Avimor is a special place for birds and always has been. From the late 1800’s until these last few years, public access was understandably restricted due to the operation of the sheep and cattle ranch. While cattle ranching continues, the developer has opened the trails to the public and has invited and encouraged folks to come enjoy and discover. Birders quickly identified Avimor as a birding hotspot. Tens of thousands of acres boasting a substantial diversity of habitat. From willow and cottonwood laden creeks meandering out of rocky canyons to rolling grassy hills. From sagebrush steppe and bunch grasses to marshes fed by natural springs of life-giving water. Each type of habitat plays host to distinct varieties of bird species.
Avimor is a great place to see brilliantly colored birds in their season. Take for example the orange, yellow, and black Bullock’s Orioles and Black-headed Grosbeaks, the electric blue and burnt orange of the Lazuli Bunting, and the array of colors found on hummingbirds, warblers, and woodpeckers. More than 160 species of avian wonders have been documented in the Avimor area. Avimor also hosts many bird species of regional special interest because Avimor has more of them or they are more consistently seen there. Some of those species include Bewick’s Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Gray Catbird. Folks as far as Texas have come just to see Gray Partridges in the Avimor foothills. Great Horned Owls are fairly abundant and regularly nest there. Much less expected, Long-eared Owls nested here a couple years ago. Many birders come to Avimor to get their first ever glimpse at some of these species. The first ever Boise Bird Festival was hosted by Avimor in April 2013.
Avimor also has its very own bird guide booklet to help folks identify the birds they see. This booklet is extremely helpful in narrowing down the list of birds to those most likely to be seen here at Avimor. A digital version of the Avimor Bird Guide is available online for free here: Avimor Bird Guidebook
Best Birding Locations at Avimor
Spring Valley Creek Greenbelt
Running parallel to Highway 55 is Spring Valley Creek. Along the east bank is a paved trail which provides easy access to great elevated views over the trees and shrubs along the creek. Perfect for viewing and photographing birds.
Heritage Park is surrounded by riparian area on all sides. Paved walkways here make for easy access as you make your way around the park enjoying the variety of plant life playing host to the diversity of bird life.
Twisted Spring Trailhead Pond
In spring, this shallow pond is a favorite of ducks and shorebirds. The cottonwood stand north of the pond regularly hosts nesting Red-tailed Hawks. The bushes around the pond are great places to find a huge variety of songbirds.
Twisted Spring & Spring Valley Creek Trails
One of Avimor's most scenic and enjoyable hikes. There is great birding along the whole trail. Once you get into the steep rocky areas be on the lookout for Canyon and Rock Wrens, maybe even Chukar.
Avimor Town Lake
The pond attracts ducks, geese, herons, kingfishers, swallows, and nighthawks. The trees around the ponds are often decorated with several kinds of birds.
Pearl Road Drive
The drive along Pearl Road from the top of Horseshoe Bend summit all the way to the historic site of the mining town of Pearl, then to Willow Creek Rd is both scenic and birdy. Look for Sage Thrashers and Eastern Kingbirds in Spring and Summer.
Chinese Well Riparian Area
On the west side of Hwy 55, across from the construction trailer, is a private access area, but has been a great location for rare birds including a Rusty Blackbird, nesting Long-eared Owls, and a regular spot for Gray Partridge. The lower portion is marshy and the upper section is craggy with hackberry trees. See Robert at the Avimor office for a guided tour of this area.
Historic Toll Gate Ranch
Intrepid hikers or mountain bikers can make it into the Avimor backcountry. Several creeks and trails all intersect at the historic Toll Gate Ranch on old Cartwright Road. The area is pretty lush for desert hills and attracts all kinds of wildlife.
Visit our Trails page for more information about our over 100 miles of trails. You can also download a free trail map.