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Idaho Birding Trail LogoMale Sage GrouseMountain Bluebird
Southeast Region

American Falls Area

Nearest Town: American Falls
Site Size: 3 miles

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

Access: Year-round. Access free of charge.

Site Location

Directions: I-86 Exit #40 (W of Pocatello); 1.5 mi on Pocatello Ave into American Falls, following curve to R onto Harrison St; 2 blocks; L (S) on Ft. Hall Ave (Bus. I-86); 1 block is Idaho St; this intersection is the starting point for all locations; zero odometer; WILLOW BAY MARINA: NE on Ft. Hall Ave for 2 mi. SNAKE RIVER: Ft. Hall Ave SW; L (S) on Lincoln St; R (W) on Falls Ave (“Sportsman’s Access” sign); go 0.4 mi to intersection of Falls Ave/McKinley St; 3 CHOICES: 1) go straight (W) for 0.3 mi to a river overlook, 2) go straight (W) for 0.2 mi; L (S) on Valdez St; follow "Sportsman’s Access" signs; boat launch at rd’s end; 3) L (S) on McKinley St; go 0.5 mi to cemetery and beyond to landfill; 0.25 mi S of cemetery R (W) on paved rd; landfill on L (S) in 0.4 mi; continue W on paved rd past landfill; river overlook at rd’s end; L (SW); walk/drive the 2-track dirt rd.

Description: One of Idaho’s best year-round birding sites. In winter, the entire American Falls Dam area is good for viewing waterbirds, Common Loon, and many Bald Eagle. Highest concentration of migratory shorebirds in the state. Species that can be seen include Wilson’s Warbler (migration), White-throated and Harris’s Sparrows (winter), American Pipit (fall), Common and Pacific Loons (fall), Blue-winged Teal (summer), and Virginia Rail (summer).

More Information:
USBR (208) 226-2217
Pocatello Chamber of Commerce (208) 233-1525

Black-necked Stilt
Photo Copyright Tom Munson
White-throated Sparrow
Photo Copyright Michael Woodruff

General Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneBoardwalkCampgroundPicnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive Material AvailableBoat RampNo ConcessionsHiking TrailsNo HuntingFishingWater SportsOHV/ATVs AllowedNo Horseback Riding

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

marshes/lakes/ponds Graph illustrating 60% 60%
other Graph illustrating 10% 10%
riverine riparian 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 N N N N N Y Y Y Y N N ALL
Songbirds N N N Y Y Y N Y Y N N N AM
Upland Birds N N N N N N N N N N N N
Waterbirds N N N N Y Y Y Y Y N N N ALL
Waterfowl Y Y Y Y N N N N N 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.

    Accentor and PipitBittern, Herons and IbisesBlackbirds and alliesChickadees and TitmouseCorvidsCranesGeese, Swans and DucksHawks and EaglesKinglets and GnatcatcherLoonNuthatches and CreeperOwlsRails and CootsShorebirdsSparrows and alliesTernsThrushesTyrant FlycatchersWaxwingsWood 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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