When a bald eagle reaches adulthood, around the fifth year, the feathers on its head turn white.
Nine top spots in the National Wildlife Refuge system provide great viewing in autumn.
Head to the Northwest for nine places to view migratory birds in the fall.
From October through February, as many as 3,500 bald eagles descend on the Chilkat River Valley near Haines, Alaska.
In summer, you can spot shorebirds at a salty inland destination 20 minutes east of Yosemite National Park.
An estimated 7,000 cranes make this Central Valley wine region their seasonal home.
Birdman of Idaho
Kent Clegg helps save trumpeter swans by relocating them from Harriman Park in Idaho to Bear River on the Utah border.
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, an 11,860-acre desert oasis near Nampa, welcomes 250 species of birds in autumn.
At the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, the prime time to see 24 species of raptors runs from early spring through June.
At the Beaverhead County Museum in Dillon, an exhibit spotlights some 150 bird pairs.
As many as 100,000 lesser snow geese—along with Ross’s geese, blue geese, and tundra swans—come to Freezeout Lake to fatten up before heading north.
The Bridger Raptor Festival celebrates 17 species of migrating raptors that ride the thermals over the 9,000-foot Bridger Mountains each fall.
Hundreds of bird species—from tundra swans and bald eagles to American wigeons—flock to the 174,279-acre Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex during the winter months.
With six national wildlife refuges that shelter more than 250 avian species, many of them migratory, Klamath sits in the center of one of the best birding spots in the West.
Photography courtesy of U.S. Fish and WildlifeService/Susan Rachlin
This article was first published in September 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.