The Snake River Birds of Prey Area encompasses 482,640 acres of BLM-administered public land along an approximately 80 mile reach of the Snake River in Southwestern Idaho.
The river lies within a deep canyon with cliffs towering up to 700 feet above the river. Countless ledges, cracks, crevices, and pinnacles provide ideal nesting aeries for birds of prey, also known as raptors.
Winds blowing against canyon walls create vertical updrafts which the birds catch to rise out of the canyon to hunt the arid rangelands beyond the rim. Here numerous small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects are prey for raptors.
The land adjacent to the canyon contains a complex mosaic of plant communities dominated by sagebrush with a grass understory.
The area north of the rim has a mantle of deep, finely textured soil deposited by Pleistocene winds. Much of this area seasonally teems with burrowing Townsend Ground Squirrels. These prolific rodents are the mainstay in the diet of the area’s extraordinary prairie falcon population and important to other birds of prey and predatory mammals.
The river canyon and surrounding shrub-grass steppe environments provide habitats for an amazing number and variety of wildlife species. More than 250 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish are found in the area. This rich diversity of wildlife captured the interest and hearts of scientists and laymen around the world and resulted in creation of the Snake River Birds of Prey Area.