Utah Bald Eagle Day
Each year during the month of February the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources holds its annual Utah Bald Eagle Day. This year starting on Feb. 2, 2019 you will have a chance to not only see these majestic birds of prey, but learn more about them by attending one of the five viewing locations across the state.
Bald Eagle Day is a fun free outdoor activity to be enjoyed by all.
Ouray National Wildlife Refuge
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.
Rush Lake Ranch
Viewing on Feb. 2 takes place from 8 a.m. to noon.
Location - 9600 North on the Minersville highway (SR-130). The ranch is about 12 miles north of Cedar City.
Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area
(Compton's Knoll), located about 10 miles northwest of Corinne
Viewing on Feb 9 at Salt Creek will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To reach the WMA, take Exit 365 off of Interstate 15 and travel west on state Route 83 through Corinne. Stay on Route 83 until you get to 6800 West (Iowa String). Travel north to 6800 N. Travel west on 6800 N. until you reach the Salt Creek WMA/Compton's Knoll Watchable Wildlife site.
The Division of Wildlife Resources and Wasatch Audubon are co-sponsoring the event at Salt Creek.
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 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."
To reach the nature center and the WMA, follow these directions:
If you're traveling from Salt Lake City and other areas south of Farmington:
Travel north on I-15 to Exit 322. (The exit is just after you pass under the Glovers Lane overpass.) Where the ramp forks, stay right. Just off the exit ramp, turn right onto the frontage road, and continue south to the stop sign. Turn right onto Glovers Lane, and follow it west.
To reach the Farmington Bay WMA, travel to 1325 W. Glovers Lane, and turn left.
If you're traveling from Ogden and other areas north of Farmington:
Travel south on I-15 to Farmington. Take Exit 325 (the Lagoon/Park Lane exit). The exit will take you to Park Lane. Turn right (west) on Park Lane. Park Lane will bear south and run into Clark Lane. Turn right (west) onto Clark Lane and continue to the first four-way stop, which is 1525 W. Turn left (south) onto 1525 W., and continue for about one mile until the street ends at Glovers Lane.
To reach the Farmington Bay WMA, turn left (east) onto Glovers Lane. Travel to 1325 W. Glovers Lane, and then turn right (south).
Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery
Located east of Nephi.
Viewing will take place on Feb 9 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 1 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 be given 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 viewing location about one mile from the hatchery where eagles often gather in a large tree.
Get a closer look at the Bald Eagles
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 Bald Eagle Month button. Handouts and information about bald eagles, wildlife watching and birding opportunities in Utah will also be available.
The button and information are free.
What to Bring:
If you attend Bald Eagle Day, 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."
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