Birding for Beginners

Learn the basics of bird identification and practice identifying birds from multiple families.

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Distance

3 Miles

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Elevation Gain

500 Feet

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Difficulty

Moderate

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Members Only

Progam Overview

August 24, 2024: Have you ever wondered what birds live in your backyard? Do you wish you could identify that weird noise following you on your hikes? If you’re new to birding and want to learn the basics with other newbies, this is the place for you! Join Kelly, Lead Educator with the Glacier Institute, for a fun day with birds! We’ll learn the basics of bird identification and practice identifying birds from multiple families including raptors, waterfowl, songbirds, and more! We’ll cover the ways you can log (or not log) the birds you see. Kelly will even share some of her favorite birding hot spots that led to her current love of these feathered friends. By the end of the day, you’ll not only have the tools to identify basic birds in Glacier National Park, but wherever your travels take you.

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Birding for Beginners

Hike Overview Continued

Instructor: Kelly Minear

Have you ever wondered what birds live in your backyard? Do you wish you could identify that weird noise following you on your hikes? If you’re new to birding and want to learn the basics with other newbies, this is the place for you! Join Kelly, Lead Educator with the Glacier Institute, for a fun day with birds! We’ll learn the basics of bird identification and practice identifying birds from multiple families including raptors, waterfowl, songbirds, and more! We’ll cover the ways you can log (or not log) the birds you see. Kelly will even share some of her favorite birding hot spots that led to her current love of these feathered friends. By the end of the day, you’ll not only have the tools to identify basic birds in Glacier National Park, but wherever your travels take you.

Meeting place: Glacier Institute Field Camp.

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather)
We’ll begin our day at 7 a.m. at Field Camp to learn some birding basics and practice these skills around the area. We’ll then head to other locations on the east and west side of the park to get a variety of species. The course will finish around 4 p.m. and will not be canceled due to weather.

Food: Please bring a trail lunch, plenty of water, and snacks for the day.

Park Entrance Fees: Participants are responsible for purchasing their park entrance passes prior to the course. These can be purchased online at: https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/74280.

Equipment: You will receive a Field Camp gear list once you register. Most importantly are comfortable hiking shoes, snacks, water bottle at least 1-2 liters, backpack, rain gear, hat, and sunscreen. Weather can be varied, especially in the spring and fall, so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, with extra layers. Binoculars are very useful, as well as bird field guides.

Physical Requirements: Moderate: We will be hiking to various sites at an easy pace, stopping frequently to listen for and identify bird songs and the birds that create them. The hiking may be on or off trail, in brushy and marshy areas. Distance will be up to 3 miles with 500 feet of elevation change.

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What to Expect On Your Birding for Beginners

We’ll learn the basics of bird identification and practice identifying birds from multiple families including raptors, waterfowl, songbirds, and more! We’ll cover the ways you can log (or not log) the birds you see.

* Trails listed are subject to change due to trail closure, weather, trail conditions, or wildlife.

Program Details

  • This program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp.
  • Instructor: Kelly Minear
  • The program will begin 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers less than 3 miles with less than 500 feet elevation change.
  • On-site parking available.
  • There is a maximum number of 13
  • This program has a minimum guest count of 3 people. In the unlikely case we don’t reach that number, you will be notified prior to the event.

The Glacier Institute has a 7 day cancellation policy for a full refund with all of our courses.

What to Bring

Please remember that weather in NW Montana during all seasons can change quickly from warm and sunny to freezing at any time of the year. We recommend checking the weather prior to your trip. Please also check your course information sheet for specific gear requirements in addition to those listed below.

  • Lightweight hiking boots or a sturdy pair of hiking shoes
  • 2 liter sized water bottle or Camelback
  • Day Pack with plastic bag liner or cover
  • Waterproof rain jacket and pants
  • Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant & lip balm
  • Camera (optional)
  • Trekking poles, if you like to use them for hiking (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Field Notebook notes and sketches

Download complete checklist here