Perhaps no birds are more rewarding for the beginning birder to identify and watch than ducks. They're fairly large and the drakes are colorful, making them easier to locate in a field guide than, say, warblers or sparrows. They're perfect for learning birding skills such as identifying species by call (not all ducks quack), or in flight (a good birder or duck hunter can identify species by profile or even wing sound).
With more than 40 species of ducks, geese and swans in North America, finding all the different species can keep any birder occupied.
Large migrating flocks of waterfowl are one of the most impressive natural spectacles in North America. I once watched a flock of flying snow geese that took 45 minutes to pass overhead--literally tens of thousands of birds.
April is the perfect time to check out migrating ducks, geese and swans in Idaho. You might be rewarded with the sight of thousands of diving ducks on the Snake River, an unusual species on Lake Lowell, or a flock of swans landing on the Henry's Fork.
Here are a few places where you can see interesting species around the state:
Kootenai River Valley - Wetlands once covered this North Idaho valley; today only 5% remain. Fortunately, a number of conservation projects have restored beautiful wetland areas--drawing large flocks of ducks, geese and swans in the spring and fall. Visit The Nature Conservancy's Ball Creek Ranch Preserve, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game's Boundary Creek Wildlife Management Area. A great variety of birds can be found. Just across the border in British Columbia is another wonderful waterfowl watching spot--the Creston Wetlands.