Another Idaho Wildlife Surprise

Hiking about the huge hills and plains along the Boise River valley you run into unexpectedly beautiful sights like these colorful little rocky streams. Then while looking across the valley I noticed some tiny specs that seemed to be moving. Was that the animal I have wanted to photograph for so long? My long lens told me it was! So I crossed the valley, climbed up the cliff on the other side, got as close to the Pronghorns as I could, and started filming. Along the way I got this nice shot of an American Kestrel as well.

To the east of Boise, Idaho the landscape changes dramatically into an enormous expanse of huge treeless hills, rocky cliffs, valleys, and plateaus. It is a wonderful place for hiking and an especially intriguing location for wildlife photography. When the weather is agreeable the intrepid explorer is liable to find everything from lizards to mountain lions. My time there in this chilly middle of January did not turn up any reptiles but I did manage to photograph one of the most beautiful creatures of the country – the American Pronghorn “Antelope.” Despite its oft used common name and scientific name, the pronghorn is not an antelope. And despite its goat like appearance it’s not a goat either. The Pronghorn is a unique species unto itself within the great hoofed group of mammals. Ranging from southern Canada and all the way into Mexico they are often seen in remote parts of the country grazing in the open areas they prefer. Don’t expect to get close up for observation, however. Pronghorns are extremely alert and exceptionally fast runners – up to 70 mph according to some sources. The ones I found in the photos above consistently remained about a quarter of a mile away from me. Good thing I had my long lens out.

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