Where Birds of Prey Fly FreePosted by Kristine Hamilton on Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 11:11am.
Kuna, Idaho is located southwest of Boise, and is in very close proximity to a designated wildlife area that is excellent for viewing many local species, but is especially nice for birdwatching. Idaho is home to the World Center for Birds of Prey, as well as the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.
World Center for Birds of Prey
The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey is situated just south of Boise and to the east of Kuna. This facility is home to researchers, conservation efforts, and captive breeding for endangered species such as the California Condor and Aplomodo Falcons (The Peregrine Fund). This important organization not only facilitates research and breeding programs, but it also houses a large research library and the archives of falconry. In 1994 the Velma Morrison Interpretive Center was opened in order to help educate the community on what was in their backyard, as well as to inform visitors to the area about birds of prey, also known as raptors, and conservation efforts. Both of these facilities are located on the same site and are very easily accessible from Boise, Kuna, and the rest of the Treasure Valley.
Birds of Prey National Conservation Area
South of Kuna lies a portion of the Snake River Canyon. Surrounding part of the canyon is the Morely Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. This stretch of land is home to North America's largest nesting population of birds of prey and is an excellent place to visit in order to see these birds in their natural habitats. The months of March through June in the mornings and evening hours are the best times to catch a glimpse of active birds. There is access to vehicles making it easy for anyone to get out and enjoy the raptors, however, there are also places for primitive camping as well as hiking.
Birds of Prey Festival
The Western Heritage Foundation, located in the city of Kuna, hosts a yearly Birds of Prey Festival. Awareness and activities involving Birds of Prey are integrated into the city's culture because of the nearness of conservation and education efforts. Each year the festival features speakers and opportunities to get out into the wild with guides to help people find birds in their natural habitat as well as explain the ecology that makes the area so dense in nesting raptors. The tours include a range of events, from guided walking tours to trips down the Snake River through the canyon, there are a diverse number of options to choose from.
Simply living in Kuna means that there is a good chance you will see different birds of prey throughout the year. The birds fly over the entire Treasure Valley and make themselves at home in cities throughout the state. However, the area south of Boise and Kuna designated as protected wildlife land is a wonderful place to visit if you are interested in raptor watching. With enough patience, a pair of binoculars, and a basic knowledge from the World Center of Birds of Prey on where to look, it is quite possible that you will be able to see these wonderful creatures soaring through the air as well as in their nests.
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