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Davis Journal

A great time to see bald eagles

Feb 08, 2021 08:42AM ● By Tom Haraldsen

February is the best time of the year to see one of America’s most iconic birds – the bald eagle. 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 typically in the state.

One of the best places is right here in Davis County, at the Eccles Wildlife Education Center at the Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area west of Farmington. You can often see eagles on the portion of the WMA near the center. If you spot an eagle on the WMA, please remember not to stop your vehicle in the middle of the road. Instead, pull off to the side of the road so other vehicles can pass.

While you’re at the center, consider stepping inside and checking out the displays. A display featuring both a bald eagle and a golden eagle are among the displays you’ll see. Two additional displays focus on wetland habitats and upland habitats and the birds and other wildlife that use them. Admission to the center at 1157 S. Waterfowl Way is free.  It’s open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

You can also pick up a free Bald Eagle Month pin. The pins should be available by mid February at the center, the DWR’s Ogden office at 515 E. 5300 S. in South Ogden and the Cache Valley Public Shooting Range at 2851 W. 200 N. in Logan.

In the past, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has held viewing events in February where you can see the eagles and learn more about them. However, to try to lessen the spread of COVID-19, the DWR won’t hold bald eagle viewing events this winter. There are plenty of places where you can see eagles on your own, though. 

A word of caution: if you’re driving and looking for eagles, please do so safely. Don’t stop in the middle of the road if you see an eagle. Instead, pull completely off the road before viewing. And, don’t allow yourself to get distracted while looking for the birds. Your safety, and the safety of other motorists, comes first.

There are actually a number of other locations in northern Utah where you can go “eagle watching.” If you bring binoculars or a spotting scope, you can typically get great views of bald eagles at several spots in northern Utah. Here are some of the best:

• In the big cottonwood trees at Rendezvous Beach on the south end of Bear Lake.

• In trees along the Blacksmith Fork River east of Hyrum.

• In trees along the Weber River near Croydon and just below Echo Reservoir.

• Along the road leading to Lost Creek Reservoir. The reservoir is north of Croydon.

• Willard Bay Reservoir west of Willard. You can often see eagles in trees near the reservoir and on the iced-capped reservoir itself.

• Compton’s Knoll at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area west of Corinne. You can view bald eagles and other wildlife from the Compton’s Knoll viewing area on the northeast side of the WMA. The rest of the WMA is closed to visitors.