Monday, June 1, 2009

My World: Dedication Point


For the past few years we have added a couple of extra days on to our vacation so that we could take a small side trip to some good birding locations on our way to or back home from Yellowstone. This year we ventured over to the Snake River Birds of Prey Natural Conservation Area located near Boise, ID.
The Snake River Birds of Prey NCA is an area of private and public lands around the Snake River in Idaho that has a large concentration of nesting raptors. The reason for the large raptor population is the large number of prey animals, especially ground squirrels, that are found in the area.
One of the recommended places to visit in the Snake River Birds of Prey NCA is dedication point.
From the road, dedication point did not look like much. It appeared to be just some trails leading off through the prairie, but when you got a little way down the trail you could see what made Dedication Point special.
The point stands atop the cliffs of a wide gorge which had been carved out over ages by the Snake River below.
A little way further down the Snake River sits the Swan Falls Dam which provides most of the electricity for the area.
Although the view from Dedication Point is amazing the real draw of the point are the raptors which nest on surrounding cliffs.
While we were there the only nest that we spotted was a red-tailed hawk nest which was too far aware to get any descent pics, but it was interesting to get pics of the hawks as they flew over our heads.
Even more interesting is when the hawks would fly by at eye level giving us some nice looks of their eyes, wings and red tail feathers.
Coolest by far was when they would fly below us. It is not often that you get to see the top of a hawk as he is in flight.
There were also some prairie falcon flying around but they would not come close enough for me to get a good shot. This was unfortunate, I had hoped to get some good prairie falcon pics, since the Snake River has the highest nesting population of prairie falcons in the world, but we only were able to see them from a distance. I may have to make a trip out to the Dakotas this summer to try for prairie falcon.
There was plenty of other wildlife around Dedication Point including ground squirrels and jack rabbits.
We also spotted several different lizards like this one that was sitting contemplating life on the edge of the cliff. I wonder if he was thinking about jumping because he did not get the part in the Gieko commercials.

20 comments:

ButterYum said...

The photo of the hawk from above is amazing!

Arija said...

A great experience. That shot of the hawk below you is pure joy!

Karen said...

Beautiful photos of the raptors !!!

I love that first one, with it's wings spread against the blue sky...

Esther Garvi said...

Those last images are just amazing! You must have one piece of equipment, and thanks so much for sharing! I could almost feel the speed of the bird coming down all way over here... :-)

Warm greetings from West Africa,
Esther

Janie said...

Good humor about the lizard. I hope he didn't jump!
Great raptor pics. Looks like a fun place to visit and see lots of these wonderful birds.

Esther Garvi said...

Just posted a comment but I think Blogger may have lost it. Just wanted to say that those pictures of the hawk in flight were truly awesome! What an experience!!

Barb said...

Your lizard comment cracked me up! The red-tailed Hawk photos were amazing - so many different perspectives.

Martha Z said...

That does look like a great birding spot. I am fortunate not to have to leave home for raptors. A harrier was hunting in my backyard this morning! Quite a thrill but the finches didn't like it much.

Babooshka said...

The redtail hawk image just blew me away. Always a pleasure virtually wandering round your world which you have such an affinity with.

BPOTW said...

Wow! That is so awesome! I'm very impressed with the pictures, and a bit jealous, too! Very, very nice!

Steve B said...

Ah, there's nothing like shooting hawks from above. Nice!

Wren said...

Amazing to be at the raptors' level and view them soaring by .... I hope you make it to the Dakotas as I am looking forward to prairie falcon photos.

Sally in WA said...

Wonderful hawk photos. I think they are gorgeous birds and we see them frequently where we live.

Pierre said...

Wow - some awesome captures! Would love to be there - thanks for sharing this great piece of your World!

Wolynski said...

You really do take some great shots of birds in flight - what camera and lens do you use?

Vamsee said...

The pictures of hawks in flight are awesome.
Yellowstone is one of my favorite national parks in the US. Hope you had fun there.
Thanks for walking us through this nature area.

Amanda Guthrie said...

Thanks for the trip your world is always so interesting! And I love to se3 those red tail hawks in your posts!

storyteller's other blog said...

Nifty world in which you live! I love the shots of the hawk in flight!
Hugs and blessings,

NatureFootstep Photography said...

what a great site you have here. I loved teh images of the birds from above. As you mention, rearely seen from that angle.
Your site will end up at favourites ;)

Regina said...

How I wish I could capture a hawk flying. Great shots!