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Migratory birds arriving in Utah

Wildlife watchers can spot waterfowl and birds of prey

VERNAL — Waterfowl and birds of prey have started arriving in northeastern Utah. Now that the ice and snow are melting, it's the perfect time to get out and see these migratory birds.

Pelicans in Utah.

Now is a good time to see migratory birds in Utah.

Photo courtesy of Ron Stewart

Ron Stewart, regional conservation outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the best viewing sites are lakes and reservoirs that have a mix of deep water and shallow mud flats.

To see waterfowl, Stewart suggests visiting Steinaker Reservoir and Pelican Lake on the east side of the Uinta Basin. During a recent visit to Steinaker, Stewart spotted 12 different types of ducks and geese. "The ducks ranged from green-winged teal to buffleheads and mallards," he says.

Stewart saw a similar variety of birds at Pelican Lake, but he also saw something he didn't see at Steinaker — golden eagles and American kestrels.

If you'd like to see birds of prey, Stewart encourages you to visit the marshes and upland benches along the Green and Duchesne rivers. "These areas provide excellent habitat," Stewart says, "and birds are already starting to pass through them."

Some of these birds will stay and nest in Utah, while others will continue migrating north to nest. Birds that pass through Utah this time of year have been known to migrate as far north as the Arctic tundra.

For more information, call the DWR's Northeastern Region office at 435-781-9453.

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