Birds in the Arboretum
The University of Idaho Arboretum is known as a ‘hot spot’ for birdwatchers. There is an international database for recording bird sightings, ebird.org sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. Within that site, there are listings for ‘hot spots’, where people report seeing specific birds. Currently, the Arboretum is the second ‘hottest’ spot in Latah County, (ebird.org/hotspot/L721630) with 166 different species recorded. Spring Valley Reservoir, east of Troy, has the highest count in the county at 183. Those numbers are especially impressive when compared to some other popular birding spots in Idaho. The Snake River Birds of Prey area by Boise reports 171 species and the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area reports 183. The Idaho Bird Records Committee has a total of 409 different species accepted in the state.
The varied terrain of the Arboretum provides multiple habitats from the naturalistic forested slopes on the west side, to the aquatic areas around the ponds, to the more manicured areas of the Butterfly and Xeriscape Gardens at the south end of the site.
The sightings range from the common, year-round residents, like Sparrows, Robins, Canada Geese, California Quail, and Great Blue Herons to annual migratory birds like Hummingbirds, various hawks, Chickadees and Waxwings to rare and unusual sightings like a Great Egret, Red-breasted Sapsucker and Purple Finch.