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Nesting season in Southern Idaho

This spring, IBO’s Boise State University PhD student, Madeline Aberg, is working on a project to understand human-wildlife dynamics on the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area near Boise.

Because nest searching requires our team of biologists to spread out and work solo, we are lucky to still be able to conduct some carefully socially-distanced local field work to keep her project moving forward.

a group of biologists stand more than 15 feet apart during field work
The nest-searching crew works together while maintaining social-distancing

The goal of this project is to compliment our Curlew Crew nest monitoring project to discover how a smaller and more abundant ground-nesting bird handles varying levels of human recreational activities.

a horned lark nest carefully tucked under a tuft of grass

Horned Larks are one of the earliest nesting songbirds in Idaho, and can often re-nest multiple times per year. So far this season the team has found 25 nests at all different stages, including nest building in progress, nests with eggs, nests actively hatching, nests with older chicks, AND families with already-fledged young!!

yellow downy horned lark chicks look at the camera with mouths open

*All nests are carefully approached following standard nest monitoring protocols. Photos by Madeline Aberg

camouflaged horned lark chicks huddle together in their nest