Hagerman and Wendell are small, Southern Idaho towns, surrounded by unreal, natural beauty. Waterfalls, canyons, and crystal clear waters are sprinkled around the area. The gorgeous Snake River runs nearby, and the historic Hagerman Fossil Beds are spread on the far side of the river.
In the winter, the river doesn’t get much use and the waterfalls freeze, but different seasons bring new wonders. What most travelers aren’t aware of, is the area becoming a winter home to the migrating eagles!
Located just north of Box Canyon State Park, a restaurant called West Point Shack sits in-between farmland. All around the shack are trees hosting the bald eagles! Depending on the day, you can see up to 80 eagles in a tree.
Read carefully for the easiest way to find these eagles:
Head to Box Canyon State Park. Here, you may see an eagle or two flying – if not – keep driving. A mile north will bring you to a restaurant. Park the vehicle at the north end of West Point Shack. Look carefully around at the trees, and you will soon spot black objects.
Upon further investigation you will realize the black objects are eagles, dozens and dozens of eagles! Perched carefully in the trees, located behind and just to the right of West Point Shack.
There is also a small farm just around the corner, behind West Point Shack. Parking your vehicle off the road is possible, and gives a little different view of the Eagle Tree. Remember to stay quiet, keeping them unaware of your presence will help them remain at peace. Peaceful birds means the best photo opportunities!
When searching for the famous Eagle Tree, please be sure to respect other’s land. This particular tree is on private property. Bring a camera to zoom in, but do not trespass. Getting too close to the birds causes them to fly away, so it is best admire from a distance!
Continue reading for an explanation of the eagles:
“Migrant bald eagles begin to appear on their traditional Idaho wintering grounds in October. Populations peak during January and February. In winter, the birds are primarily concerned with feeding and conserving energy. Bald eagles generally gather near sources of food—rivers, lakes and shorelines.”
-Idaho Fish and Game
Bald eagles are stunning! Their white head and tail make them recognizable to anyone. In the first years of a bald eagle’s life, they are actually mostly brown. Interestingly enough, the bald eagle doesn’t get its white features until the fourth or fifth year of life. These eagles can live around 30 years. It is no secret the birds are huge! A bald eagle stands 2-3 feet tall, and can have a wingspan of up to 8 feet!
Enjoy the local secret – the Eagle Tree.
Happy bird watching!