Snake River Birds of Prey Area, Idaho

I got the bug to head up into Idaho and visit the Snake River Birds of Prey area for a couple days of raptor photography.  Around a 600 mile trip one way…14 hours on the road.  Stayed in Nampa…now just a suburb of the greater Boise urban sprawl (having been I Idaho resident for 7 years I realize they disregard anything we Californians tell them NOT to do).  My expectations were that I would be inundated with raptors on every rock outcrop, canyon wall and power pole but this was not the case.

Primary BOP habitat (w/o trash)

Image

 

Most of the area is high desert sagebrush interspersed with private lands in alfalfa, corn and other water hungry crops.  Lots of dirt roads and tracks over the hills where the motorcycles and dune buggies have denuded the area.  This opened the area for “free” dumping of all kinds of trash…old mattresses and couches, broken swing sets and just lots of bags of garbage.  But, amid the rubble I did find some cooperative burrowing owls and spent a morning and an evening photographing them.

Burrowing owls

Image

Image

 

My favorite shot

Image

Going down into the Snake River Canyon was a welcome change…really picturesque scenery with some faunal photographic subjects.

Dedication Point

Image

Snake River Canyon from Dedication Point

Image

The sheer cliffs provide nesting habitat for several raptor species

Image

Prairie falcon at eyrie (as close as I could get)

Image

 

Marmots live in the rock falls at the cliff base

Image

 

Image

So do canyon wrens…

Image

and Rock wrens.

Image

Ospreys made use of abandoned power poles

Image

So, I cut my trip short by a day and headed back over the miles and miles and miles of sagebrush lands in Idaho, Oregon and Nevada (glad I brought a couple dozen CDs and have cruise control!)  Next adventure is Ecuador in July!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s