Spring brings not only the return of warmer temperatures and rain, but the return of many different types of migrating birds, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website.
Students can see and hear multiple different types of birds on campus, with common examples being crows and sparrows.
Other examples of birds found in residential areas in Idaho include orioles, robins, finches and chickadees, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Services website.
Some simple tips for bird spotting include learning to listen for the distinction in different bird calls, following where the sound comes from and looking early in the morning or during the evening when many species of birds are most active, according to the Audubon society website.
Species of trees such as the Idaho Blue Spruce and red osier dogwood planted around the BYU-Idaho campus were designed with local birds in mind, according to the BYU-Idaho Website.
Setting up bird houses or feeders can help draw different species of birds and can attract harder-to-spot birds, according to the National Wildlife Foundation.
Downard said she has spotted a rare great grey owl twice at Beaver Dick Park.
Sparrows are one of the most commonly spotted birds in Idaho, according to a study of bird habits from The University of Idaho.
Sparrows are normally between six and six-and-a-half inches long, with a wingspan between eight and ten inches, according to allaboutbirds.com. The common house sparrow typically has a white chest patch with light brown coloration.
Larger birds such as goshawks and prairie falcons might be found nesting in areas of undeveloped sagebrush. There might also be golden eagles nesting in rock formations, according to the Audubon Society website.
“Students looking for birds should visit the Snake River Birds of Prey Area,” said a representative of the Idaho Fish and Game Department in an email. “We have an eagle nest you can see along part of the driving route.”
Idaho’s Snake River Birds of Prey Area boasts the largest concentration of breeding pairs of prairie falcons in the Snake River Canyon, according to the Idaho Fish and Game website.
Located just outside of Kuna, Idaho, the conservation area was established in 1993 to protect one of the highest-density areas for raptor breeding in the world, according to the Idaho Fish and Game website.
Kristine Downard, an alumna with a bachelors of science in biology said bird watching is an excuse to be outside during the nice spring and summer months.
“I like watching the crows around campus,” said Matthew Marr, a sophomore studying computer information technology. “It cracks me up to watch them throw each other from their trees. ‘My tree! Find your own!’ they seem to say.”
“Go to places with trees — the gardens are an easy spot— and sit still for a minute,” said Doward “Birds are all around you more than you notice.”