An additional five species were photographed since our last post, bringing the total to 140 for our Every Bird quest. For those crunching the numbers, we should also note that the target number of 353 species has been reduced to 347. No, this is not because of extinction or over hunting (yet), but merely a refinement of our counting method. We had been including six species of dark-eyed junco, but in fact modern taxonomy indicates that they are a single species with six subspecies, so this reduced our target by five (to 348), although we also lost two identified species (as we had photos of three of the dark-eyed junco subspecies). Additionally, we have removed the western scrub jay from our list as it is now classified as an accidental species with only one sighting in Montana in the past ten years. For those who suspect that this re-counting is an effort to bolster our percentage, we would note that 140 / 353 = 39.7% and 138 / 347 = 39.8%), so if we are cheating then our tactics need some work. In any case, the official figure indicates that we have photographed 39.8% of all bird species in Montana as of this writing. Whoa. Our next bird will put us over 40%!
We are posting three new families to the Every Bird section of the website: wrens, quail, and creepers. That brings us to 14 out of 58 bird families. We also added a new gallery with some coyote pictures, facts, pleadings, and resources. Finally, we've added new pictures to several of the existing galleries particularly to the end of the Great Blue Heron page.