Great Salt Lake Bird Festival
- May 17-21, 2018
Best & Favorite Photos of the Year - UC Birders
County Checklists have been updated
Three Jays Meet for Unique Photo
A rare Blue Jay, normally found in the Eastern
part of the country had been coming to Bill Pier's yard since the middle
of December of last year. The last week of January of this year,
Bill got a photo of three jays feeding together a one time. This may
be a unique picture for Utah.
Despite on and off cold weather the "Hanna
Hummingbird Haven" is in full swing at the cabin of Dena & Jim Reid in Hanna, Utah,.
It should be teaming with hummingbirds until the end of July or first of
(Here are two slow-motion videos by Paul Hunsaker:
Two new species for Utah:
On March 10th Kathleen & Hal Robins spotted a
Common Crane in Green River, Grand County, Utah making the first
time this species has been documented in the state (record
2017-18) . About two
and a half weeks later in Cache County, Bonnie Eves got video
of a Black-throated Green Warbler to document the first sighting of
this species in Utah as well (record
two new species bring our state
species total to 460. Since the 1998 Utah Bird Checklist was
published we have added 54 new species. More birders? Better
communication? Better technology? Probably all of the above!
Two Great Gray Owls in Utah:
One Great Great Owl was reported near Midway on
29 Jan 2017 and another was
reported in Mountain Green on 2
Feb 2017. The last sighting of this species in Utah was in 1989.
Here's how it played out for Weston
Smith. Here's a side-by-side
comparison of the two
birds. Many birders got to see these rare birds.
Sighting of this Species in Utah]
Follow Utah's Pelicans at they
return to their nesting grounds:
The Utah DWR along with its partners have
developed a tracking system for the pelicans that nest in the Gunnison
Island colony in the Great Salt Lake.
You can monitor their movement on a regularly updated map, as they
make their way through New Mexico, Arizona and California back to Utah.
Utah DWR data on Yellow-billed
The Utah DWR has kept track of the occurrence of
Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the diet of the Salt Lake City peregrine falcons
since 1986. Here's a list of the
dates and findings.
Bald Eagles come to Utah mainly in the winter and
rarely stay over to nest. Jim
Bruce took pictures of a nesting pair of Bald Eagles west of Cedar
City. He found the nest in March and followed the rapid growth of
the chicks, the fledging process and harassment by smaller birds until the
eagles left at the end of August.
Here's a series of pictures taken by Ernest Harlow
of a Barn Swallow nest in
Brigham City. This shows everything from eggs, to featherless
hatchings, to downy chicks, to feathered chick ready to go, to the empty
Laughing Gull has been added to the Utah Checklist
as the 257th species
documented in Utah.
Matt Pendleton discovered the bird at Lee Kay Pond on January 14th and
many people were able to see the bird and get
good photos of it. Great
way to start the new year!
Five new species were added to the Utah Checklist
in 2014 giving us 256 documented species for Utah:
252nd -- Bar-tailed Godwit;
253rd -- Streak-backed
Oriole; 454th --
Allen's Hummingbird; 255th
-- Mississippi Kite; and
256th -- Nelson's Sparrow. What a year!
The Utah Birds website has been incorporating
eBird Data into it county pages,
Rare Bird Finder, and birding
location pages through links to reports, graphs, and maps generated by
eBird. The birding location links are only partially done right now
but you can check out the locations in
Utah County and
Salt Lake County to see the
links to the eBird data for each specific location (Click
on the name of the location and go to the bottom of the write-up).
Types of Bird Nests:
Many excellent photos of bird nests, birds nesting
and young birds fresh from their nests, have been sent in by
A new article on "Bird Nests and
Nesting Schemes" with some of these photos and information about
eleven different types of nests or nesting schemes has been posted on our
website. A big "thank you" to the photographers who have shared
their photos with us.
The Utah Birds website had a new "Bird
Index" feature. The index is similar to those in the back of bird
field guides and has links to the pictures, Utah profiles, songs and
calls, feature and bird of the month articles, photo of the month pages,
and for rare birds, the sightings lists. Hopefully this will make
the contents of the many thousands of website pages, more easily
Utah Winter Gull Identification:
At the October meeting of the Utah County Birders,
Dennis Shirley gave a presentation on identifying
"Utah Winter Gulls,"
which has now been adapted and expanded for the
website. It's become a "work in process" and we'd like you to take a
look and give us some feedback on how we can improve it -- and you may be
able to learn to better identify the
winter gulls in Utah at the
Fitzgerald took photos of some nesting robins capturing a couple
of fortuitous photos of the "fecal
sac" phenomenon. Here's a link of
the series from incubation to fledglings producing the "Next
Generation of Robins."
Here are some links to the "Bird
Humor" section of our feature pages:
- "Change is in the Air" (A stealthy
Starling is up to something).
- "Mom's Favorite" (How
you can tell you're NOT).
- "Snack-lifting "
(A clever little gull is hooked on junk food).
- "Heavenly Smiley Faces" (Smiley faces
are use in emails and...)