Utahns can go loony at Saturday wildlife watching event
While they are most often associated with eastern states like Maine, the common loon can also be spotted in Utah.
Ron Stewart, an outreach specialist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), has been watching the bird with the eerie call for decades on reservoirs in northeastern Utah.
"A migratory population of loons passes through the Uinta Basin every spring," Stewart said in a news release. "They've been fairly consistent, arriving just after ice-off."
More than 200 loons have been seen on different reservoirs in the basin on a single day. Steinaker Reservoir seems to be a hot spot, with more than 60 loons sometimes simultaneously spotted there.
Steinaker, along U.S. 191 north of Vernal, will serve as the location for an annual free Loon Day viewing event Saturday.
"With a bit of cooperation from the birds," Stewart said. "We should be able to see them feeding on crayfish and possibly minnows in the shallows. And, if we're lucky, we might even hear them call."
The free event will run from 9 a.m. to noon at Steinaker State Park.
DWR staffers will be on hand with binoculars and spotting scopes to help visitors get a better look at the migrating birds.
Call the division's Northeastern Region office at 435-781-9453 for more details.