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Idaho State Bird Watching and Feeding Information

Mountain Bluebirds

Mountain Bluebirds – Idaho State Bird

Idaho is a great place to watch and feed birds. Birdbaths, misters and drippers are especially effective in attracting birds, including non seed-eating species. Species that might be expected at feeders include: American Goldfinch, Carolina Wren, Carolina Chickadee, Blue Jay, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal and Mourning Dove. Each of these species is shown in the Nifty Fifty mini-guide.

Herons, woodstorks and ibis are also common in many parts of the state.

The Nifty Fifty Birds of Idaho

The Nifty Fifty is a mini-guide to the birds of Idaho. It includes descriptions, images, video and songs of 50 of the most often observed birds of Idaho.

According to registered bird sightings in Idaho on eBird, the following species are the most commonly observed birds in Idaho. Keep in mind that the birds at the bottom of the list in this article are common birds too

American Robin
Black-billed Magpie
House Finch
Northern Flicker
Canada Goose
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Black-capped Chickadee
Mourning Dove
European Starling
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Raven
Red-tailed Hawk
Eurasian Collared-Dove
House Sparrow
American Goldfinch
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-breasted Nuthatch
California Quail
American Kestrel
Lesser Goldfinch
Yellow-rumped Warbler
American Crow
Great Blue Heron
Cedar Waxwing
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Pine Siskin
Yellow Warbler
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Downy Woodpecker
Western Meadowlark
Mountain Chickadee

Bird feeding

Developing bird-friendly habitat in your yard is the best way to attract a greater variety of species and to support local and migrating species. Native plants provide food and cover, are more insect and disease resistant than non-native species, and may require less water. A list of bird-friendly native plants for Idaho are available by following the link on the left.

Bluebirds in Idaho

Idaho is home to both the Western and Mountain Bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird is well known for its hovering flight as it hawks for insects.

The Western Bluebird has a musical flight call that often reveals its presence.

mountain bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

western bluebird

Western Bluebird

Bluebirds can be attracted to peanut butter mixes, suet and fruit. Raisins soaked in hot water to soften them are well received. The bluebird’s special favorite is mealworms.

In Idaho, nesting commences as early as March and continues well into the summer. One and sometimes two or even three broods are produced.

Visit the bluebird section for detailed information on feeding bluebirds or building your own bluebird house.


Four species of hummingbirds can be found in Idaho: Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope and Rufous.

Visit the hummingbird section for details on attracting hummingbirds as well as images of all regularly occurring North American hummingbirds.

rufous hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird. male 

Purple Martins

Purple Martins are not normally found in Idaho.


Idaho provides birders with a variety of exciting birding locations.

The birding section of this site has tips on birding locations and bird identification. The state-based birding information section provides additional birding related information.

Idaho Resource Information

Coeur d’Alene Audubon Society
P.O. Box 361
Coeur D’Alene, ID 83816

Golden Eagle Audubon Society
2005 Danmore Drive
Boise, ID 83712

Palouse Audubon Society
PO Box 3606
University Station
Moscow, ID 83844

Portneuf Valley Audubon Society
358 N. Lincoln Ave
Pocatello, ID 83204

Prairie Falcon Audubon Society
1467 Falls Ave. W.
Twin Falls, ID 83301

Snake River Audubon Society
PO Box 2922
Idaho Falls, ID 83403-2922

Idaho Birding Festivals

Eagle Watch Week
Usuallly in October
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Phone: 208-415-0114
Join volunteers and wildlife biologists at the Coeur d’Alene Lake – Wolf Lodge Bay wildlife viewing area to observe 30 – 60 bald eagles feeding on the lake’s spawned kokanee salmon. Attend staff presentations, learn from the eagle exhibits and watch hundreds of waterfowl.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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