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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Idaho: Cassia Crossbill and Southern Idaho

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space.    The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

Please take a moment to read the About WINGS Tours section of the WINGS website.  This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.

ENTERING THE UNITED STATES: Non-U.S. citizens will need a valid passport and may need a tourist visa or visa waiver. Please consult your nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate for details. Canadian citizens need to carry proof of citizenship in the form of a passport.

PACE OF THE TOUR: This is a fairly relaxed tour, apart from early mornings (breakfast at 0600), particularly if it is hot, which it certainly can be in August. We drive to nearly all of the birding locations with walking limited at any one spot to about a mile. The pace will always be slow, especially at the higher elevations. There may be owling one or more evenings.

HEALTH: For information on US-based infectious disease outbreaks currently being reported by CDC, please see the CDC Current Outbreak List.

Altitude: We will be at elevations from about 2700’ to about 7000’, although on our second full day we may reach nearly 9000’ at Galena Summit. Unless there is an early cold front, it will likely be somewhat cool in the morning, especially at higher elevations, and then become warm to even hot. It is extremely important to stay hydrated and be alert to the effects of altitude. If there is a cold front it can be quite cool, and indeed cold and perhaps windy (and wet) at higher elevations.

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc.  While in the field or traveling, use of a smokeless alternative such as nicotine gum is requested. Please do not smoke at short stops while traveling. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group and leave ample time between smoking and getting back into the vehicle. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If any lodge, accommodation or location where the group is staying or is gathered has a more restrictive smoking policy than WINGS’ policy, the more restrictive policy will prevail. The leader reserves the right to modify this policy if the situation warrants it.

Participants should bring an adequate supply of any personal medications as they may be difficult to obtain during the tour.


It is still quite warm to hot in Idaho in August, unless there is an unexpected early cold front which would bring cooler temperatures and possibly rain, and more likely wind. Thunderstorms are also possible. Lows will be in the 50’s and 60’s (cooler in the mountains) and highs can reach the low to mid- 90’s, though in hotter years temperatures have reached up to the 100’s.  In recent years, fires are not infrequent in our western forests in summer and fall. In 2021 it was smoky on several days, the smoke originating from fires in central Oregon.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We will be staying at standard motels and/or lodges throughout the tour. Our hotels offer free wifi access.

FOOD: We’ll eat in a variety of local restaurants where the food will in most cases be American standard. Breakfasts are generally taken in our hotels (continental plus), and lunches will be in local or chain sandwich stores or cafes, or often picnics if the group prefers and if the plan for the day requires this.

WINGS tours are all-inclusive and no refunds can be issued for any tour meals participants choose to skip.

Food Allergies / Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.

TRANSPORTATION: We will be traveling by 15- [or 12-] passenger window van or minivan, depending on the group size. When using the larger vans, we will take a maximum of seven passengers plus the leader/driver. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles and will be expected to change seats daily.


Updated: 22 September 2022