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How can you see 458 birds and wildlife in three hours on a Sunday morning in one of the most beautiful locations in the nation without taking a single step? Four words–Snake River Float Trips! This little-known benefit of being a certified nature mapper is in full swing and you can take advantage of it through September.

Generously provided by AJ DeRosa’s Wooden Boat Tours, this adventurous form of citizen science is not all fun and games. Its purpose is to gain a better idea of what species of mammals, birds, and amphibians use the section of river between Wilson Bridge and South Park, which flows mostly through private land where wildlife professionals do not conduct a systematic census.

How do I Sign Up?

Sign up for one of the dates below with the volunteer director of the trips, Tim Griffith at timgrif396@gmail.com. At least one person in your party (max 6) must be a certified JH Nature Mapper and should be the main wildlife spotter and at least one person to be the recorder. The spotter should have at least a basic understanding of the birds and mammals one might see on the Snake River. It costs only $20 to cover the shuttle fees and you’re welcome¬†to tip the guide, if desired.

May 8th Float Trip Report:

The May 8th Snake River Float Trip traveled 8 miles down the river from Rendevous Park to Wooden Boat Adventures River Camp with Kevin Coughlin, Josh Seibel, Carrie Ann Adams, and trip leader (and retired wildlife biologist) Tim Griffith. They mapped 42 species (listed below) with a highlight of spotting 12 bald eagles as there are six nests along this stretch of river and each nest has two adults associated with it.

  • Canada Goose 123
  • Mallard 49
  • Green-winged Teal 5
  • Barrow’s Goldeneye 3
  • Common Merganser 31
  • Double-crested Cormorant 6
  • American White Pelican 5
  • Great Blue Heron 7
  • Turkey Vulture 1
  • Osprey 2
  • Cooper’s Hawk 1
  • Bald Eagle 12
  • Red-tailed Hawk 3
  • Killdeer 10
  • Spotted Sandpiper 28
  • Mourning Dove 1
  • Belted Kingfisher 4
  • Downy Woodpecker 1
  • Hairy Woodpecker 1
  • Northern Flicker 4
  • Black-billed Magpie 2
  • Common Raven 12
  • Tree Swallow 43
  • Bank Swallow 9
  • Barn Swallow 4
  • Black-capped Chickadee 6
  • Mountain Chickadee 1
  • Brown Creeper 2
  • House Wren 2
  • American Dipper 2
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
  • Mountain Bluebird 2
  • American Robin 19
  • European Starling 1
  • Yellow Warbler 2
  • Chipping Sparrow 2
  • Dark-Eyed Junco 2
  • Song Sparrow 22
  • Green-tailed Towhee 1
  • Red-winged Blackbird 2
  • Western Meadowlark 1
  • Brewer’s Blackbird 12
  • Yellow-bellied Marmot 7
  • Elk 1

2016 Snake River Float Trips:

MAY: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th
JUNE: 12th and 26th
JULY: 10th and 24th
AUGUST: 7th and 21st
SEPTEMBER: 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th

Photo credit: STEVE MORRISS