Bird Watching at the Great Salt Lake

Pink Floyd, the Chilean Flamingo that escaped from the Tracy Aviary and lived a solitary life from about 1990-2005

Pink Floyd, the Chilean Flamingo that escaped from the Tracy Aviary and lived among the Gulls at The Great Salt Lake from about 1988-2005

The Great Salt Lake is one of the major bird areas in North America, giving millions of migrating waterbirds and shorebirds a resting place on their way. In addition, the Bear River Bird Refuge (located on the northeast arm of the lake) was the first national migratory bird refuge.

The Great Salt Lake Bird Festival is coming up May 14-18. You can find the field trip schedule here.

The Stop Legacy Highway site provides a month-by-month calendar identifying the different bird species and their usual arrival period. I’m pretty sure Dr. Seuss had a hand in naming a few of these birds. Phalaropes, Godwits and Dowitchers? Totally Seuss.

Birds. Birds. Birds. I just got dorkier, I know.

March

Snowy Plover

Snowy Plover

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

April

Curlew

Curlew

May

(National Wetlands Month)

Eared Grebe

Eared Grebe

Red Necked Phalarope

Red Necked Phalarope

American Avocet

American Avocet

Black Necked Stilt

Black Necked Stilt

Willet

Willet

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Dowitcher

Dowitcher

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Yellow Headed Blackbird

June

Western Grebe

Western Grebe

July

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

August & September

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Common Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher

Killdeer

Killdeer

Double-Crested Cormorant

Double-Crested Cormorant

Common Tern

Common Tern

October

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

November

Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan (rare)

December

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

January & February

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Rough Legged Hawk

Rough Legged Hawk

Other possible sightings

(not sure on time frame)

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

Black Tern

Black Tern

Red Headed Duck

Red Headed Duck

Sora

Sora

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

White Faced Ibis

White Faced Ibis

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6 responses to “Bird Watching at the Great Salt Lake

  1. I took a bird watching class in college so I’m pretty sure I just out dorked you there. And uh, I also took fencing. Zing!
    If you’re looking for a great book about the Bear River Bird Refuge and Utah ecology I recommend the book Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams. But don’t take my word for it!

  2. Battle Bunny

    I emailed their volunteer coordinator yesterday to see if I could get involved here and there. I haven’t heard back, but I might try to recruit you to go with me once. 🙂 Also, thanks for the recommendation. I was actually going to do some research to find a good book on local birds. That book sounds prrrfct. Also, thanks for taking fencing and being dorkier than me.

  3. Speaking of dorky, I think I’ve taken about 100 pictures of birds since I’ve been in Australia. Every bird that I’ve seen is bizarre or beautiful or just plain adorable. Also, LOTS of bats!

    P.S. Godwits and Dowitchers are both great names for a band.

  4. Ooooh, I would LOVE to volunteer there. Hooray!

  5. Pingback: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge « Letters to Kristin

  6. Thanks so much for the lovely photos. I could look at such things all day…well, I’d rather be out birding, but this is good when one can’t get out!

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