9
in

Love ItLove It

Pictorial Gallery of the Wading Birds of Montana

A lot is written about the big mammals of Montana. That is rightfully so since there are more than a million large mammals living in the state. However, there are also a large number of birds in Montana, too. The following are pictures of just one group of birds that are found in Montana; the wading birds.

Snowy Egret

The snowy egret (Egretta thula) is often seen at the edge of the numerous water-courses in Montana. This white bird is fairly large, with a three and a half foot wingspan. The legs and beak are black. It is a migratory bird but can be seen from late spring to fall.

Cattle Egret

The cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) isn't only found next to water, it is terrestrial, too. It is often found in fields near grazing animals. It is also white, like the snowy egret, but is smaller and has yellow legs. It has buff-brown on the crest and chest during the breeding season, which the snowy egret lacks. It is also smaller than the snowy egret. Cattle egrets are in a different genus than snowy egrets.

Great Blue Heron

Blue herons are the largest species of herons in North America. They can weigh up to five and a half pounds. Although they are migratory, they can be found in Montana all year long. The name is a misnomer because these birds are gray. They also have white, black, and brown on the face. 

American Bittern

The American bittern is a wading bird with a wingspan of about 42 inches. The coloring is brown, streaked with white. This bird is found throughout the state through most of the summer and it is a breeding resident.

Green Heron

Green herons (Butorides virescens)  aren't true residents of Montana. Rather, they are migratory and are occasional visitors, like many of the people who come to visit the state. This is a small bird, rarely more than 17 inches long, but it is quite colorful, with gray, white, chestnut, black, and green or blue feathers.

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

This is another migratory visitor, rather than a resident of Montana. This bird actually breeds in the Southeast US. Yellow-crowned night herons are also found along the west coast of Mexico.

Least Bittern

The least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) is another occasional migratory visitor that is mostly found in the eastern US. This is a small bird with a wingspan of less than 16 inches. The pose in the picture is common for this bird, which spends a lot of time straddling reeds and cattails.

Great Egret

The great egret is another white wading bird, but it has black legs and it is large. This bird has a wingspan of a little less than four and a half feet. This is a migratory bird that doesn't linger for long.

Black-Crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) are migratory wading birds that are often seen throughout Montana during the summer. They are medium-sized wading birds that prefer bulrushes/cattails, but they are often found elsewhere. The color is light gray with black on the head, back, and with black bills. Adults have red eyes.

What do you think?

5 points
Legend

Written by Rex Trulove

Wordsmith BuddySmarty PantsLoyal BuddyStory MakerPoll MakerQuiz MakerYears Of MembershipList MakerGallery MakerImage MakerEmbed MakerContent Author

8 Comments

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply