SALT LAKE CITY — While bald eagles have made their way back to Utah for a couple of weeks now, February is traditionally the peak time to view the national bird here in our state.
It's possible you came across one in a tree along the Provo River Trail or flying around a state or federal bird refuge. They're a majestic creature that can be found throughout Utah in the winter months.
Biologists at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources say that hundreds of eagles make Utah their home before they fly back north for the summer. For years, the agency held events where novice to expert birdwatchers and nature lovers could gather and view bald eagles and learn about them; however, those events were canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
Instead, DWR offered a list of locations across the state where people can view the birds on their own time. These are some of the best locations they suggested for this February:
There are a pair of the roosts in the area. The first is a group of cottonwood trees west of 3900 West and 2700 North — northwest of Cedar City Regional Airport. The other location is Rush Lake Ranch, 9600 N. Minersville Highway, which is north of the city.
Corrine, Box Elder County
Compton's Knoll at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area west of Corrine. The management area is also northwest of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge located in Brigham City.
Croydon, Morgan County
In the trees along the Weber River near Croydon and along the road leading to Lost Creek Reservoir, located northeast of Croydon.
Echo, Summit County
In the trees along the Weber River below Echo Reservoir, just south of Croydon.
Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, 1325 W. Glovers Lane, and the Farmington Bay Eccles Wildlife Education Center, 1157 S. Waterfowl Way. Eagles are often found on the northern section by the Farmington Bay entrance and by the education center.
Hyrum, Cache County
In the trees along the Blacksmith Fork River east of Hyrum.
Laketown, Rich County
In the cottonwood trees at Rendezvous Beach at the south end of Bear Lake
Randlett, Uintah County
One of the better areas to see eagles in Utah is along the Green River near the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge has an auto tour loop that begins at its headquarters, 1901 E. Wildlife Refuge Road.
The eagles can be found near open areas of water and on trees by the river. Golden eagles can also be found by the cliffs near the road.
The DWR has held events, tours and displays at the Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery for the past two decades, but they are canceled in 2021. Still, there are plenty of places throughout Sanpete County. Those locations include areas near Fountain Green, Wales and Moroni.
Tips for viewing bald eagles
The DWR offered a few tips for viewing and safety.
- Bring binoculars, a scope, or a long camera lens to better view birds.
- Wear warm clothes, especially if you plan to hike or stand outdoors for a long period of time.
- Pull over if you're driving to view the birds. Don't try to look for bald eagles while driving, and don't stop in the middle of a road.