Wildlife

The sagebrush plateaus of the Owyhee Uplands are bisected by deep canyons that provide habitat for over 200 species of wildlife. Some of the best remaining habitat for greater sage grouse is found in the Owyhee Uplands. While driving to the rivers across the sagebrush sea look for pronghorn (antelope), American badger, jack, pygmy, and cotton-tail rabbits, northern harrier, ferruginous hawk, mountain bluebird, sage thrasher, horned lark, and many reptile species. Chukar partridge are abundant throughout the canyonlands. Search the skyline in the river canyons to see soaring golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, Swainson’s hawk, kestrel, prairie falcons, and swallows that nest along the cliff faces. Songbirds including the showy lazuli bunting, Bullock’s oriole, yellow warbler, and western tanager are frequently observed from late April-May in the trees and shrubs along the river riparian areas. Between the rapids commonly-viewed waterfowl include Canada goose, mallard, redhead, lesser scaup, common merganser and teal species. The song of the canyon wren is familiar to those who spend time in the desert canyons of eastern Oregon and southwest Idaho. Mammals such as California bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyote, bobcat, river otter, marmot, and beaver are often spotted during river trips.