidental residents of Montana, we have decent pictures of 111 of them. That is good news because 111/353 is 31.4%, which is almost a third, which is a lot. The qualification is that the 111 bird species we have thus far captured are, with little doubt, the 111 easiest to find. The road ahead is long but the first steps have been taken.
Based on these 111 photos, this month we have posted four new families of birds to the Every Bird section of Montana Wildlives. Recall that there are 58 avian families represented in Montana, meaning that we are up to 5/58 when the new four families are added to June’s Woodpecker family. The new families listed include Cormorants and Kingfishers (both at 100.0% which sounds a bit more impressive than it is given that there is only one species within each of these two families in Montana), as well as Thrushes (60.0%) and Blackbirds (58.3%). As always, help with any misidentifications is appreciated.

In addition to the new Every Bird photos, we've added a gallery highlighting busy beavers (finally!) and our first insect gallery devoted to dragonflies and damselflies. Gross. Beautiful. Deadly.

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