Last updated: August 15, 2021
Few places in Idaho other than the City of Rocks checklist area offer such a high concentration of bird species, making this a top birding destination. The City of Rocks checklist area includes the National Reserve, Castle Rocks State Park, and the Almo and Upper Raft River valleys. Birders may want to download a copy of the City of Rocks Bird Checklist or purchase Birder's Guide to City of Rocks National Reserve at the Visitor Center for $5.
Some of the more noteworthy winter birds include: Pinyon Jay, Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, Northern Shrike, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Bushtit, and Canyon Wren. The more productive birding areas include Bath Rock, Smoky Mountain Campground, and the Almo Creek Picnic Area near the Castle Rock Lodge.
Check our calendar on the NPS Mobile App, City of Rocks website, or Facebook for upcoming birding events. The Reserve sponsors the annual Jim Sage Mountains Christmas Bird Count, usually held January 2 or 3. Stop by the Visitor Center for a CHECKLIST, field guide, or just the latest tips from a park ranger. Watch the feeders from the large picture window or capture the birds with close-up photography. Park visitor donations help keep the feeders full and the birds coming back for more.
The Visitor Center winter hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, closed on official holidays.
Bird watching can be done anywhere, from the comfort of your vehicle or miles out into the backcountry.