Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
owhere else can you find such concentrations of nesting birds of prey -- Golden Eagles, Prairie Falcons, Swainson's Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, Red-tails, Northern Harriers and American Kestrels. Nearly 1,000 nesting pairs of raptors are known to use the rugged landscape carved by the Snake River. Most raptor watchers travel to the Snake River Birds of Prey Natural Area during late spring and early summer, when raptors are tied to nesting territories and can be seen at their nesting sites on steep cliffs and widely dispersed trees.
The surrounding sagebrush grasslands attract such species as Burrowing Owls, Long-billed Curlews, Cliff and Violet-green Swallows, Sage Thrashers, Lazuli Buntings and Sage Sparrows. A variety of ducks, shorebirds and waterbirds can also be seen, including Cinnamon Teal, Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, Western Grebes and Clark's Grebes. During winter, nesting species are joined by Bald Eagles, Rough-legged Hawks, Merlins, Cooper's Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and occasional sightings of Peregrine Falcons, Ospreys and Northern Goshawks.
Some favorite birding locations include Bruneau Dunes State Park, Ted Trueblood Wildlife Management Area, Swan Falls Dam, Dedication Site and C.J. Strike Reservoir. Boise is the most convenient staging area to reach the best raptor viewing locations, and you can try to coordinate your field trips with a tour of the Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise (208) 362-3716. Also, contact the Bureau of Land Management (208) 384-3304.
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