Birds | Wildlife | Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program
Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Project Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Project
Variety of birds perching on the rocks on Egg Island


An avian oasis

Variety of birds perching on the rocks on Egg Island

The Great Salt Lake is recognized nationally and around the world for its extensive wetlands and tremendous, often unparalleled value to migratory birds.

The lake's unique physical features, including its immense size, dynamic water levels, diversity of aquatic environments, extensive wetlands and geographic position within avian migration corridors, create a mosaic of habitat types that are attractive to literally millions of migratory birds that use the lake extensively for breeding, staging and in some cases, a wintering destination.

Quick facts

Over 12 million birds, represented by 339 species, utilize the Great Salt Lake and its associated wetlands and uplands:

  • As many as 5 million eared grebes, at times half to 90% of the North American population
  • Up to 20,000 breeding American white pelicans on Gunnison Island
  • Over 600,000 Wilson's phalaropes, the largest staging concentration in the world, representing over a third of the world population
  • 21% of the continental population of snowy plovers
  • Annual waterbird survey since 1997
Birds slideshow

Click or tap the image below to view a slideshow of birds from the Great Salt Lake.

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