The dude ranch community of Harrison, Idaho, is known for its breathtaking Lake Coeur d’Alene, world-class horseback riding, and dude ranch style eateries. However, Harrison is quickly becoming one of the best bird-watching areas in Northern Idaho. Locals and visitors alike enjoy seeing Idaho birds at Thompson Lake Wildlife Refuge, Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, and Heyburn State Park. Luckily, all three bird watching areas are nearby the Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Get to Know the Idaho Birds

While there are roughly 83,569 square feet of terrain in Harrison that you can bird watch, we urge our guests to visit Thompson Lake Wildlife Refuge, Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, and Heyburn State Park. Each bird watching area has its own assortment of Idaho birds to house. However, the species of birds change with the seasons due to climate. Which Idaho birds will you see during your Red Horse Mountain Ranch vacation

Spring/SummerIdaho Bird Watching

During the hot, sunny Idaho summers, you’ll likely see some feathered friends splashing about in the Thompson Lake, within Thompson Lake Wildlife Refuge. These water-loving visitors are typically blue-winged teal, belted kingfisher, red-winged blackbirds, and American White Pelican. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the unique call of a yellow-headed blackbird! Other frequent Idaho birds include yellow warbler, black tern, Canada Goose, and violet-green swallow. If you look closely enough, you may even see nesting osprey on top of utility poles! You’re guaranteed to see these raptors during spring and summer months on your way to Red Horse Mountain Ranch. While bird watching in Idaho, visiting the North Idaho Centennial Bike Trail is a must. There are five sites along the trail that are frequently visited, including Cougar Bay, NIC Beach and Independence Beach, Tubbs Hill, Silver Beach and Higgins Point, and Fernan Lake. 

Cougar Bay: This bird watching area attracts migrating and nesting waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds

Independence Beach and NIC Beach: This region houses birds such as Pygmy Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Townsend’s Solitaire, and MacGillivray’s Warblers

Tubbs Hill: On the north side of the hill, you’ll likely see Osprey and Woodpeckers

Silver Beach and Higgins Point: A wide assortment of waterfowl and waterbirds are seen year-round, but during the summer months you may see Osprey, Spotted Sandpiper, and the Common Loon

Fernan Lake: Great Blue Heron are Harrison, Idaho visitors year-round. We’re confident you’ll see a couple on Thompson Lake every day. However, they stand out the most during fall/winter months since vegetation decreased.

Fall/WinterIdaho Bird Watching

While some Idaho birds flea as the first snowfall approaches, others travel home to the winter wonderland. During migration, there are high concentrations of Eurasian Wigeon and waterfowl in Thompson Lake Wildlife Refuge. But when the cold front hits, there are copious amounts of Northern Strike, American Tree, and Swamp Sparrows. And we can’t forget about the significant bald eagle population at Silver Beach and Higgins Point. The large population of bald eagles in Northern Idaho is one of the most common reasons for searching, “bird watching near me.” 

Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Whether you’re an Idaho bird watching expert or just picking up a new hobby, you’ll always be minutes away from an adventure while staying at Red Horse Mountain Ranch. You’ll quickly notice the many mountain bluebirds, cedar waxwings, and northern strike zipping around our property on the elevated terrains. Several hummingbirds visit our Idaho dude ranch for our tasty bird feeders. Traveling to Harrison, Idaho is a timeless vacation—there are endless family-friendly activities near our ranch that are open and lively, year-round. To learn more about bird watching “near me” and our comfortable lodging amenities, give our staff a call at 888-689-9680.