Idaho Bird Observatory




We see wildlife on Boise Peak.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Julie wanted to go watch her friend Rob catch raptors. I am such a good husband, I skipped going climbing on a beautiful day to instead chauffeur my wife up the deteriorating dirt of 8th Street and then on up toward Eagleson Summit. We turned up the road to Boise Peak and did a little four-wheeling to finally arrive at the gated road to the study area.


Note: This is a sensitive area. It is not open to the public.
We were granted permission ahead of time and had to follow strict rules to avoid disturbing the site.


After a short walk, we arrived at the site. From the time we left the gate to the time Rob caught the first bird of the day, was exactly 36 minutes.

That first bird was a big goshawk. Goshawks aren't real common, and catching one is sort of a big deal.

Rob was pretty excited. So were we.

First goshawk

After the bird is caught, the trap is reset and the bird is taken back to the blind.




A bird in hand

If you think he looks a little pissed, you'd be right.


But the birds are pretty tough and this whole experience doesn't hurt them in the slightest.


The blind is a little camouflaged box with tools and a work space. This photo is later, with Julie holding a sharp-shinned hawk. Once in the blind, some basic observations are made.


This is Rob measuring the little sharpie. Today, Rob is not working on a study, he is simply leg-banding. Before Rob applies the leg band, the bird is weighed, measured, and inspected.

Tinsel on the tree

Compared to the goshawk, this little sharpie was quite docile. Here Rob explains how he can 'read' the feathers to determine the bird's age.


After all the measurements are completed, Rob applies a leg band so that in the future, somewhere someone might be able to learn something from the bird's travels. When all that is complete, it's time to let the bird go. But first, Rob showed Julie how to hold the goshawk.

"Nice birdie. Don't bite me."

And then Julie set him free.

"Be free, little goshawk!"


As the afternoon wore on, Rob caught two more of the elusive goshawks. Rob attributed this incredibly good luck to Julie's presence, so she has been invited requested to come visit whenever she wants.

Mr. Natural Home | 2010 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski