Gary Swant was a biology and field ecology teacher for 25 years in the Upper Clark Fork River drainage before starting GoBirdMontana, LLC in 2009. The vision was guiding people who were interested in birds of Southwest Montana, and to develop a stewardship attitude for all things related to birds in our spectacular high elevation corner of Montana.
Since that beginning, we have branched out into field research sampling the density and diversity of birds as it relates to the ongoing remediation work along the Clark Fork River, in association with the cleanup from the 1908 flood. Work has been done for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Atlantic Richfield and British Petroleum, along with municipalities along the river. Highlight awards have been: Montana Audubon - Citizen Scientist Award, 2016 and Montana Wildlife Society - Wildlife Conservation Award, 2018.
Caleb Lashway, Gary's oldest grandson, has a natural affinity for all wildlife, especially birds, which began at age 2 when they went birding together. He grew up in East Africa became a proficient world birder and has now joined GoBirdMontana leading birding tours and conducting field research.
We especially enjoy guiding individuals and small groups along the various ecosystems of Western Montana’s lakes, streams, mountains & prairies.
All tours are:
Six to eight hours
$150 for first person, $50 for each additional person
$0.54 per mile after the first 100 miles
BYOB: Bring your own binoculars
Contact Gary to book:
GEORGETOWN AND EAST FORK RESERVOIR
This area is rich with mountain species such as Western Tanager, Evening Grosbeak, Great Gray Owl, Pileated Woodpecker and Pine Grosbeak. In the Fall, the reservoir attracts a variety of scoters, loons and grebes.
WARM SPRINGS WMA
We have documented 217 species at this Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and it is rich in waterfowl and shorebirds as well as passerines. Species of interest in this area are Greater Scaup in the Spring, Red-Necked Grebes and Black-Crowned Night-Herons in the Summer, and a variety of shorebirds in the Fall.
The Dutchman Wetlands is one of the largest natural springs in southwest Montana. There have been 126 species identified in this area including Virginia Rail, Sora and Long Eared Owl.
This high elevation sagebrush grassland holds several species that are unique in the state of Montana such as the Sagebrush Sparrow and Gray Flycatcher. Other birds of interest in this area are Sage Grouse, Burrowing Owl, McCowan's Longspur, and Sage Thrasher.
BROWN'S LAKE AREA
This area of Montana is characterized by glacial potholes and Ponderosa Forest. Birds of interest in this area include Black Tern, Red-necked Grebe, migrating Pacific Loons, and forest birds such as Townsend’s Warbler and Olive-sided Flycatcher.
When the nest is empty, go birding
- Warm Springs Christmas Bird CountWed, Jan 01Warm Springs, MT
- Grant-Kohrs Christmas Bird CountThu, Dec 19Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic SiteDec 19, 2019, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PMGrant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, 266 Warren Ln, Deer Lodge, MT 59722, USAJoin with the community of birders in the Deer Lodge Valley as they conduct the annual bird count at Grant-Kohrs Ranch. This is a great event for novice birders to gain exposure to the birding community!