for Wildlife Watching
over 250 bird species and 30 mammal species on the refuge, the patient
observer or photographer has many excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities.
To maximize your chance of seeing wildlife, plan when
to visit, where to go, and how
to see wildlife.
The refuge is open all year from dawn to dusk. The refuge
visitor center is open weekdays from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., except
on Federal holidays. Wildlife is generally most active in the mornings
and early evenings. Each season brings
different wildlife-viewing opportunities. The best season for viewing
a wide variety of wildlife is from September through December. Return
a variety of upland, riparian, and lake wildlife from the Visitor
Center observation room. In recent years, nesting osprey have
been visible in spring and summer on the nest platform visible from
the observation room. In winter, large numbers of bald eagles can
often be seen from the observation room.
you prefer a walking tour, visit the 1/2-mile, self-guided Nature
Trail at the Visitor Center. Visitors interested in a longer hike
can follow several miles of internal refuge roads beginning at the
Visitor Center or at Gotts Point.
During your visit, consider
borrowing a digital camera at the Refuge Visitor
Center and participating in the Refuge photo
scavenger hunt program!
For a driving tour, take
the 29.5-mile Lake Lowell Unit Bird Tour
or the 47-mile Snake River Islands Unit
Bird Tour. Both tours start and end at the east end of the Upper
For information about
other places to watch wildlife in Idaho, find out about the Idaho
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to See Wildlife
Here are a few tips to make wildlife watching enjoyable
- Visit in the morning
or early evening when wildlife is generally most active.
- If driving, stay
in your car to avoid scaring wildlife.
- If walking, move
slowly and quietly to avoid scaring wildlife.
- Stay on maintained
trails and do not approach wildlife too closely.
- Sit quietly and
wait patiently. Although wildlife may disappear when you arrive,
if you are quiet and still they will often return shortly.
- Use binoculars
or a spotting scope to view animals up close without disturbing
- Bring a field guide
to help you identify the species you see. Consult the refuge bird
list, mammal list, and other
wildlife lists to find out what to expect.
- Improve your birding
skills at other web sites:
- Look for indirect
evidence that other animals have been there before you. You
might see tracks or chewed leaves or branches.
- Leave pets at home.
Pets will scare wildlife before you get a chance to see it.
- Watch the
osprey nest in front of the Visitor Center from home
on the Friends
of Deer Flat Osprey Nestcam
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