February is Bald Eagle Month in Utah and, according to the Division of Wildlife Resources, it’s the best time of 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.
The state agency says you can see eagles at five different viewing sites as well as learn more about them, during Bald Eagle Month.
Matt Bartley, DWR wildlife recreation coordinator, says spotting scopes will be available at the various locations, but if you have your own scope, or a pair of binoculars, bring them with you.
You can see eagles during the following days and times:
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.
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.
Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area (Compton’s Knoll), located about 10 miles northwest of Corinne in Box Elder County.
Viewing on Feb. 9 takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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.
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.
Bartley says, “If you have any challenges spotting the eagles, our biologists and volunteers will help you find them. We’d also be happy to answer any questions you have.”
If you attend any of the events, the state agency suggests you 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.”