Birds of Prey | Guided Educational Hike

This course focuses on the Birds of Prey habitat in Glacier Park

glacier-hiker-icon-70x65
Distance

3 Miles

glacier-mountain-icon-70x65
Elevation Gain

1,000 Feet

hike-difficulty-3
Difficulty

Easy/Moderate

glacier-logo-white

Members Only

Progam Overview

*Members Only Course: Becoming a member grants you access to all Glacier Institute educational day programs for free!

July 13, 2024: Raptors have been immortalized as symbolic heralds in literature, served as important indicators in uncovering the effects of pesticides on wildlife, and they patrol our skies connecting us to an ancient, evolutionary past. During our time together, we will discuss the life histories, habits, physical characteristics, distribution of Glacier’s full suite of birds of prey.

READ MORE

Birds of Prey | Guided Educational Hike

Hike Overview Continued

*Members Only Course: Becoming a member grants you access to all Glacier Institute educational day programs for free!

Instructor: Mia Panado

Raptors have been immortalized as symbolic heralds in literature, served as important indicators of the effects of pesticides on wildlife, and connect us to our ancient, evolutionary past. During our time together, we will discuss the life histories, habits, and physical characteristics of Glacier National Park’s birds of prey.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather)

We will meet at 7 a.m. and spend the morning in camp looking at slides and specimens, and getting an overview of raptors in general and Glacier’s birds of prey in particular.   Further morning activities will include a visit by a local raptor rehabilitator with several live birds.  In the afternoon, we will travel to the foot of Lake McDonald and make our way down lower McDonald Creek (approximately 2.5 miles) to the site of the former annual bald eagle congregation.  Once there, we will look at feeding and roosting sites.  We’ll also look at fish, flora, beaver work and other wildlife signs, and have plenty of time for birding and photography.  As an alternative, we may drive up the North Fork Rd to Polebridge and look for nesting Great Gray and Northern Hawk Owls. The course will end by 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 Glacier Institute Field Camp gear list once your register. Most important are comfortable hiking shoes, at least 1-2-liter water bottle, backpack, rain gear, hat, and sunscreen. Weather can be varied so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, and warm layers. Please bring binoculars, field notebook and camera, if you wish. Your favorite field guides are helpful and if you have a spotting scope you are welcome to bring it along.

Physical Requirements: Moderate difficulty. On- trail or off-trail hikes in Glacier Park will be less than three miles, with up to 100 feet of elevation change.

glacier hiking, day hikes glacier national park

What to Expect On Your On This Day Hike

We will be hiking to various sites at an easy pace, stopping frequently to looking at nesting and migrating raptors. The hiking may be on or off trail, up to 1,000 feet of elevation change.

* 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, West Glacier.
  • Instructor: Mia Panado
  • The program will begin 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. on the final day. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers less than 3 with 100 feet elevation change.
  • Glacier National Park Vehicle Pass is required, you can purchase a pass at recreation.gov.
  • On-site parking is available.
  • There is a maximum number of 13 hikers per trip.
  • 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