The high mountain forests, sagebrush desert and Salmon River corridor all offer unique avian habitat. Many migratory birds such as redwing blackbirds, goldfinches, mountain bluebirds, woodpeckers, snow geese, and western tanagers all add flashes of brilliant color. Common species seen in the Spring are the beautifully vocal meadowlarks.
There are also numerous species of owls such as Common Barn Owl, Western Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl, Northern Pygmy Owl, Burrowing Owl, and the Great Gray Owl. Most of these owls are nocturnal, though other species are not. In addition to owls, there are also other species of birds of prey. Bald eagles, Golden eagles, hawks, and falcons can be seen patrolling the skies looking for prey. Watch bald eagles fish frigid waters along the winter river. It is also not uncommon to see wild turkeys as well along the river road or even spotted downtown.
You’ll see Sandhill cranes and herons inhabiting open grasslands, meadows and shallow freshwater marshes. Migrating cranes are often seen foraging in grain fields and roosting along slow moving rivers and other bodies of freshwater.
Other commonly observed birds here in central Idaho are the Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds. Migrating hummingbirds usually arrive in mid-May; though they are usually gone shortly after Labor Day in September.
In addition to the many types of birds listed above, waterfowl is also very abundant. From the colorful wood ducks and mallards to the majestic Canadian geese, this area is ideal for these birds due to the diverse habitats.
Bring your camera and enjoy the plethora of avian life!