Observe wildlife while exploring the beautiful vistas.

 

It is necessary to keep a watchful eye as you travel the Palouse country. Many times you are so involved in taking  in the beautiful scenery that you miss some of the birds and other wildlife that is abundant.

On a recent trip to the Steptoe Butte area just north of Colfax, I was intent on getting to a high vantage point to observe the final light of the sun as it was preparing to bathe the landscape of rolling hills and valleys in the lowlands below. As I came around a corner on the road up to the state park I spotted the red-tailed hawk that is pictured below. 

Red-tailed Hawk (buteo jamaicensis) by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Red-tailed Hawk (buteo jamaicensis) by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

He was very intent in watching the fields below him as he perched on a ridge in the wheat field searching for any movement that might signal some prey for his supper. He did not give me much attention as I captured his image from my car window.

As I parked my car in one of my favorites spots to capture the last rays of the sun, I heard the loud trill of a bird just over the edge of the hill on some rocks. I was treated to the view of a rock wren that was enjoying bathing in the last light of the day. In the image below, it is obvious how well this species blends in with its environment.

Rock Wren (salpinctes obsoletus) by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Rock Wren (salpinctes obsoletus) by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

As the sun set on the landscape and I descended the butte in the twilight, I was once again reminded of the beauty that is both in the landscape as well the wildlife that inhabits this region.

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