Bird sightings and Past Events

Black Canyon North east of Howe, Idaho, August 27, 2015.  Slim turn-out, but we had a great hike.  This canyon is accessible by going north on 1500 W past the last farmstead and up a moderately rough 2-track about a mile to the mouth of the canyon.  It is the western most of 3 canyons opening out from the south of Saddle Mountain at the end of the Lemhi Range.  What used to be a 2 track into the canyon has eroded to the point that vehicular traffic into the canyon is not possible.  But that's a good thing, as it means there are no 4 wheelers.  Weather was mild, in the high 70's, clear but a little smokey from distant fires.  Birds were scarce.  We started up a short-eared owl from a juniper.  It circled us and floated away up into the rocks.  Rock wrens seemed to be everywhere, there were at least 2 golden eagles, a few Swainson's hawks, a red tail, and a Clark's nutcracker.  Also had 1 rattlesnake, just for a little spice.  Treat them with respect; we gave it a wide berth.  

Dubois Grouse Days
, which took place April 11 this year, was very well attended and a great success. This is good news; the founding group had suffered some losses recently, and it had seemed like energy for continuing the annual event was waning. With this boost it looks like we can look forward to more Dubois Grouse Days in the future.  Seeing these birds dance at least once in a lifetime is a must for any true believer.

Camas NWR, Saturday Sept 20, 2014

Sandhill cranes    Great blue herons   a pair of Trumpeter swans with 3 cygnets   Northern Harriers  Red tailed hawks    lesser yellowlegs   American avocet and Black necked stilts   a few peeps    Wilson's phalaropes    Eared grebes    Pied billed grebes    still a few White faced ibis     Canada geese    Mallards    Pintails    American wigeons    Mourning doves and Collared doves    Hairy and downy woodpeckers    Cinnamon teal    Ruddy ducks   Sharp shin hawk    Merlin     Marsh wrens    Tons of yellow rump warblers    Wilson's warblers    (a magnolia warbler reported on the 19th)   a Townsend's warbler    a Tennessee warbler    2 spp. of vireo    American robin    Hermit thrush and another thrush spp (?)    Ruby crowned kinglets    Oregon juncoes    White crown sparrows    Song sparrows  Lincoln's sparrows    Red winged blackbirds    Cow birds    European starlings
Pronghorns (about 15), Elk (more than 50, cows and bulls mixed not in harems yet), 2 young moose

Bird Sightings
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Please let us know about the birds you see in Eastern Idaho.  Contact Snake River Audubon with your sightings.  Include the date, general location, and species observed, also any interesting behaviors and a count or estimate of the numbers of birds seen.

Market Lake WMA Cleanup, Oct. 11, 2014

posted Nov 18, 2014, 1:24 PM by Webmaster

Opening Day for duck  season.

We had 7 people: me, Jean, Glen and Melinda, Tim and Wendy, and Ginny (Greg Rice’s sister!).   That was 6 more than I expected.  No one got shot, and it turned out to be a good day.  The weather was lowering but still pretty fair and not windy.  Trash haul was medium amount, and afterward we went over to the west side to check out the new windrow Melinda helped plant two weeks ago.  Ducks were all laying low, but there were many, many coot, several pied bill grebes and one western.  The new shelter belt to be is back past the “back” shelter belt and to the right (south), and runs east-west (perpendicular to the existing belts.  They planted a diversity of trees; I hope it does well.  

From there we walked back along the canal levee that runs behind the east end of the new trees, and curves around to the west to fill the front marsh.  About half way back we stopped at “Greg’s” tree that lies to the south of the existing shelter belts at a bend of the canal.  The tree, appropriately enough, was jumping!  It had several kinglets, a downy woodpecker, 3 redwing blackbirds (along the canal behind), and first 1 and then a whole flock of yellow rumps.  Also just past the tree we found a recently dead sage grouse that was apparently (I’d like to believe) accidentally shot by a blind duck hunter.  Kind of a bummer, but we all got an up close look at a nice looking male greater sage grouse.  Only yesterday I spent an hour in Bernadette’s studio talking with her about the logo she's doing for us, sage grouse, and the differences in appearance between Gunnison and Big sage grouse.  

I should add miscellaneous birds here and there: chipping and song sparrows, a marsh wren, an osprey and 2 harriers, at least 30 Canada geese in one flock, maybe more, and a worried looking pheasant near headquarters.  Glen saw a shrike (he was noncommittal about northern or loggerhead).

The old shelter belts were full of birds too, but we stayed out for fear of lurking hunters.  Instead we adjourned to the truck stop for a late lunch in good company.


Craters of the Moon camp out and Star Party with the IF Astronomical Society

posted Oct 8, 2014, 6:15 PM by Webmaster   [ updated Jan 19, 2015, 12:21 PM by Mark Delwiche ]

The good news is it wasn't really cold...  But it did rain all night and much of Saturday as well.  And the sky was not cooperative for star gazing.  But Craters is a treat any time of year, and the rocks don't care what the weather is.  But the birds do.  Although still mild weather, there were very few birds to be seen or heard.  But scarcity makes it fun.  Join us for the Craters of the Moon Christmas Bird Count, tentatively Monday, December 15.  Contact us at,Snake River Audubon or go to National Audubon for details: 

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