Though the temperature December 17 was below zero, over a dozen volunteers counted over 7,843 birds in the annual Hamilton Christmas Bird Count.

The 2016 count happened about two weeks before the annual Stevensville Bird Count, which set a few records and had the most species seen in any of the Montana bird counts.

The Hamilton count was 66 species, according to John Ormiston of Bitterroot Audubon. He reported to the membership that there was a record high number of Eurasian-collared Doves (546) and 98 Red-tailed Hawks.

There were also above average numbers of California Quail, Bohemian Waxwings, Dark-eyed Juncos and House Sparrows.

Raptors were all around, including Prairie Falcons, Merlin, Kestrel and Accipiters.

Oh yes, there were 48 Bald Eagles. So we grabbed one of Mike Daniels' eagle photos.

The Bitterroot Audubon meetings are the third Monday of each month.