Daniel Gonzalez

Boise residents know there are a lot of birds that live or pass through the city. Now the city's Parks and Recreation department has published a field guide that highlights species commonly found around town.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

When a person loses their sight, everyday tasks become a challenge. Walking across the street, reading a book - even hobbies can seem nearly impossible.  But one Idaho man is working to introduce visually impaired individuals to a whole new world of sound. He’s teaching the blind how to identify birds, using only their calls.

Steve Bouffard has his eyes closed and he’s listening intently on the edge of Veterans Memorial Park. He quickly identifies a song sparrow, using only the sound of its call.

Alberto Garcia / Flickr

More mosquitoes, carrying the potentially deadly West Nile Virus, have popped up in traps in Canyon County. Two weeks ago, the disease was found between Parma and Notus. Now, mosquitoes at the Roswell Marsh near Parma have tested positive.

Ed Burnett, with the Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District, says they found hundreds of Tule mosquitoes in a trap on the marsh. Tules – which carry the virus – are rare for this area. Burnett says they’ve multiplied because of recent hot weather.

Wildlife officials are investigating after residents reported a large number of dead songbirds in Kuna, a city about 18 miles southwest of Boise.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the dead birds show no signs of physical injury and were not sickened by plague.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game regional conservation educator Evin Oneale says the cause of death appears to be a specific type of pathogen that has yet to be determined.

Terry R. Thomas /

When more than 2,000 migrating snow geese were found dead at eastern Idaho’s Mud Lake in March, headlines all over the country said the birds had fallen dead from the sky. Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game says that did not actually happen, but the agency has revised its explanation of what did occur.

When the birds were found, fish and game biologists saw clear signs of avian cholera. And the department initially ascribed the whole die-off to cholera.

Robin Bjork

An Idaho woman is studying the migration patterns of a rare bird in Central America. The three-wattled bellbird makes bell-like calls, and those sounds can travel half a mile. Some experts believe it’s the loudest bird in the world.

Terry R. Thomas /

If you Google "snow geese" here are some of the headlines you'll find right now...

  • “Thousands of Snow Geese Fall Dead From Sky in Idaho” - Yahoo News
  • “2,000 Snow Geese Drop Dead From the Sky in Idaho” CNN
  • “2,000 Snow Geese Fall Dead ‘Out of the Sky’ in Idaho” – USA Today
  • “Basically, They Just Fell Out of the Sky’: 2,000 Snow Geese Found Dead in Idaho” – Washington Post
USDA and Iowa State University

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the avian influenza found in a flock of chickens in Parma last month, came to Idaho from Southeast Asia.

Osprey nests are a common sight near rivers, lakes and bays in the Northwest. If you look closely with binoculars, you might notice some of these large raptors like to line their nests with discarded baling twine or fishing line. The problem is it can kill them.

Matthew Podolsky

For the last 35 years, Al Larson has been helping bluebirds thrive in Idaho. He loves bluebirds. He’s known around birding circles as Idaho’s “bluebird man.” “That’s what they call me. I haven’t sprouted wings yet,” Larson chuckles.

A plan to poison 3,500 ravens in Idaho won’t proceed this year as state wildlife managers had hoped. The idea is to stop the ravens from eating the eggs of the imperilled sage grouse.

Doug Brown / Flickr Creative Commons

A plan by state wildlife biologist to kill 4,000 ravens in three Idaho areas this spring by feeding them poisoned chicken eggs has been scrapped due to federal environmental permitting delays.

The Times-News reports in a story on Tuesday that Idaho Fish and Game officials won't start the two-year program this spring aimed at boosting sage grouse numbers.

State officials say Fish and Wildlife Services is the only entity in the state with permission to administer the poison.

columbia river
Shawn Kinkade / Flickr

The Army Corps of Engineers this spring will begin killing birds at some Snake and Columbia river dams to help protect juvenile salmon and steelhead.

The agency unveiled a plan Thursday that will allow as many as 1,200 California gulls, 650 ring-billed gulls and 150 double-crested cormorants to be killed.

The Lewiston Tribune says the action will occur at McNary Dam on the Columbia River and Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite dams on the Snake River.

Neil Paprocki

People in Idaho are seeing more raptors because golden eagles and red-tailed hawks aren't flying as far south for winter. That's according to a new study from Boise State University. The study authors say the change in migration habits means fewer of the birds of prey are being spotted in southern states.

Charles Peterson / Flickr Creative Commons

The Sandhill Crane may be one species that's seeing the impact of dry conditions. Crane numbers in Idaho have continued to decline in the past three years.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says that decline means a lower number of those birds can be hunted this season. The Pacific Flyway Council (PFC) is the governing body that monitors migratory bird populations in the West. Every September the group oversees bird counts in 11 states and sets rules about hunting.

The Peregrine Fund

The Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Partnership launched its 2013 KestrelCams today.  Already the breeding pair has laid one egg. 

Last year, we told you about the project's kickoff in Boise to sign up citizen scientists to build nest boxes for these dwindling birds.  

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Scientists are trying to understand how road noise affects animals. So they’ve set up a road of sorts in the hills above Boise and they’re capturing birds to find answers.

Heidi Ware holds an angry bird in her hand. “This is a Cassin's Vireo and they’re pretty well-known for being pretty feisty birds in the hand, so you can see he’s biting my finger right now.”

The Peregrine Fund

The kestrels have hatched!  In a story we told you last month, the Peregrine Fund is asking citizen scientists to put up nest boxes and monitor American Kestrel populations across the U.S.  The American Kestrel Partnership has a box with a webcam posted at the

American Kestrel Partnership / The Peregrine Fund

It’s nesting time for many birds in Idaho, including the American Kestrel.  In fact, you can watch a pair of kestrels sitting on their eggs right now, through a live webcam.  It’s part of a new project by the Peregrine Fund that launches today to get people involved in helping gather information n kestrels.  The goal is to help scientists understand why the American Kestrel is in steady decline across North America.