Scout Mountain & Pocatello

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I left work about 4:00, picked up Melinda and headed to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest only 10 minutes from my house. I thought we’d get lucky and be able to hear a few more species.

510fdz98m9l._sx321_bo1204203200_I’ve been birding for 20+ years and Melinda has been birding even longer (40+?). On the whole I know the birds in my area. And while I love seeing them every single time, I had been feeling a loss of the wonder. My first rejuvenation technique was to start taking photos of the birds that I see. The second technique that I took up with Melinda was to identify by sound the birds that we heard. She already had a great number of birds songs/calls in her mental repertoire. So we set out on an Idaho back-road as recommended by the Idaho Bird Guide. We had studied what birds to expect including warblers and flycatchers and realized that they would be elusive to spot. So we started to work on learning those songs. I think we heard/identified 4 or 5 species including Willow flycatchers and Western tanagers. We didn’t actually see these birds. The following year we tried it again. For me, I have to learn the songs and then relearn them every year. But, I’m able to add a few more each year and to remember the older ones more quickly. This May (after 5 years of working on bird sounds) the addition of the songs not only added to the number of species recognized but the number of sightings. This became truly obvious on Scout Mountain. We could, from the glimpse of the flying/landing bird, finish identifying it by song. In past years we would just have written the bird off as a little brown job. I feel like this is the niftiest trick I’ve ever tried. I’m no expert and can only marvel at people who really know their sound stuff. I find it awe inspiring to realize that *I* can recognize a bird by its song.

ibirdproiBird Pro (our favorite birding app)

We birded our way up Scout Mountain and back then around part of Pocatello.
— Jenny

P.S. We left for the forest so quickly that I forgot to bring my camera, hence the lack of photos.


  1. Yellow warbler
  2. Green tailed towhee
  3. Virginia’s warbler
  4. Black capped chickadee
  5. Clark’s nutcracker
  6. American robins
  7. Brewer’s sparrow
  8. Dark eyed junco’s (oregon)
  9. Yellow rumped warbler (audubon’s)
  10. Chpping sparrow
  11. Western tanagers
  12. Red crossbills
  13. Evening grosbeaks
  14. Violet green swallows
  15. European starlings
  16. Black billed magpies
  17. House sparrows
  18. House finches
  19. American kestrels
  20. American crows
  21. Brewer’s blackbirds
  22. Red winged blackbirds
  23. Eurasian collared doves
  24. Great horned owl
  25. Turkey vultures
  26. Albino collared dove


  1. Mule deer
  2. Least chipmunk
  3. Yellow bellied marmot

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