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Idaho Birding Trail LogoMale Sage GrouseMountain Bluebird
Southwest Region

Boise River

Nearest Town: Boise
Site Size: 20 mi long

Highlights: Raptors, Shorebirds, Songbirds, Upland Birds, Waterbirds, Waterfowl

Access: Year-round. Access free of charge.

Site Location

Directions: Numerous pullouts along the river. From outside the city, best to start at Discovery Park and walk/ride bike along the greenbelt. Once in the city of Boise, the greenbelt can be accessed from any of the city's parks along the river. Discovery Park: eight miles southeast of Boise on ID 21 Directions needed to Eagle Island State Park

Description: The Boise River, which winds through the heart of the city of Boise, includes open water and adjacent riparian habitat. Bald Eagle winter in the area and nesting has occurred nearby in recent years. Large flocks of waterfowl (Canada Goose, Mallard, and American Wigeon, but also Wood Duck, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye), and gulls (California and Ring-billed) also use the river during the winter months. Osprey can be seen on the river throughout the spring and summer, as well as waterfowl (Canada Goose, Mallard, Wood Duck, Hooded and Common Mergansers), waterbirds (Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, American Coot), shorebirds (Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper), songbirds (Song Sparrow, Western Tanager, Black-capped Chickadee), Downy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker, raptors (American Kestrel, Western Screech-Owl, Merlin). A Great Blue Heron rookery is also located within this IBA just E of the greenbelt entrance at the E end of Park Center Blvd (west of Barber Park).

More Information:
IDPR (208) 334-4199
Boise Chamber of Commerce (208) 472-5200

Eurasian Wigeon
Photo Copyright Keith Carlson
Hooded Merganser
Photo Copyright Keith Carlson
Song Sparrow
Photo Copyright Michael Woodruff

General Services:
ParkingRestroomsPhoneBoardwalkNo CampgroundPicnic AreaObservation AreaNo Visitor CenterInterpretive Material AvailableNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsHiking TrailsNo HuntingFishingNo Water SportsNo OHV/ATVs AllowedNo Horseback Riding

Handicapped Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneNo CampgroundNo Picnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive MaterialsNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsHiking Trails
What do these icons mean?

marshes/lakes/ponds Graph illustrating 10% 10%
riverine riparian Graph illustrating 90% 90%
urban Graph illustrating 0% 0%

Best Observation Times
Bird Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec AM/PM
Raptors Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y ALL
Shorebirds N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N ALL
Songbirds Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y ALL
Upland Birds N N N N N N N N N N N N
Waterbirds Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y ALL
Waterfowl Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y ALL
Target Species for this Site

Select a species from the list to view other sites on the Idaho Birding Trail Sites this species may be observed.

    Bittern, Herons and IbisesChickadees and TitmouseCorvidsGeese, Swans and DucksGrebesHawks and EaglesJaegers and GullsOwlsPelicans and CormorantPigeons and DovesQuailRails and CootsShorebirdsSparrows and alliesStarlingStork and VultureTanagersWood WarblersWoodpeckers


    R - Resident 1 - Abundant, easily found s - Statewide
    M - Migrant 2 - Common, but sometimes difficult to find e - Southeast
    W - Winter 3 - Uncommon or local w - Southwest
    S - Summer 4 - Rare or very local c - Central
    5 - Casual, 3-10 accepted records p - Panhandle (North)
    6 - Accidental, 1-2 accepted records
    7 - Experimental
    (B) - Documented breeding evidence(End) - Threatened or Endangered
    (b) - Circumstantial breeding evidence(Int.) - Introduced species

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