Each year during early June I lead a bird hike along the Beaver Pond loop trail with fellow Glacier National Park naturalists as a bit of a refresher. It's a good chance for me to knock the rust off my ears as well and enjoy this spectacular park in early season. This year we ended up finding 37 species including a couple drumming Ruffed Grouse, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Mountain Bluebird, Gray Catbird, lots of Macgillivray's Warblers, and a couple Western Tanagers. A Cassin's Vireo confused me momentarily because I was trying to make the call into that of a Dusky Flycatcher. I don't hear Cassin's Vireos on the east side of the park very often so I wasn't expecting it. The most interesting find, however was a Black-backed Woodpecker nest hole. It isn't easy to find unless you happen to see the birds using it. But, the adults should be in the area. From the trailhead head along the low portion of the trail so you are taking the loop counter clockwise. Pass the small wetland and start heading uphill through the Douglas Fir. You will eventually enter a taller spruce-fir forest that is live and grading into a forest that was part of the 2006? Red Eagle fire. It is on the left side of the trail somewhere before you get into the burn and five minutes walk before you hit the big clearing. Good Birding!
Top of page photo by Randy Patrick
David Benson Ph.D.
White-tailed Ptarmigan researcher and National Park Service Ranger Naturalist in GNP since 1995. "The Bird Ranger"