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See tundra swans migrating through Utah at free events

Wildlife » Two viewing days highlight the thousands of migrating swans.

First Published Mar 03 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Mar 03 2014 08:16 pm

Federal and state wildlife agencies are celebrating the annual spring migration of up to 35,000 tundra swans with two chances for the public watch them with experts in March.

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and Friends of Bear River Refuge are holding Swan Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuge west of Brigham City.

At a glance

Great Salt Lake Bird Festival tickets

The 16th annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival is being held May 15-19 in Davis County. Beginning on March 3 at 9 a.m., tickets will be available at www.GreatSaltLakeBirdFest.com for field trips and the keynote speech from Tim Boucher, The Nature Conservancy’s conservation geographer and an expert birder. Workshops and presentations are free and open to the public during the festival. Visit the website for more information.

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All events are free and include special "behind the gates" tours led by wildlife biologists, presentations and movies in the visitor center, and crafts. Registration for both the tours is required. Call 435-734-6457 to make a reservation.

The Bear River Migratory Refuge is one block west of Interstate 15 via Exit 363.

The state will hold its annual viewing event on Saturday, March 15, at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area west of Corrine from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This public event is also free.

Biologists from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be at Salt Creek with spotting scopes and binoculars to help visitors get a better look at the large swans — which have a wingspan of about 66 inches and weigh more than 20 pounds.

"Just seeing and hearing these birds is worth the trip," said DWR conservation outreach manager Phil Douglass in a release. "Knowledgeable and friendly people from the DWR and Wasatch Audubon will also be available to answer any questions you have."

Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area can also be accessed by driving west from Interstate 15 at Exit 365. The management area can be reached by driving on State Road 83 through Corinne to 6800 West. Head north on 6800 West to 6800 North to Salt Creek.

The swans are visible throughout March and the areas are open to the public during daylight hours. The viewing events will provide spotting scopes, binoculars and information to watchers.

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Twitter: @BrettPrettyman

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