|Western Tanager near the Greenhorn Trail, in Hailey, Idaho|
Idaho has an abundance of rivers, in fact it has the most river miles of any state in the country. It is revered by fisherman and provides great habitat for birds and other wildlife..
Osprey definitely find ample opportunity to fish. On our way to Craters of the Moon, we took the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. Our first stop was at Upper Mesa Falls located at Henry's Fork of the Snake River. This pair of osprey found a perfect perch to build a nest.
The next day we spent the morning at Craters of the Moon, one of the national monuments that was on President Trump's list for reevaluation. Fortunately, no changes to its designation were recommended by Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke. We were warned that the temperature can sometimes be unbearably hot, so I put on my shorts, but it was definitely a hat and gloves day, being both cold and windy!
|Standing in front of lava formations at Craters of the Moon National Monument|
|A colorful Mountain Bluebird at Craters|
|The Clark's Nutcracker is the size of a jay and is grey with black wings. This one was hiding in the thicket|
|Snake River Canyon|
|Parent and "baby" Raven|
|Common Side-blotched Lizard|
We followed the road down the canyon to a dam and the Swan Falls Picnic area where we ate our lunch. This is the site of the Swan Falls Hydroelectric Dam operated by Idaho Power.
|The Swan Falls Dam hydroelectric plant was built in 1901 and is now a museum|
|This Barrow's Goldeneye has a quizzical look|
|The rope adds some color to the nest, but I wonder if it's a safety hazard to birds that may get caught up in it.|
On the drive we saw a Long-billed Curlew, a species of concern in Idaho.
There is a museum on the premises and a visitor center where there are maps, but it was closed when we arrived. Because of this, we did not know exactly how to get to the rocks with the petroglyphs, for which the park is most known. Instead, I took a random walk toward the cliffs to see what I could find. Immediately, I saw a peregrine falcon, but it flew either into one of the many rock crevices, or around the side before I could capture a photo. The rock formations themselves were very interesting and there were lots of cliff swallows flying around and as I got closer, I could see the colony of nests.
|A colony of Cliff swallows|
|Snake at Celebration Park.|
It was late afternoon by the time we left the park to return to Boise. We decided to make one last birding stop at the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge. Our timing was not good again, as the visitors center was closing just as we pulled into the parking lot. Because of this, we only stayed briefly and did not observe the many water birds for which the refuge is know. We did see several Magpies, and even though it's a common bird in the West, they are beautiful and entertaining to watch.