Today we went to the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. Over 800 pairs of raptors nest in the area in spring and early summer. It was set aside as a conservation area because of the high density of birds of prey nesting there. We saw several immature hawks on electric poles. We probably saw about 7 of them with one hawk to a pole. There are very few trees in the area, so it is probably the best place to perch while waiting for mom and dad to provide lunch.
We saw numerous Raven nests on electric poles. The young are very large in the nests, so they are probably going to fledge soon.
I saw some birds of prey over the cliffs by the Snake River, but I was not able to identify them. I don’t do well identifying birds of prey.
Since we were there in the heat of mid-day, there was not much bird activity. We saw lots of Piute Ground Squirrels. I suspect they are a major menu item for the birds of prey. Apparently, the birds are attracted to nesting along the Snake River because they use the cliffs for nest sites and there is abundant prey in the desert.
I didn’t realize until our visit that in the past, there was a little mishap between the Snake River and a volcano. The volcano spewed its guts and filled up the Snake River canyon. The Snake River had to find a new path and significantly altered its course. I learn so much by visiting all these areas!
We headed into Oregon and set up camp. I immediately went to wash some clothes and while sitting outside waiting for the clothes to wash and dry, I was entertained by a Robin(s). There was a small sprinkler set up in the grass and it may have contributed to the Robin’s success in obtaining worms. I never realized how much trouble a Robin can have pulling a reluctant worm out of the ground. I also didn’t realize they break the worm up in pieces before carrying off to its nestlings as many pieces as will fit in its beak.
We went out to scope the town after dinner. Upon our return, we saw several people looking up into a big tree in the campground with binoculars and cameras. Of course, we joined them and were rewarded with the sighting of a barn owl.