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Established in 1909, Deer Flat holds a special place in the National Wildlife Refuges in the United States as one of the oldest in the system.
It's over 11,000 acres / 4,451 hectares provides a significant habitat for migratory, wintering, and breeding species of birds along the Pacific Flyway, attracting significant numbers of mallards and Canada geese. Its presents a significant enough value to birds that is has been declared a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy. 
Lake Lowell, in the Deer Flat Refuge, hosts one of the three largest colonies of Western Grebe in the State of Idaho.
The Refuge attracts large concentrations of mallards and Canada geese as they migrate.
Some of the species recorded as rare in Canyon County, Idaho, where Deer Flat Refuge is located , include the Ross's Goose, Cackling Goose, White-winged Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Common Gallinule, American Golden-Plover, Ruff, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Pomarine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Sabine's Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Pacific Loon, White Ibis, Red-shouldered Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Gyrfalcon, Vermilion Flycatcher, Blue Jay, Purple Finch, Lapland Longspur, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, Tennessee Warbler, Summer Tanager.
Birds you can see here include:
Snow Goose, Northern Pintail, Ruddy Duck, California Quail, Chukar, Pied-billed Grebe, Rock Pigeon, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Vaux's Swift, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Virginia Rail, Sandhill Crane, Black-necked Stilt, Black-bellied Plover, Long-billed Curlew, Long-tailed Jaeger, Franklin's Gull, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, American Bittern, White-faced Ibis, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Golden Eagle, Barn Owl, Flammulated Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Williamson's Sapsucker, American Kestrel, Western Wood-Pewee, Cassin's Vireo, Northern Shrike, Canada Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Horned Lark, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Bushtit, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rock Wren, American Dipper, European Starling, Gray Catbird, Western Bluebird, Bohemian Waxwing, House Sparrow, American Pipit, Evening Grosbeak, Snow Bunting, Grasshopper Sparrow, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Western Tanager
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Lake Lowell & Snake River Islands – Both significant sections of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
Access and Facilities
Boise Airport (BOI) is the closest commercial airport to Deer Flat Refuge with scheduled airline service.
Contact a trusted travel professional for specific, up-to-date information.
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
13751 Upper Embankment Rd.
Nampa, ID 83686
Visitor Center Phone: 208-467-9278
Email: [email protected]
- Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge – US Fish and Wildlife - https://www.fws.gov/refuge/deer_flat/
- Idaho State Parks - https://www.stateparks.com/deer_flat_national_wildlife_refuge_in_idaho.html
- Lepage D. (2020) Canyon Bird Checklist - Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World. Retrieved 17 September 2020
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 4 December 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Deer_Flat_National_Wildlife_Refuge
Content and images originally posted by robertmortensen
My father-in-law and I were able to identify many species of birds in a short period of time. Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge is around Lake Lowell in Nampa, Idaho. Lake Lowell is a man-made resevoir providing irrigation to the area farms. Large cotton trees surround the lake and it has become an oasis for migrating birds in the deserts of southern Idaho. Pros
- Birding paradise
- an oasis for migrating birds
- recreationers on the lake may distract