February is Bald Eagle Month in Utah

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February is the perfect time to view bald eagles in Utah. You can see eagles at five different viewing sites during Bald Eagle Month.

DWR Press Release

February is the best time of the year to see one of the country’s most iconic birds.

Bald eagles fly to Utah in the winter to find food and escape colder conditions farther north. By the time February arrives, hundreds of eagles are in the state.

You can see the eagles, and learn more about them, during Bald Eagle Month.

Seeing the eagles is free. Spotting scopes will be available at the various locations, but if you have your own scope, or a pair of binoculars, please bring them with you. You can see eagles during the following days and times:

Feb. 2

Northeastern Utah

Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, near the refuge headquarters in Randlett at 19001 E. Wildlife Refuge Road

Viewing on Feb. 2 takes place from 9 a.m. to noon.

To reach the site, travel on U.S. 40 about 14 miles west of Vernal, or about 13 miles east of Roosevelt, and turn south on state Route 88. Travel south on SR-88 for 14 miles, and then turn left into the refuge entrance. The refuge headquarters is one mile down the entrance road.

The Ouray National Wildlife Refuge and the Division of Wildlife Resources are co-sponsoring the event.

Southwestern Utah

Rush Lake Ranch, 9600 North on the Minersville Highway (SR-130). The ranch is about 12 miles north of Cedar City.

Viewing on Feb. 2 takes place from 8 a.m. to noon.

Feb. 9

Northern Utah

Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area (Compton’s Knoll), located about 10 miles northwest of Corinne

Viewing on Feb. 9 takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To reach the Salt Creek WMA, exit Interstate 15 at Exit 365, and travel west on state Route 83 through Corinne.  Stay on SR-83 until you get to 6800 West (Iowa String). Turn right on 6800 West, and travel north to 6800 North. Once you reach 6800 North, the WMA’s Compton’s Knoll Watchable Wildlife site will be on your left side.

The Division of Wildlife Resources and Wasatch Audubon are co-sponsoring the event at Salt Creek.

Northern Utah

Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, located on the west side of Farmington at 1325 W. Glovers Lane (925 South)

Viewing on Feb. 9 will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to seeing a wide variety of birds, you can enjoy special activities at the Eccles Wildlife Education Center that day. The center is on the north side of the WMA, at 1157 S. Waterfowl Way.

Activities run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They include getting close to a live bald eagle in the conservation hall and taking your kids into the wetland discovery classroom, where volunteers will help them make an eagle-themed craft.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can learn more about bald eagles at programs offered in the auditorium. A new program starts every hour. Visit the conservation hall welcome desk to see the topics that will be presented.

Eagle viewing will happen on the WMA from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Spotting scopes will be set up, and biologists with the DWR and volunteers from Wasatch Audubon will be on hand to answer your questions.

Farmington Bay WMA Manager Jason Jones says it’s always a guessing game regarding the number of eagles that will be at the WMA on the day the viewing event happens. “Hopefully,” he says, “good numbers of eagles will be available to see. Even if eagle numbers are low, there should still be plenty of ducks and tundra swans to view.”

The Division of Wildlife Resources, Wasatch Audubon and HawkWatch International are co-sponsoring the Farmington Bay event.

Central Utah

Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery, located east of Nephi

Viewing on Feb. 9 takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free tours of the Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery will also be offered.

If you’re coming from the north, you can reach the hatchery by taking Interstate 15 and exiting the freeway at the second Nephi exit (Exit 225). After exiting the freeway, turn east on state Route 132 and travel about 10 miles. About one mile before the city of Fountain Green, a Bald Eagle Day sign will point you to an access road that leads to the hatchery.

Once you reach the hatchery, you’ll receive a driving map of the Sanpete Valley that highlights the best areas in the valley to view eagles. Literature, displays and bathroom facilities will also be available at the hatchery. Spotting scopes will be set-up at a nearby location where eagles often gather in a large tree. The viewing site is about one mile from the hatchery.

Get a close look

Matt Bartley, Wildlife Recreation coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says spotting scopes will be available at each viewing site so you can get a good look at the eagles. “If you have any challenges spotting the eagles,” he says, “our biologists and volunteers will help you find them. We’d also be happy to answer any questions you have.”

You can also pick up a free Bald Eagle Month button.

Items to bring

If you attend any of the events, dress in warm clothes and bring waterproof boots. Also, if you want to take photos of the eagles, bring a telephoto lens.

“You need a telephoto lens to get good, close-up shots of the eagles,” Bartley says. “The eagles will be fairly close to the viewing sites, but you still need a telephoto lens to get good photos of them.”

More information

If you have questions about Bald Eagle Month, call Division of Wildlife Resources offices in Ogden, Springville, Vernal or Cedar City.

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