Monday, June 21, 2021
Sheep Start Migration as Lambs Tussle with Eagles
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Sheep navigate the old railway bridge south of Ketchum. PHOTO: Lynn Campion
   
Friday, June 11, 2021
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTO BY LYNN CAMPION

Hailey resident Lynn Campion had her trusty camera along when she spotted sheep making their annual spring migration through the Wood River Valley to summer pastures in the mountain.

“The annual move means so much to the history of our valley,” she said.

Sheep have been spotted in Greenhorn, Colorado Gulch, Bullion Gulch and along the popular Two Dog hiking and biking trail in Croy Canyon.

The sheep grazing in between the ornamental trees along the highway have presented a serene Norman Rockwell-type scene. But that’s not the case to the south in Murtaugh where bald eagles have killed 54 lambs on one ranch.

Rocky Matthews told the Twin Falls Times-News that two bald eagles residing in a large nest on his property sink their talons into the lambs, severing the arteries.

Bald eagles have lived in the nest for more than 20 years and never attacked the flock before. He surmises that the eagles, which typically feed on fish, are not finding enough fish to eat in this year’s low waters during what’s being called the worst drought in a century.

He can apply for a depredation permit to haze the eagles with noise and other measures. Or he can move the livestock closer to the bar, which is what he’s chosen to do for now.

Adult eagles can be pretty formidable with their seven-foot wingspans. The largest nest on record measures 9.5 feet wide and 20 feet deep, weighing more than 4,400 pounds.

 

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