One of the many great things about living in Montana is the many species of birds. As the weather begins to warm up, birds are much more active. Luckily, we're not too far from excellent bird watching opportunities.

Here are a few great places for bird watching near Bozeman.

Headwaters State Park

  • Headwaters State Park offers many great bird watching opportunities. There are many trails throughout the park that follow along the Missouri River. You're likely to see Bald Eagles, a variety of hawks, Sand Hill Cranes, and much more.

Central Park Pond

  • Central Park Pond near Manhattan is a great place to check out waterfowl. You can see a wide variety of birds including, but not limited to, Trumpeter Swans, Mallard Ducks, Canadian Geese, Snow Geese, and more. During migration in the fall and winter, there's no telling what you might see.

Three Forks

  • Three Forks and the surrounding area along the Jefferson River is another great place for bird watching. You can stop at the ponds along Old Town Road or venture further down Highway 287 along the Jefferson River. You're guaranteed to see a wide variety of birds.

Cottonwood Reservoir

  • Cottonwood Reservoir is located about 36 miles north of Livingston on Hwy 89. The reservoir and the drive to it offer great opportunities for bird watching. You can see wild turkeys, Sand Hill Cranes, Mountain Blue Birds, and it's also a great place to see a wide variety of Raptors.

Ennis Lake

  • Ennis Lake is one of my personal favorites. During spring and fall, it hosts a variety of migrating birds. Sand Hills Cranes can often be seen, as well as a numbers of other birds during migration.

Make sure to take a pair of binoculars along with you. Bird watching is a great way to enjoy some of the beauty Montana has to offer, and is also a great way to social distance.