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Pacific Northwest Trip: Idaho’s Cassia Crossbill with Stefan Schlick

Join Stefan on an exciting trip to Twin Falls to see the American Birding Association’s newest bird! The Cassia Crossbill was split from the Red Crossbill in the fall of 2018, and because of the low number of red squirrels in the South Hills of Idaho, this is the best place to see this newly described species. Moreover, they are resident in the area, as the pine crop is good every year. The absence of red squirrels also means that open-cup and ground-nesting songbirds are abundant and active well into July when most other mountain areas have quieted down substantially, the birding should be good even when we aren’t watching our target species.

We will take our time en route, stopping to bird around the La Grande area. Red Bridge State Park, Bird Track Springs, and Spring Creek are all great spots to pull in for a little while to look for Black-backed and White-headed Woodpecker, Western Bluebird, and Gray Catbird, and you never know what will await you in the Blue Mountains. From there we will work our way to Twin Falls, swinging in at Indian or Blacks Creek Reservoir which can be very active wetland birding for many different species.

Our main day will take us up the South Hills to Porcupine Springs Campground and/or Bostetter CG to search for Cassia Crossbill. Other target birds include Green-tailed Towhee, Vesper and Brewer’s Sparrows, Cassin’s Finch, Hammond’s, Dusky and Cordilleran Flycatchers, and Yellow-breasted Chat.

Our final day will be the return drive to Portland.

*Note: This is a van-based trip and complete vaccinations are required of all participants and leaders.

Register today to travel with us to Idaho!

See the American Birding Association’s newest species in the South Hills of Idaho! Because of the absence of red squirrels in Idaho’s South Hills, Cassia Crossbills are about 20 times more common than the Red Crossbill. We’ll take a compelling and exciting trip from Portland to Twin Falls, seeking summer specialties in various mountain and wetland habitats along the way.


Trip Details

  • Trip Leader: Stefan Schlick
  • Fee: $945 members / $1,145 non-members
  • Single Supplement Fee: $150
  • When: July 8 – July 11
  • Group size: Limited to 10 participants
  • What is included: Transportation to and from Portland, breakfasts, lunches, services of your experience Portland Audubon leader, and any park fees. What is NOT included: dinners and alcoholic beverages.
  • Note: This is a van-based trip and complete vaccinations are required of all participants and leaders.

Mandatory COVID guidelines: 

  • Stay home if you or a member in your household have any symptoms, or if you have been in contact with anyone with these symptoms:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Everyone drive on their own, with members of their household
  • Everybody must wear a face covering at all times
  • Everybody remain at least 6 feet apart at all times
  • No more than 10 people, plus the instructor
  • Only go to locations with plenty of room to stay safe:
    • Wide, open spaces are best
    • No crowded trails – limit to early morning walks and/or weekdays
    • Prioritize trails that are one-directional
    • Prioritize locations with trails at least 6-feet wide


Cassia Crossbill Itinerary