The Magic Valley is a center of attention for bird watchers. The Snake River corridor running from the Massacre Rocks exit on Interstate 84 to Mountain Home offers visitors nearly 300 species of birds to view.
Waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, and wading birds are common along the Snake River Plain through the spring, summer and fall. Golden eagles are frequently seen along the canyon walls of the Snake River and bald eagles are winter visitors. Great Blue Heron can be seen patiently waiting for their next meal to swim within range.
Three hot spots near Twin Falls for the novice or seasoned birder are Niagara Springs, Hagerman and the Billingsley Creek Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). Each offers a different type of wildlife viewing opportunity.
Niagara Springs WMA is nestled in the high walls of the Snake River Canyon. Visitors can hike the trails along the river as they view birds in native and artificially created habitats. You can also view water cascading from the Snake River Plain Aquifer as it makes its way to the Snake River.
Hagerman WMA is primarily a waterfowl nesting and wintering area. Ponds and marshlands within the WMA provide some of the most spectacular bird watching in Idaho.
Billingsley Creek WMA adjoins Billingsley Creek State Park. Trails follow both sides of the small meandering stream that is surrounded by a wide riparian zone of cattail and willows giving visitors a wide variety of viewing opportunities for dozens of bird species.
For more information on bird viewing opportunities, call the Idaho Fish and Game office in Jerome at (208) 324-4359 or go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/
People can also purchase the book Idaho Birding Trails by going to www.IdahoBirdingTrail.org
or call the Fish and Game Headquarters at (208) 334-3700.