sanford park birding trails


From US 2 in Chester, take South Tiber Road 14 miles, follow Bureau of Reclamation signs above Tiber Dam.

General Information

"East meets West" plays out at Sanford Park below Tiber Dam on the Marias River. Brown thrashers reach western edge of range, Bullock's and Baltimore orioles flit in the treetops. Five swallow species glide - barn, tree, northern rough-winged, cliff, and bank - while cedar waxwing, spotted sandpiper, belted kingfisher, and spotted towhee move below. Best viewing late May to mid-July. In winter, check Tiber Road and Lake Elwell for snowy owl (fields, power poles).


Streamside, grassland, sagebrush, lake, cliffs.

Highlighted Species

Say's phoebe, mountain bluebird, black-headed grosbeak, brown thrasher, yellow-breasted chat, prairie falcon, merlin, bald eagle, golden eagle, ferruginous and Swainson's hawks, Caspian tern; Brewer's sparrow (sagebrush by park); lark sparrow (dry hillsides by park). Great horned owl, eastern screech-owl sometimes nest.

Facilities and Services

Vault toilet, year-round camping. Food and gas at Tiber Marina on Lake Elwell (summer). Lodging, food and gas in Chester.


Tiber Field Office
Bureau of Reclamation
Chester, MT 59522