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Idaho Birding Trail LogoMale Sage GrouseMountain Bluebird
Southeast Region

Mud Lake Wildlife Management Area

Nearest Town: Mud Lake
Site Size: 8853 acres

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

Access: Year-round. Access free of charge.

Site Location

Directions: I-15 Exit #143; W 7 mi on ID 33; 2 access points to WMA: FIRST ACCESS: R (N) at mp 51.7 on 1800 E; in 2 mi, stay L (straight) at Y; travel 1 mi; turn L (W) on 1800 N for 0.2 mi; R (N) on 1775 E; go 1 mi; L (W) on 1900 N; follow to E entrance of WMA; stop at info board and zero odometer; go W toward N shore of Mud Lake; at mi 1 and 1.4, parking lots allow easy access to lake; mi 1.7 stay straight at fork; mi 2.2 L (S) to picnic and primitive camp area. To see the rest of the WMA’s north side, backtrack to the rd fork (0.5); L (N) on a VERY rough dirt farmland rd; follow signs to Kaster Overlook Tower in 3.7 mi (tower no longer there, but birding is good). SECOND ACCESS: in the town of Mud Lake, at ID 33 mp 44.7, turn R (N) on 1100 E for 3 mi; R (E) onto 1800 N; park and walk gravel rd that parallels the canal on the canal’s W bank; in 0.4 mi gate closes area for nesting; stay on dike between Jan 15 and Aug 30. From the junction of 1100 E and 1800 N, continue E on 1800 N; ~1 mi E of the junction, rd swings S on 1200 E; don’t take 1200 E, but continue straight on 1800 N as it turns into a dike rd; and follow 4.1 mi to ID 33; scan the fields for birds and listen for Sora.

Description: March and April are excellent times to view large numbers of Snow and Canada Geese, Tundra and Trumpeter Swans, and many duck species. Franklin’s Gull, White-faced Ibis, and Double-crested Cormorant all nest colonially on the WMA. During spring and summer, common species include Western, Pied-billed, and Eared Grebes, Willet, American Coot, Ruddy Duck, Mallard, Canvasback, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, Cinnamon, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup, Ring-billed and California Gulls, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock’s Oriole, Eastern and Western Kingbirds, Western Wood-Pewee, Western Tanager, Yellow Warbler, and Great Horned and Short-eared Owls. Songbird and shorebird numbers peak in May and common migrants include Wilson’s and MacGillivray’s Warblers, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Willet, Long-billed Curlew, Spotted, Western, Least, Baird’s, and Pectoral Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitcher, and Wilson’s Phalarope. In winter, look for Bald and Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcon, Rough-legged Hawk, and Northern Goshawk. Greater Sage-Grouse and Gray Partridge can be seen year-round.

More Information:
IDFG (208) 525-7290
Rexburg Chamber of Commerce 1-800 INFO880

Photo Copyright Camden Hackworth
Rough-legged Hawk
Photo Copyright Ryan Brady
Wilson's Phalarope
Photo Copyright Tom Munson
Wilson's Warbler
Photo Copyright Michael Woodruff

General Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneBoardwalkCampgroundPicnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive Material AvailableBoat RampNo ConcessionsNo Hiking TrailsNo HuntingNo FishingNo Water SportsNo OHV/ATVs AllowedNo Horseback Riding

Handicapped Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneCampgroundPicnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive MaterialsBoat RampNo ConcessionsNo Hiking Trails
What do these icons mean?

marshes/lakes/ponds Graph illustrating 60% 60%
other Graph illustrating 10% 10%
sage/shrub Graph illustrating 30% 30%

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 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N ALL
Songbirds N N N N Y Y N Y Y N N N AM
Upland Birds Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y ALL
Waterbirds N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N ALL
Waterfowl N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N 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 IbisesBlackbirds and alliesChickadees and TitmouseCranesGeese, Swans and DucksGrebesGrosbeaks and BuntingsGrouse and TurkeyHawks and EaglesJaegers and GullsOwlsPelicans and CormorantRails and CootsShorebirdsSparrows and alliesThrashersTyrant FlycatchersWood WarblersWrens and Dipper


    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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