Idaho Bird Observatory Field Trip


A wonderful couple of hours with Robin as we went on a field trip to the Idaho Bird Observatory on Shaw Mountain just east of Boise. Elevation about 5600 feet. The hawk watching was really slow and only two birds had been spotted all morning.

If you can find the road off of Hiway 21 and just about 3 miles from Lucky Peak (the sign lettering is almost gone), there are plenty of signs to lead you through the wilderness to the observation point. A very windy and in places rough road. You really need a high clearance vehicle to travel this road. The first sign pictured here is what you are following.

This was a slow day, according to one of the student observers. Goshawks were the two that were spotted today whereas yesterday, in the same time period, there were 4 Goshawks spotted. The only hawk that Robin and I saw was a Red Tail as pictured below.

The signage is good and informative.

The Boise Valley from the observation point.

Looking at Lucky Peak on the road up to the IBO. Notice the water level.

Red Tail Hawk on the road to the camp.

Elk print in road.

Looking North from the observatory. Bogus Basin Ski Area is just to the left and out of the frame.

Looking south towards the Owyhee Plateau.

The Boise River is down there. Look close.

Look to the bottom right and you will see a small “shack”. This is the banding area. Boise is in the background.

Closeup of the banding area.

Robin in the parking area. There is a good toilet there.

This is where the observers stay. There are several tents in the area.

So there you have our sojourn for today. Now we know where the Idaho Bird Observatory is located, how to get there, what the road is like getting to the observation point, the steepness of the trail that we 68 year olds must hike and the wonderful and exciting of the views. Maybe next year we will volunteer up there during the summer season for a while. We’ll look into the “volunteer status”. That could be exciting. Enjoy the photos. If you look in the sidebar, you will find a link to the Idaho Bird Observatory web site. It is interesting.

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