Birding and Wildlife

Utah is a birder's paradise, offering a spectacular array of habitats ranging from sub-alpine mountain, forest, sage-steppe, upland, lake, wetland and high elevation desert, all reachable within a single day. This rich ecology is home to over 430 bird species and is critically important to the Western Hemisphere's migration scheme.

Great Salt Lake and its wetlands are a major staging area for millions of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, housing a large percentage of the world's population of many species during their spring and fall migrations. With unequalled habitat and viewing vistas, Utah is truly "for the birds" and those who love them!

  • More than 430 species of birdlife have been recorded in Utah, including specialty birds like the California Condor and Black Rosy-Finch.
  • Great Salt Lake is a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site, so designated for its importance as a staging area for millions of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds from the Arctic tundra to the tip of South America.
  • Utah is home to three national wildlife refuges and a dozen other sites deemed "major birding locations" by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources. Northern Utah's Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is one of the best-known birding sites in the country.
  • Utah's State Bird, the California Gull, attained fame when it arrived in great numbers at the first Mormon settlement near Great Salt Lake in the summer of 1848 and devoured a locust swarm that threatened the pioneers' first crop.

Click here for a printable one-sheeter with additional information.