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Birdwatching in southern Utah this spring

Spring is here, which means wildlife migrations are in full swing in Utah. Birdwatching is a great opportunity to get outdoors and see a wide variety of birds during their annual migrations - and enjoy the fun challenge of trying to identify them!



World Migratory Bird Day is on May 11 (worldmigratorybirdday.org) and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean. If you want to do some birdwatching this year, early mornings are great times to locate birds since they tend to be very vocal and active during those hours. It’s also helpful to use binoculars and to have a bird identification book within reach during your birding trip. Both can be very useful in identifying the different bird species you may see.


Whether you are a birdwatching enthusiast or just like being outside in nature, here are several great places throughout Utah to see migrating birds this spring.



The 26th annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival is an exciting opportunity to learn more about birds in Utah. Sponsored by Davis County and hosted at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources’ Eccles Wildlife Education Center, this event will take place May 16 - 19 at locations around the Wasatch Front.


Locations for birdwatching in Southern Utah include:


  • Lytle Ranch Preserve: Located in Ivins, Utah, where the Basin Province of the Mojave Desert is juxtaposed to the Colorado River Plateau, the preserve is at an unusual place in North America where unique ecosystems overlap and is a birdwatching hotspot (lytle.byu.edu).

  • Tonaquint Nature Center: Tonaquint Nature Center is an oasis of nature in the heart of St. George, Utah. Located at 1851 South Dixie Drive, just west of South Gate Golf Course, the center is a popular destination for birdwatchers. (dev.sgcity.org)

  • Quail Creek State Park: Quail Creek reservoir was completed in 1985 to provide water to the St. George area. Located in Hurricane, Utah, and boasting a mild winter climate, Quail Creek lures birdwatchers all year long (stateparks.utah.gov).

  • Sand Hollow State Park: With its warm, blue waters and red sandstone landscape, one of Utah’s newer state parks is also one of its most popular with birdwatchers in the Hurricane area. (stateparks.utah.gov)

  • Jackson Flat Reservoir: Located in Kanab, Utah, Jackson Flat Reservoir is a popular recreation destination located near the border with Arizona in Kane County, featuring fishing, boating, hiking, disc golf  – and birdwatching! (kcwcd.com/jackson-flat-reservoir)

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