‘The eagle experience’: Can Cedar City’s new park design help safeguard a unique raptor family?

“...It’s a little bit rare to have a nesting pair this far south,” a DWR biologist said.

(Alysha Lundgren | Cedar City News) A pair of eagles perch in a tree in Cedar City, Utah, May 20, 2024.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.

Cedar City • Bald eagles typically migrate to Cedar City in the winter and fly north when temperatures rise. But one unique family of raptors calls the city home year-round. And a collaborative effort is underway to keep them here.

Danielle Finlayson, a wildlife biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said the eagle couple roosted in a dead cottonwood tree behind the Iron West subdivision at least 17 years ago and never left.

The tree they inhabit grew in a canal on Iron County-owned land bordered by property owned by private individuals, the city and Southern Utah University.

Reportedly, they’re the only nesting pair in Iron County.

“We do have some nesting eagles in northern Utah, but even then, it’s only a couple,” Finlayson said. “So it’s a little bit rare to have a nesting pair this far south.”

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