The Binocular Site

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is located near Lake Lowell, just outside Nampa, Idaho. It was established in February, 1909, by an executive order issued by President Theodore Roosevelt. The refuge consists of 11,388 acres of grasslands, wetlands, and forest habitats.

The refuge offers many miles of hiking trails, as well as areas for fishing and hunting. There is a visitor's center near Lake Lowell staffed by volunteers, and offering educational materials, an observation room to view wildlife, hands-on activites for children, and interpretive nature displays. Lake Lowell is open for fishing year round, and is subject to state laws regarding limits, as is hunting.

Deer Flat Refuge offers numerous educational opportunities, including field trips, guest speakers, free educational materials, and teacher workshops. The refuge also takes on volunteers interested in conservation efforts, and wildlife management.

The American Bird Conservancy named the Deer Flat Refuge a “Globally Important Bird Area,” in part because many migratory birds, such as mallards and Canada geese, use it as a resting and wintering area as it is situated along the Pacific Flyway. More than 200 species of birds live in the refuge, both full time and during migration period. Some species found in the refuge include the great blue heron, green-winged teal, common goldeneye, American kestrel, ring-necked pheasant, and northern pintail.

The state bird of Idaho is the Mountain Bluebird and you can find a birding checklist for Idaho here.

You can learn more about the important breeding grounds of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge here.

If you've visited Deer Flat, please take the time to share your experience and any tips or insight you have about this Idaho birding location below.

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