MANY PEOPLE ENJOY birding activities during the fall migration period in Utah. Songbirds, hawks, waterbirds and waterfowl travel through the state, especially the areas near the Great Salt Lake and its wetlands. Whether you drop everything to find a rare bird that’s been sighted, wake up early to sit in a duck blind or simply […]
Holders are charged with the toughest part. They are tasked with securing the birds so the banders can install a leg band on the left leg and patagial markers on each wing. Not as easy as it sounds, when you consider that they have to hold the 15-pound bird securely. They also have to hold the pelican’s bill so it can’t bite anyone.
Last week, I had a delightful experience that made me giddier than my wedding day. I was invited to join biologists and researchers as they banded burrowing owlets. Tiny, downy, newly hatched baby owls? Count me in!
One of our PTT-equipped owls managed to evade prairie falcons, badgers and weasels and began her fall journey southward from Cisco, Utah on October 3. On October 8, she was on the edge of Grand Gulch in San Juan County, and by October 14, she’d found her way to…
One particular goat that some have dubbed “Gruff” (he has a broken horn) can often be seen with the group of lively goats. Additionally, several “kids” or juvenile mountain goats have been seen playing and jumping among the rocks, seemingly unaware of their precarious surroundings.
Oh, and ravens will eat pretty much anything: from small, already-dead mammals to bird eggs and fruits. I’m with Poe in finding these birds a little on the creepy side. Their deep, gurgling croak is enough to raise the hair on my arms.
Boreal toads are more active at night, so we’ll be surveying breeding sites after dark using headlamps. Food and sleeping arrangements at one of our remote cabins in west Box Elder County will be provided! The work typically does not end until after midnight.
They’re unlike any other of Utah’s birds. These tiny birds range from 2¾ to 4 inches tall and have some of the highest metabolisms in the world, with heart rates around 1,250 beats per minute. At night, their hearts slow to between 50 and 180 beats per minute, which enables them to tolerate some below-freezing temperatures.
The day was gorgeous, the weather was great, the scenery was interesting and colorful and there were plenty of deer for us to watch through binoculars. Fortunately, it’s a big area and we were able to find some wildlife close enough to photograph.
Everyone was eager to not only see these mysterious creatures up close, but to touch and even smell the furry little flyers. Seeing everyone in the dark was difficult, but characterizing the mood of this group was easy: Bring on the bats!