Billings, Montana @ ZooMontana
YELLOWSTONE ARBORETUM PROGRAM
The grounds of ZooMontana have long been recognized as a hotspot for birding enthusiasts. It is a natural habitat for birds of all kinds including the Chickadee, Warblers, Woodpeckers, Jays, Wrens and large species like Sandhill Cranes, Hawks and Owls. As a result the Yellowstone Arboretum has introduced a wild bird feeder program to enhance the visual population of birds for visitors. This program includes various styles of feeders in optimum locations throughout the 70 acres that make up the grounds. The locations were selected because of previous bird sightings in those areas and the natural bird habitats that exist. All sights are part of the extensive pathway system and are described below.
PLAZA - This extensive area is best viewed on the perimeter due to the location of large Maples, Cottonwoods, Pines and Ornamental trees. Look for Robins, Chickadees and overhead Hawks.
SENSORY GARDEN - A bowl surrounded by huge Spruce and Pines, this area is a mecca for smaller species. Due to the popularity of this area with visitors, optimum bird watching is early and lat in the day. Ornamental viburnums with berries for food and two large water sources attract many types of birds.
LYNX PATHWAY - This area is a more intimate setting for bird watching as the trees are located next to or overhanging the pathway. These trees also supply a good diet of berries and seeds such as Black Hawthorns and Sumacs.
WATERWAYS - Perhaps the best viewing area in the arboretum is "Chickadee Trail" from Wolves to Waterways and including the Dell Nature Trail. This area has a tall overstory of Cottonwoods and can be quite protected which is a wonderful area for bird populations. It also includes the new and evolving Bird Garden with a large number of feeders for viewing.
Other great viewing areas include the Tiger, Takin and Panda habitats, a cottonwood riparian Zone by along Canyon Creek at Wolf Bridge and the Homestead Collection.