Visited the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area near Boise, Idaho. In the picture above it was sunny where I was, but there was snow and rain in half the sky, towards the mountains.
A Say’s phoebe (top) and a Brewer’s sparrow (bottom) near Dedication Point.
On the plateau above the Snake River there are “extraordinary numbers” of Townsend’s ground squirrels because of the unique soil and abundant food. Above you see a homeowner’s nightmare: all the light colored areas are squirrel burrows. There are miles and miles and miles of them. These are the small squirrels that run into the road in front of your car and then stop and maybe turn around.
The largest concentration of nesting prairie falcons in North America occurs in the NCA and feeds mainly on ground squirrels. When summer’s heat drives the ground squirrels into their burrows for summer hibernation, most prairie falcons leave the NCA in search of other prey. (Text from a sign at Dedication Point.)
I heard gunfire while I was at Dedication Point. On looking at the NCA’s web site found that target practice using squirrels is ok in certain areas. Urban sprawl from the Boise suburbs is inching very close to the NCA. Wonder if that will change the policy of allowing gun use.
Western kingbird seen along farmland on the way to the NCA.
Young male and female California quails near where I stayed along the Snake River. There are a lot of them in the area.
Below, a Western tanager. Not a great picture, but I see so few of them, wanted to post it.
Birds seen but not pictured: juvenile northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, swallows, kestrals, tundra swans, an osprey with a fish in it’s talons.