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montana bird distribution -- MBD

The 2012 edition of P.D. Skaar's Montana Bird Distribution provides individual maps for 427 of the bird species observed in the state for both breeding and wintering areas. Specific details about the book are found below:

For more information about the Montana Bird Distribution project, click HERE.

Montana Bird Distribution - general description on 2012 edition:

MBD coverCover: Soft cover, spiral bound
Page Count: 208 pages
Publication Date: June 2012
Cost: $15.00, plus $5 postage and handling ($20 total)

The current (7th edition) of P.D. Skaar’s Montana Bird Distribution is available.  This book is an excellent companion to field guides because it indicates where birds are found in Montana.  It is a book of maps:  for 427 of Montana's bird species observed in the state, maps show breeding and wintering areas. 

Eighteen birds were new to the current edition:  Cackling Goose (a split from Canada Goose), Tufted Duck, Manx Shearwater, Glossy Ibis, White-tailed Kite, Crested Caracara, Ross’s Gull, Iceland Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Long-billed Murrelet (a split from Ancient Murrelet), Inca Dove, Carolina Wren, Pacific Wren (a split from Winter Wren), Curve-billed Thrasher, Siberian Accentor, Blue-winged Warbler, Eastern Towhee, and Eastern Meadowlark. 

This book is a useful reference.  In addition to bird distribution maps, the book lists which species are threatened, endangered, and sensitive.

Montana Bird Distribution was first published by P.D. Skaar in 1975.  The 7th edition is a cooperative project between Montana Audubon, the Montana Natural Heritage Program, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and the Montana Bird Records Committee. The 7th edition was published in June 2012.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (by Dan Casey)
History of P.D. Skaar’s Montana Bird Distribution
Montana Bird Distribution Partnership
Birds New to the 7th Edition
Taxonomic Changes (since 6th edition)
The Official Bird List for the State of Montana
Latilongs, Quarter Latilongs, and Quarter-quarter Latilongs
Montana Bird Distribution Database
Montana Bird Distribution on the Internet
Interpreting the Maps
Status Bars, Number of Records, and Species Status
Codes and Criteria (B, b, t, W, and w)

Species Distribution Maps (160 pages)

Appendix A. Submission of New Records
Appendix B. Bird Observation Report Form
Appendix C. Rare Birds
Appendix D. Montana Rare Bird Report Form
Appendix E. Threatened, Endangered, Candidate Species (T E C) Species of Concern (SOC) and Species of Interest (SI)
Appendix F. Subspecies
Appendix G. Introduced Species
Appendix H. Hypothetical Records
Appendix I. Extinct Species
Appendix J. A Summary of Bird Record Information by Latilong
Appendix K. Why Bird Distribution Information is Important
Appendix L. Contributors to this Edition
Appendix M. Checklist of Birds of Montana

Travel Maps

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Sample Maps

Below is a key to the maps found within Montana Bird Distribution. Following the key is a sample page from the book, showing actual maps.

Key to Maps

map key


sample page of maps

sample map page

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Purchasing Montana Bird Distribtion:

The 7th edition of P.D. Skaarr's Montana Bird Distribution can be purchased several ways:

  • Order by Mail. Send Montana Audubon a check for $20, to PO Box 595, Helena, MT 59624.
  • Order by Credit Card. Order a book by credit card by clicking HERE. Fill in the "Amount" of $20. Under "Gift Designation," select Montana Bird Distribution Book.
  • Wholesale Orders. Book stores can order books at wholesale prices. To receive an order form, send an email to

With this book, comes a 2012 Bird Checklist. Paper copies of the checklist are available from the Montana Audubon office. However, if you want a copy immediately, download it HERE.

Questions? Contact Janet Ellis, Montana Audubon's Program Director, at 406-443-3949 or

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