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Birding Hotspots - Hagerman Valley - Thousand Springs State Park


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Hagerman Valley Birding Hotspots map

Thousand Springs State Park consist of five separate units, each created by springs from the Snake River Aquifer. All are interesting and excellent birding areas.

Malad Gorge Unit

Malad Gorge - Thousand Springs State Park

Photo Copyright © 2010
John & Melissa Kopsky

Habitat:

A 200 foot basalt gorge with river and springs at the bottom. Rim land with sagebrush scrub, irrigation ponds and marshes, Russian Olive groves, surrounded by farmland.

Birds:

Raptors, wrens, warblers, sparrows.

Directions:

From I-84 take Exit 147 (at Tuttle). Follow the signs approximately one mile to Malad Gorge.

Billingsley Creek Unit

Habitat:

Slow-moving spring-fed creek with lots of reedy marshes, thick Russian-olive groves.

Birds:

Sora and Virginia Rail, American Bittern, Common Yellowthroat, Marsh Wren, Canyon Wren, Black-billed Magpie.

Directions:

From the town of Hagerman, take Highway 30 north for about a mile, watch for signs and turn right into the park. There are several other units of Billingsley Creek, find further directions at this access.

Ritter Island Unit

Ritter Island - Thousand Springs State Park

Photo Copyright © 2010
John & Melissa Kopsky

Habitat:

Crystal clear spring fed creeks, basalt cliffs, juniper/sagebrush uplands, extensive reedy marshes, park area with mature deciduous and conifer trees.

Birds:

Virginia and Sora Rail, Herons, Raptors, Rock, Canyon, and Marsh Wren, Screech and Great-horned Owl, Raptors.

Directions:

From I-84 take exit 155 at Wendell and travel west on 2950 South (Hagerman Highway), after 3 miles turn Left onto 1500 East, after 2.5 miles turn right onto 3200 South, after two miles take short jog left and follow signs into canyon.

Box Canyon Unit

Box Canyon - Thousand Springs State Park

Photo Copyright © 2010
Karl Ruprecht

Habitat:

Agriculture, weedy fields, and sagebrush on the rim. Large spring-fed creek and brushy riparian in canyon. Basalt cliffs, waterfalls.

Birds:

Roosting Bald Eagles in winter, nesting Raptors in spring, American Dipper, Belted Kingfisher, Song Sparrow, Rock and Canyon Wren.

Directions:

From I-84 take exit 155 at Wendell and travel west on 2950 South (Hagerman Highway), after 3 miles turn Left onto 1500 East, after 4.5 miles watch for signed parking area on right side of road.

Niagara Springs

Niagara Springs - Thousand Springs State Park

Photo Copyright © 2010
John & Melissa Kopsky

Two adjacent areas - a small State Park and a Wildlife Management Area owned and managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Habitat:

Springs, ponds, and creeks nestled at the base of basalt cliffs on one side and the boulder-choked Snake River on the other side. Extensive Russian olive thickets, sagebrush/horsebrush uplands, and wildlife feed plots.

Birds:

Wintering waterfowl, herons, owls, raptors, canyon and rock wren, many Passeriformes.

Directions:

From I-84 take exit 157 (Wendell) and head south on 1950 East for seven miles. Descend into the canyon on a gravel road.

 
South Hills Crossbill

South Hills Crossbill

How often do you get to discover a new bird species in the continental United States - let alone in your own backyard? Learn all about the South Hills Crossbill and the challenges faced to have it listed as a new species.

Read on for more info