Friday, May 12, 2006

International Migratory Bird Day

From the goldfinches on your feeder to the pelicans on the Snake River, from the ducks on every wetland to the burrowing owls in the sagebrush desert, the signs of the spring migration are everywhere to be seen.

International Migratory Bird Day celebrates the journeys of migratory birds between their breeding grounds in North America and their wintering grounds in Mexico, Central and South America.

The Nature Conservancy of Idaho is working to conserve migratory bird habitat, from the Owyhees to the Kootenai River, from Henry's Lake to Silver Creek.

May is a great time to see some of these birds at our preserves. At Silver Creek Preserve, waterfowl like cinnamon teal, widgeons and coots are everywhere, yellow-rumped warblers hop along the brush, harrier hawks glide overhead and red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds fill the air with their calls. Be sure to bring a Silver Creek bird list to record your sightings.

At Flat Ranch Preserve, long-billed curlews, ospreys and sandhill cranes can regularly be spotted. In the summer months, a spotting scope is available at the visitor's center.

Waterfowl of many species are really using the wetlands at Ball Creek Ranch Preserve and nearby Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. These North Idaho wetlands in the Kootenai Valley provide an important migratory link with the Creston Wetlands in British Columbia.

Happy birding!


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