Monday, January 4, 2010

Bald Eagles in Utah

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By Rod Besler

The bald eagle has done so well in recent years, it not only has been taken off the threatened list, it's even been dropped from the endangered list. Their numbers have been climbing steadily since they were first listed as an endangered species.

And every year, as November blows in, hundreds of bald eagles fly into Utah. They stay until the ice starts to melt in March. Latest estimates put the number of visiting eagles in Utah at around 1,000. Utah is among the top 10 winter stops for bald eagles. Some years, it's among the top five.

Held every February, the annual Utah Bald Eagle Day gives many children and adults the first - and maybe only - opportunity of their life to see a bald eagle close up in the wild. As many as 350 eagles have been spotted during a single Bald Eagle Day!

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources sets up spotting scopes at each viewing site so people can get a good look at the eagles. Biologists and volunteers are also available to help people spot the eagles as well as answer any questions they may have.

Originally held only at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, this yearly event has been expanded to include sites in central, northeastern and southwestern Utah. And this amazing experience is free. It's a fantastic way to see the national symbol of the USA in its natural setting.

For current and updated information and a complete description of the viewing sites, contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Rod Besler

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