Word About Town

Bald Eagles in Our Own Backyard

Where to spot the majestic birds around Park City.

By Steve Phillips December 8, 2018 Published in the Winter/Spring 2018-19 issue of Park City Magazine

Winter is primetime for spotting bald eagles in Utah.

Image: Shutterstock

Hundreds of bald eagles flock to Utah every winter to escape harsh weather in Alaska, Canada, and the Northwest. Feeding on fish, rabbits, and, occasionally, road kill, several of the majestic birds winter along Summit County’s Weber River riparian corridor. Look for them atop cottonwood trees lining the river, from Wanship to Coalville. Or catch a rare glimpse of an eagle soaring over Snyderville Basin, near East Canyon Creek.

Our national bird is remarkable for both its longevity and fidelity, living beyond 30 years old and mating for life. When observing balds, look for the all-brown young birds (that iconic, snowy plumage doesn’t start until age five) and take note of size (females are always larger than males).

Should our winter guests prove evasive, bundle up for a self-guided excursion. In honor of Bald Eagle Month (February), the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has created viewing sites—complete with scopes—around the state. Head out at dawn or dusk for optimal spotting.

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