Idaho Mountain Birds!

About 25 miles through the Boise foothills past where Anna and I live, the scenery changes from steppe-scrub to Lodgepole Pine forests. Anna and I took a drive up to Idaho City this morning and at that elevation, winter was still very much alive and kicking. Our destination was Jennifer Alban’s beautiful ranch house nestled into the side of a forested hill with a wonderful view of the snow-capped mountains nearby. Jennifer’s house (or really Jennifer’s bird feeders) is famous among birders in the region for being a hotspot for seeing mountain birds. We arrived at 8:30 and birds were everywhere. Evening Grosbeaks were cluttered around one feeder, Pine Siskin and Cassin’s Finches around another, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches climbing on nearby trees, Clark’s Nutcrackers and Stellar’s Jays noisily flying from tree to tree arguing over who gets what food. This place was loaded with bird activity and was, in a way, overwhelming. The species in particular that makes this area famous is the White-headed Woodpecker. It was also the target bird for Anna and I, who have never seen one before. Around 11:00, a lone male White-headed Woodpecker flew in to a nearby suet feeder. Unfortunetely, Anna and I had taken cover inside Jennifer’s sunroom by then, since we were absolutely freezing, so I only managed to snap a quick photo through the window. Below are some of our favorite photos from today!

Evening Grosbeak - male (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Evening Grosbeak - female (photo by Anna Fasoli)

White-headed Woodpecker - male (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Clark's Nutcracker (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Cassin's Finch - male (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Stellar's Jay - 'Pacific' subspecies (photo by Anna Fasoli)

Mountain Chickadee (photo by Anna Fasoli)

Red-breasted Nuthatch (photo by Anna Fasoli)

Pine Siskin (photo by Alex Lamoreaux)