As February approaches, bald eagles can be seen wintering in many Utah locations.
That means state and federal wildlife officials are preparing to host free eagle viewing events starting Feb. 3 at locations throughout the state.
These are some of the most popular wildlife viewing events every year.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources workers often are on hand to offer spotting scopes and information on the majestic bird that serves as the national symbol.
Bald eagles fly to Utah in the winter to find food and escape colder conditions farther north, according to the DWR. Hundreds of the big birds are in the state in February.
DWR usually held its event on a single Saturday in February, but this year will expand to different dates and locations.
“Holding viewing events at different times, in different parts of the state, will give folks across Utah the best chance to see the greatest number of eagles,” said Matt Bartley, DWR special events coordinator. “On the day we held the event, some of the sites had good numbers of eagles while other sites had fewer birds. In some cases, eagles hadn’t arrived at the sites in good numbers yet. In other cases, they’d already come and gone. Holding the event on different Saturdays should increase the chance you see eagles on the day you attend.”
Here are the sites and days of the planned state events:
• Southwestern Utah, Feb. 3. Rush Lake Ranch, 9600 North on State Road-130 near Minersville, 12 miles north of Cedar City, 8 a.m. until noon.
• Northern Utah, Feb. 10. Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management area, 1325 W. Glovers Lane in Farmington, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area (Compton’s Knoll), 10 miles northwest of Corinne, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Central Utah, Feb. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery east of Nephi. Free tours of the fish hatchery will also be offered.
• Northeastern Utah, Feb. 24, 8 a.m. to noon, Ouray National Wildlife Refuge near the headquarters in Randlett at 19001 E. Wildlife Refuge Road.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a free eagle day at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge on Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Officials say several hundred bald eagles winter in the area.
Events at the Wildlife Education Center include a live eagle from the Ogden Nature Center at 11:30 a.m. as well as kids activities. The event is free.