A Travellerspoint blog

Day 4: Another great day of birding in the mountains!

all seasons in one day 78 °F

Today was another day spent in the vicinity of the beautiful mountain village of Ketchum in central Idaho. The scenery out here is just fantastic; the village and surrounding areas have ridges of large bluffs covered in sagebrush and juniper trees, and everywhere you look on the horizon there are tall, craggy, snow-covered mountain peaks visible. It is truly a wonderful place, and still, after an entire year of touring the world, it is my favorite place in the world in terms of natural beauty.

My morning of birding started off with this nice ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, which is a rare find in the summer in Idaho. Usually these guys tend to summer much farther north but I suppose that we are high enough in elevation around here to attract them for the summer. Just another proof that elevation affects temperature and climate just as much, or maybe even more, than latitude.

Then, amongst the abundant VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS, I picked out this one NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW:

Next, I found this lovely female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD:

A cool non-avian surprise was this native Snowshoe Hare. Too bad I can't come here in the winter to see these guys in their handsome all-white winter plumage.

Then, I had one kind lady inform me that there were two Black Bears up ahead on the road, so I turned back around and headed home.
BTW: I forgot to mention this on the blog, but I briefly saw a Black Bear cub yesterday. Sadly, it disappeared into the bushes before I could take any pictures.

Then, later in the afternoon, I checked the roost of LEWIS' WOODPECKERS, and sure enough there were ten of these uncommon birds present, including this one which let me photograph it:

This female AMERICAN KESTREL, a species of small falcon, was perched in the same tree as the woodpeckers, but the woodpeckers held their ground because kestrels are barely any bigger!

I ended my day of birding by watching this neat little AMERICAN DIPPER forage along the stream behind our condo. American Dippers are truly captivating birds because they live along fast-moving, rocky, mountain streams and are frequently found in frigid waters that have come straight from glaciers or mountain snow. These birds forage by plunging into the fast moving water, sometimes totally submerging themselves, and feeding on tiny animals and plants at the bottom of rivers. This is one of the species I most look forward to seeing every time I travel out to Idaho.

It was a fantastic day of birding with 47 species seen in all (full list below). Stay tuned because tomorrow my mom will take me to the nearby Silver Creek Preserve where I have learned there is a nest of Long-eared Owls, which would be a lifer for me if I found them. I am so excited!

Good birding,

World Life List: 681 Species (no life birds today)

47 species today:

Mallard 5
Mourning Dove 10
Rufous Hummingbird 6
Lewis's Woodpecker 10
Red-naped Sapsucker 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
American Kestrel 1
Western Wood-Pewee 3
Willow Flycatcher 2
Hammond's Flycatcher 1
Cassin's Vireo 1
Warbling Vireo 4
Steller's Jay 1
Black-billed Magpie 10
American Crow 5
Common Raven X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Violet-green Swallow 20
Cliff Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 9
Mountain Chickadee 2
Brown Creeper X
House Wren 3
American Dipper 1
Townsend's Solitaire 1
Swainson's Thrush 1
American Robin 10
Gray Catbird 3
European Starling X
Cedar Waxwing 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 2
Yellow Warbler 10
Chipping Sparrow 5
Song Sparrow 1
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 1
Western Tanager 3
Black-headed Grosbeak 7
Lazuli Bunting 3
Brewer's Blackbird X
House Finch 1
Pine Siskin 2
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow X

Posted by skwclar 17:07 Archived in USA

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Hello, I am a 12 year old birder and am fairly new at birding. My life list is at 244. I was just recently in Sun Valley, and I am an ebirder. I heard there was a Great Gray Owl spotted at the extreme lower part if the Grand Tetons National Park about three days ago from this comment.
If you don't have this already, a good way to find rare birds is to use an app on an apple device called BirdsEye, and BirdsEye Hotspots. I spotted a Dusky Grouse and Rock Wrens near the top of Bald Mountain. I hope you get to see them!
Good luck on finding your Owl,
Theo Bockhorst.

by Birder boy

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