Friday, January 30, 2015

Plan Your Eagle Watching Trip in Idaho



Idaho, a traditional winter nesting ground for eagles, makes sighting them easy. January is National Bald Eagle Watching Month and November through February, eagles are easy to see around the state.  It isn’t the cold temperatures that drive the birds south. The eagles move south to Idaho’s open waterways and a plentiful supply of fish. An abundant food supply and trees capable of supporting a nest that can exceed 10 feet in diameter are two factors that eagles require in a nesting area. Idaho has a number of locations that fit the bill!



–Northern Idaho is a bald eagle spotting mecca.  Favorite locations to see nesting pairs include the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, Perkins Lake and McArthur Lake Wildlife Management Area.

–Wintering eagles are most abundant along Lake Coeur d’Alene, Lake Pend Oreille, and sections of the Priest River in northern Idaho. Sightings at Wolf Lodge Bay and Beauty Bay are particularly rich viewing areas on Lake Coeur d’Alene. 


–Both bald and golden eagles can be seen during the winter at Silver Creek Preserve in the Wood River Valley south of Hailey in central Idaho.

–In south central Idaho, Thousand Springs State Park’s Box Canyon in the Hagerman Valley is a good place to eagle watch. Head south of Hagerman to the top of Vader Grade to watch eagles soar.

–Southwest of Nampa, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Lowell provides the right combination of fish and nesting locations for bald eagles.

Barber Dam in southeast Boise is a more urban location to spot eagles, but it is not unusual to see them closer to downtown when you’re on the greenbelt.

–In eastern Idaho, The South Fork of the Snake River, stretching some 60 miles from Palisades Dam to its confluence with the Henrys Fork, hosts the largest breeding population of bald eagles in Idaho.


There are many more locations where you may catch sight of these magnificent birds.  The Idaho Birding Trail is an outstanding resource and lists over 50 locations where bald eagles might be seen.


These regions feature some of the small lodging facilities that are part of the "Idaho Bed & Breakfast Association"

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