The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal celebrates the arrival of spring and all the outdoor activities that it brings - including more animals and plants to see. Bob Danley said that 108 bird species have been seen so far in Missoula County, including Mountain Bluebird, Western Bluebird (see photo below), Varied Thrush and Say's Phoebe. Arriving daily are snow geese and tundra swans, which can easily be seen at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. Early wildflowers are popping up - such as the Sagebrush Buttercup on the east-facing slopes of grasslands or open wooded areas. Bob saw his first butterfly of the year - a California Tortoiseshell. And it was in his yard!

In the open fields, the little Columbian Ground Squirrels (see photo above) are moving around. They were first described by Meriwether Lewis back in 1806 in Idaho. Their underground homes have tunnels and chambers about 16 to 31 inches below the surface. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard every Wednesday at 7:45 a.m. on 1240 AM KLYQ's Bitterroot Morning newscast.

western bluebird
Western Bluebird. (Bob Danley Photo)