SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utahns may not believe this, but America’s national bird flies to the Beehive State in the winter to not only find food but to also escape the colder conditions in the north. As February rolls around, hundreds of bald eagles will have settled throughout the state, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
The Division will be hosting four viewing events this month and the next:
What to Expect
Visitors are encouraged to bring their own binoculars, spotting scope and camera. Staff members from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be there to offer guidance in locating bald eagles in the area.
While all events are free, participants are encouraged to register in advance on Eventbrite. The DWR says these events may be canceled if driving conditions on the roads become dangerous.
The first bald eagle viewing event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 8 a.m. to noon at Rush Lake Ranch, located at 9600 N. Minersville Highway. To reach the site, the DWR advises travelers to take exit 62 off Interstate 15, head north on State Route 130 for about 10 miles, and the viewing event will be on the side of the highway.
The event for central Utah will take place on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery at 1450 W. 24950 North. The viewing place will be around 1 mile away from the hatchery.
The DWR says staff and volunteers will be near a large tree where up to 50 eagles were seen in the past. Participants can park by the side of the road to view the eagles. If they don’t see any eagles on the tree, they are welcome to drive around Sanpete Valley to look for them.
Due to disease transmission concerns, the DWR says tours at the fish hatchery will no longer be available, though the bathrooms will be open for participants to use.
The bald eagle viewing event for northeastern Utah will be at the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge headquarters at 19001 E Wildlife Refuge Road in Randlett, Uintah County, from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 18.
Participants can reach the site by getting on U.S. Highway 191, driving about 14 miles west of Vernal or about 13 miles east of Roosevelt, and then turning south on State Route 88. From SR-88, travel south for another 14 miles and then turn left into the refuge entrance. The headquarters is 1 mile down the entrance.
The last bald eagle viewing event is set on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Wildlife Education Center at 1157 S. Waterfowl Way in Farmington. Participants are expected to see eagles in the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area.
There will be a live bald eagle encounter and other activities and crafts offered at the event inside the education center.
Other great areas to watch bald eagles:
Northern Utah offers some great views of bald eagles if individuals are interested in venturing out on their own with their binoculars or spotting scopes:
- In the trees along the Weber River, near Croydon and below Echo Reservoir
- Near the Willard Bay Reservoir, west of Willard.
- Compton’s Knoll at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area, west of Corinne. The management area is closed to the public, but Compton’s Knoll viewing area on the south side is open year-round.