Bob Danley reported over 222 species of birds have been seen this year in Missoula County, courtesy of EBird data. He said the whole state of Montana sees about 400 different species each year. In this week's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal, Bob noted that the Western Bluebirds are using the nest boxes (many were put up in community project a few years ago). He is noticing lots of activity in a box in his yard as the bluebirds feed their young (photo below). Also out there are Cedar Waxwings, Lazuli Bunting and Pine Siskin (see photo above). At dusk, the Common Nighthawk is active with its distinctive flying sounds. Butterflies seen this week include the Snowberry Checkerspot (Photo below) and the Western Tailed-Blue. A YouTube video helps you identify it.

On the ground, the fungi are fruiting. Bob noted a Phellodon Tomentosus, which is a small fan fungi in the forest (photo below). Wildflowers include Bitterroots (Bitterroot Day at Hamilton's Ravalli County Museum is Saturday, June 13), Blanketflower, Mountain Lady's Slipper (photo below), Pallid Indian Paintbrush, Early Coralroot and Thin-leaved Owl Clover. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesdays on KLYQ radio at 7:45 a.m.

bluebird and box
Bluebird on a bluebird box. (Bob Danley Photo)
checkerspot butterfly
Snowberry Checkerspot butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Phellodon tomentosus fungi. (Bob Danley Photo)
mtn ladys slippers
Mountain Lady's Slippers. (Bob Danley Photo)