Western Meadowlark ~ Sturnella neglecta The Western Meadowlark favors the prairies and grassy valleys, but it also frequents sagebrush flats and the grassy glades within pine forests. In late summer it may nest at an altitude of twelve thousand feet in the open grasslands of the Rockies. Flocks of these birds wanter in the fall, but they do not migrate very far. They winter as far north as they can find snow-free feeding grounds. The female usually builds her roofed-over nest of grass on dry ground in contrast to the moist depressions chosen by the eastern species.
Bitterroot ~ Lewisia rediviva Montana chose a deserving state flower in the lovely Bitterroot. It has lent its common name to a mountain range, a valley, and a river. It has taken its scientific name, lewisia, from the famous explorer, Captain Meriwether Lewis, who was the first man to collect information about this exquisite plant. Among Flathead and Kutenai Indians of western Montana, Bitterroot was the most important root crop because it was the source of a delicious porridge. The roots are long-lived, and even if kept out of the soil for several years, they will incredibly begin to grow again when they are planted.
From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issued July 24, 1992: