Access to Popular Southern Idaho Canyon Restricted Due to Wintering Eagles
WENDELL, Idaho (KLIX) -The road into the popular Box Canyon at Thousand Springs State Park west of Wendell has been closed off to vehicles while wintering eagles are in the area.
Bald Eagles Wintering In Southern Idaho
Thousand Springs State Park made the decision to close off motorized travel into the area so as not to disturb the many eagles making the area home for the winter. People wanting to still access the park can do so by foot by parking at the entryway along S 1500 East. Eagles are a common sight in Southern Idaho, especially along the Snake River, and many places across the Gem State.
The Thousand Springs area is especially popular for visitors wanting to spot a large group of eagles together in the winter. The American icon can be spotted sitting on fences, water wheel lines, and the large cottonwood trees in the vicinity.
According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the area is one of many winter nesting sites for eagles in Southern Idaho. Fish and Game says some of the birds stay in Idaho year-round while a majority of them migrate to the area during the winter from Canada. Typically the birds are found nesting near their food source, mainly fish, along rivers, lakes, and shorelines. Idaho Fish and Game estimates there are anywhere from about 480 to 832 bald eagles in the state. At one time in the late 70s, there had only been 11 recorded nesting sites for bald eagles in the state, as of 2007 there were an estimated 234. That same year the bald eagle was taken off the endangered species list.