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WINGS Birding Tours – Itinerary

Idaho: Cassia Crossbill and Southern Idaho

Monday 12 August to Tuesday 20 August 2019
with Jon Dunn and Austin Young as leaders

Price Pending

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Male Cassia Crossbill Photo: Mike West

In 2017 the AOS Checklist Committee concluded that the endemic subspecies of Red Crossbill from Cassia County, Idaho, was a full species, the Cassia Crossbill (Loxia sinesciurus). The translation of the specific epithet sinesciurus literally means “without squirrels,” and indeed Red Squirrels are absent from the two ranges in Cassia County that this species occurs. The cones there have evolved in the absence of squirrels, and so have the crossbills. Our tour will spend two full days in the heart of the Cassia Crossbill’s range in the South Hills, and we should have an excellent chance of both seeing and hearing this species (their calls differ from other Red Crossbill populations). There is, of course, much more to see in the South Hills, including a wide variety of montane species, and a full array of hummingbirds should be at peak numbers in mid-August. In addition we’ll visit the Boise National Forest northeast of Boise with hopefully a fine variety of woodpeckers, and the sagebrush areas and grasslands around  Pocatello with Ferruginous Hawks, Burrowing Owls, and with good luck Sharp-tailed Grouse. Finally we’ll explore the famous Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge with up to 20,000 nesting Franklin’s Gulls and the world’s largest Sandhill Crane population. Our tour will coincide with the peak of fall shorebird migration, and we’ll have numerous opportunities to study their concentrations in wetland areas. Idaho is lightly populated, and, with the numerous mountain ranges and valleys, the scenery will be spectacular.

Updated: 22 February 2018


  • 2019 Pricing Not Yet Available
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* Tour invoices paid by check carry a 4% discount. Details here.

Maximum group size is six.