A Travellerspoint blog

Days 5 & 6: American Three-toed Woodpecker

semi-overcast 89 °F

Yesterday, my 5th day on this trip to Idaho, my family and I basically stayed around our condo and had a rare day of pure relaxation and a very fun afternoon at the condo's outdoor pool. The only bird I photographed yesterday was this STELLER'S JAY:

Today, we did a family hike along the pristine Apollo Creek in the Smoky Mountains of central Idaho. We were on the beautiful trail by 10:00am, which led us through dense woods as well as open meadows full of wildflowers while staying parallel to Apollo Creek.


Whitebark Pine Tree, a declining species and one of the longest-lived tree species on the planet:

CLARK'S NUTCRACKER, a species of jay that inhabits high-elevation montane forests ranging from southern Canada to northern Mexico:

Apollo Creek:

Although it was a fairly long and strenuous hike, my sister Pearl was mainly cheerful throughout and once again proved her aptitude in hiking. Her "pedometer" recorded over 21,000 steps by the end of the day! Here she is posing with my dad:

We ended our hike at a beautiful meadow and had a nice picnic lunch in the middle of the mountains. Throughout the hike, we were rewarded with very impressive views like this:

Mushroom about the size of a softball along the trail:

Nice butterfly. Anyone know the species? Leave me a comment!

Once we arrived back at the parking lot, I heard a loud drumming noise in the nearby burnt forest from a forest fire a few years ago. After a bit of investigation, I found my life bird AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER! This species specializes in living in burnt and disturbed forests, so I was hoping to find the bird the entire day and my wish came true in the end! Life bird #856!

After the drive back to our condo near Sun Valkey, the family relaxed in the condo's nice pool with a beautiful view of the nearby mountain called Mt. Balde. It was a very warm 89 degrees today, so the water was very refreshing. My mom took this photo of my dad, my sister (Pearl), and me:

Bird-of-the-day yesterday goes to the STELLER'S JAY.
Bird-of-the-day today goes to the AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, my first life bird since Costa Rica! Runner-up to the CLARK'S NUTCRACKER.

Stay tuned and good birding!

World Life List: 856 Species (1 life bird today: American Three-toed Woodpecker)

Posted by skwclar 20:36 Archived in USA

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Hi Henry, I was just recently looking back at your previous posts when I saw one of your family out west in Idaho. You showed a picture of a forest fire. Was that the fire that you saw the woodpecker in?

by isoo

Your butterfly looks like Speyeria sp. You can always post unknown plants, animals, fungi, and other living things on iNaturalist.org to get help identifying!

by bouteloua

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