To join Greg on one of these tours visit or call 888-875-9453

In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA, while trying to hold down a full-time job, aspiring to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. "The Big Year," a novel by Mark Obmascik detailed his travails alongside two competitors. The book was later turned into a movie of the same title that starred Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson!

Montana Day 3

Chestnut-collared Longspur
Awesome male Chestnut-collared Longspur in rich, breeding plumage – photo by Greg Miller


Amazing! Montana does not disappoint! What a day…again! We started the day in Helena at the Mount Helena City Park. From the parking area we saw 2 Calliope Hummingbirds. Then we made the long drive to the expansive grasslands in the Harlowton area. We made a pit stop at Martinsdale Reservoir where we saw Long-billed Curlews, American Avocets, Marbled Godwits, Wilson’s Phalaropes, American White Pelicans, Cinnamon Teal, and Franklin’s Gulls.

But it was Oka Road south of Judith Gap that produced a Grand Slam of Goodies including Baird’s Sparrow, Sprague’s Pipit, McCown’s Longspur, and Chestnut-collared Longspur. The longspurs were everywhere and flying up out of the grassy fields and fluttering in display flights, showing off. It was exciting to watch!

Baird's Sparrow with broken leg
Baird’s Sparrow with broken leg – photo by Greg Miller


Sadly, this little bird had something way wrong with its leg.

After a late lunch we headed south on Route 3. In a prairie dog town west of Broadview we found a Burrowing Owl. What a good way to top a great day! But we weren’t done with surprises. Along Route 3 we found an Upland Sandpiper with a young bird in the grass close by.

Upland Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper – photo by Greg Miller


The trip list is up to 120 species and the year list got a boost to 418. Cruising right along. Tomorrow is another long driving day. We will be heading north for more grassland birding.


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