Best Places to View Wintering Birds
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – If you’re a birder, you probably know better than us where the best places are to see wintering birds. But then again, you don’t have to be a hobbyist to enjoy our fowl feathered friends.
There are many places in south-central Idaho where you can view birds during the cold months. Below are a few suggestions:
The best places to see wintering birds near Buhl and Hagerman is the Thousand Springs stretch of the Snake River or by the bridge that crosses the river near Hagerman. With large portions of marsh, open water and wetlands, you’re likely to see a variety of waterfowl, including plenty of ducks. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the area often is visited by some 30,000 ducks in the winter. Keep an eye out, though, as eagles also have been seen in the area.
Milner Dam, which is accessed from Burley at the junction of Hghway 30 and Highway 27, is a great place to view Canada geese. Keep this as a place to visit in springtime, and you’re likely to see a variety of fowl return during their spring migration.
Lake Walcott, part of the larger Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge, is a great place to see a variety of birds and waterfowl all year long. Some 150 species of birds make Lake Walcott their permanent or temporary home. “Nowhere else in southwestern Idaho can such habitat be found in this quantity or quality,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Some of the birds seen here include raptors, shorebirds upland game birds, waterbirds and waterfowl, according to the Idaho Birding Trail.
The 990-acre Massacre Rocks State Park, which has an interesting history related to the emigrants who crossed through Idaho on the Oregon Trail in the 1840s (we'll let you look that up on your own for now), is another place to see many of the same types of birds as found at Lake Walcott – raptors, upland game birds and waterfowl, to name a few.
Many other places along the Snake River are favorites for wintering birds, including Twin Falls’ own Centennial Waterfront Park, where you might see blue heron, egrets and great horned owls.
If you come across any other places to see wintering birds, or know of any offhand that we’ve missed, please let us know by writing to Andrew.Weeks@townsquaremedia.com.