Montana is home to a hugely diverse population of our feathered friends.  Whether it be the welcoming sound of our state bird the meadowlark, the squawk of magpies, or seeing a gaggle of geese migrating across the Big Sky.  But how many of the young birds do you have a chance to see?  Sure, maybe a nest of swallows or robins have made their home at your residence.  But what about some of the more exotic birds that are in our state?

Yes, We Really Do Have Pelicans in Montana, In Fact, We Really Have Them

Montana may seem a little off the beaten wing path, but we really do have pelicans across our state.  You may have seen them near the Black Eagle Dam in Great Falls, cruising the waterways of the Missouri, or at your favorite Holter Lake spot.  But for a really up-close look, you need to head to a special place in the state to observe them.

Where To Find That Elusive Baby Pelican for the Ultimate Photo Shoot

The Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana is home to one of the largest American white pelican colonies in the United States.  According to one study, nearly 3700 nests are located at the refuge.  At times, nearly 10,000 of the birds are present in and around the area of the refuge.

While the migration usually starts to arrive in mid-April, then laying and incubating eggs for the month of May, now is the best time to catch them out.  Pelicans are generally taking care of young from June-August.  The young generally start flying in August, with migration back south happening in mid-September to mid-October.

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