Utah has more than 37 million acres of protected and public lands inside its borders, including five large national parks, six national forests, and more than 40 state parks and recreation areas. There are a variety of habitats inside those millions of acres, from alpine forests and mountain meadows to scrub canyons, huge wetlands, sage plateaus, and open deserts.
Due to this environmental diversity and Utah’s strategic location on the Central North American migration flyway, the Beehive State is an ideal birding destination, with over 460 bird species recorded.
In 1955, the Utah legislature designated the California gull, Larus californicus, as the state bird (Utah Code, 63G-1-601. State symbols). Note: The state bird of California is the California gull, although the Utah Code refers to it generally as the seagull.
Continue checking out more of these birds as you progress through these sections.
Utah birds of prey
Understanding the hazards to raptors and devising strategies to mitigate them are the first steps toward assisting in the protection of birds of prey. Utah is home to a variety of raptors, several of which are frequently paired with falconers!
Hawks, eagles, kites, and harriers are all examples of birds of prey. These birds have enormous hooked beaks capable of shredding flesh from their victims, strong legs, sharp talons, and acute vision. In Utah, seventeen species have been identified.
More information about these birds can be found in the section below.
Eagles in Utah
When winter hits in Utah, a number of our bird species take to the road – but one prominent bird migrates to the state over the winter — the bald eagle.
According to DWR, February is the best month to see one of America’s most iconic birds. Bald eagles migrate to Utah in the winter in search of food and to avoid the harsher weather found further north. Bald eagles eat primarily fish. They are regularly spotted in Utah near and around bodies of water.
More fascinating facts about these eagles can be found in the section below.
Haliaeetus Leucocephalus – Bald Eagle
Accipiter Cooperii – Cooper’s Hawk
Accipiter Striatus – Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Circus Hudsonius – Northern Harrier
Aquila Chrysaetos – Golden Eagle
Buteo Jamaicensis – Red-Tailed Hawk
Owls in Utah
Utah is renowned for its gorgeous landscapes and magnificent National Parks. Between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve landed on another planet if you’ve never visited the state.
Owls are fascinating creatures that captivate everyone fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of them. However, owls are more than their odd features and nocturnal lifestyles. Fortunately for bird lovers in Utah, the state is home to over 460 species of birds, including 14 owls.
In this part, we’ll examine the owl species found in Utah at various seasons of the year.
Common backyard birds of Utah
Utah, the state that contains the Great Salt Lake, is home to numerous species of wild birds. While some of these species spend the entire year in Utah, others are migratory and only visit during the summer or winter. We’re going to look at the most frequent backyard birds in Utah and learn a little about each species in this part.
Woodpeckers in Utah
In comparison to their size, woodpeckers have the longest tongues of any bird. They sweep out holes in trees they have drilled with their tongues, bringing out whatever insects they come across.
In Utah, the greatest way to see woodpeckers is to go birding in the woods and forest. However, several species, including Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, and Northern Flickers, can be seen routinely at backyard feeders.
In Utah, there are now 11 species of woodpeckers. Continue reading to learn how to spot these renowned birds.
Best Birdwatching Spots in Utah
Utah not only contains a diverse range of bird species, but also a diverse range of bird viewing places. National parks, state parks, municipal parks, federal refuges, state wildlife management areas, national forests, and federal public lands are only a sampling of the opportunities available to anybody in Utah interested in birding.
- Fish Spring National Wildlife Refuge
- Lytle Ranch Preserve
- Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Auto Tour Route
- Antelope Island State Park
- Provo Airport Dike
Other Utah birds
Utah is one of the best ski destinations in the United States and is also home to the western hemisphere’s largest saltwater lake. If you’re not a lover of skiing and spending a day at a Salt Lake isn’t your thing, you’ll be pleased to learn that Utah is a birder’s paradise, due to the 460 bird species that call the Beehive State home.
If you have encountered a bird in Utah that is not yet on our list or that you cannot identify yourself, we’ll be happy to identify it for you. Simply take a picture of it and upload your picture, a quick description and the U.S. state where it was found here on our bird identification page.