Birding by Ear
Instructor: Denny Olson
June 5 at 7 PM – June 6 at 3 PM
Glacier National Park comprises more than 1 million acres of diverse and stunning bird habitat. Encounter both common and uncommon bird species that thrive in and around the park on an adventure led by expert birder Denny Olson, who possesses an intimate knowledge of Glacier’s unending hideaways. Enjoy two days in nature as you hike through the wilderness and into the habitats of both eastern and western watershed bird species, while sharing the knowledge with your expert leader about the intricate avian ecology of these pristine natural areas.
*Note: One night of lodging at Field Camp is included in the course fee, along with some meals.
Meeting place: Glacier Institute Field Camp.
Itinerary (subject to change): All locations are subject to change based on conditions and bird activity.
Day 1: In the evening, Denny Olson will introduce the basics of birding, common birds of Glacier and the habitats in which we will be birding. Afterwards, join for a campfire and s’mores before retiring for our early wake-up the next day.
Day 2: We will conduct an exploration of bird songs before dawn by visiting a burned forest. After regrouping at Field Camp for a snack, we will return to the field at 8:30 AM, heading for Johns Lake fen, Avalanche Cedars (old growth birds) and the McDonald Creek cascades to search for (with our ears) wet meadow and pond birds, thrushes, Water Ouzels, Harlequin ducks, vireos, and Pacific wrens. We will return to Field Camp for lunch and wrap up with a final discussion and review of species that we heard. The course will finish around 3 PM and will not be cancelled due to weather.
Food: The following meals are included: breakfast and lunch on day 2.
Equipment: Please see Field Camp gear list. 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, with warm 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, up to 3 miles and 1,000 feet elevation gain.