Best time to travel to Utah

Migratory Bird Watching

Birding is becoming more and more popular and is often one of the main reasons people travel around the world. If you are a fan of birds, Utah has to be in your list!

Migratory Bird Watching in Utah 2019 - Best Time
Photo by

Mary Newcombe

The area of Utah is very important to the Western Hemisphere's migrations, featuring three national wildlife refuges and lots of other birding locations. This diverse nature is home to more than 430 bird species. One of the most popular birding sites is Northern Utah's Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. This place is considered to be one of the top ten locations for birding in the world. Over 300 square kilometres of the refuge serve as a home to millions of migratory birds. This is a perfect spot to observe the American White Pelican, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, White-faced Ibis and Snowy Plover. The Great Salt Lake and the nearby wetlands are the main areas for millions of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, during spring and autumn. Every year in May there is a bird festival held here.

Black-necked Stilt  2020
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocets 2020
American Avocets
White-faced Ibis 2020
White-faced Ibis

Antelope Island, Mirror Lake, and Provo River are also good places for birdwatchers. The Uinta Mountains and the surrounding forest lands are home to various birds. During the summer months, you can see wrens, bluebirds, warblers, hummingbirds, sparrows, and thrushes. Less frequent, but also possible to see are the American Pipit and Townsend's Solitaire. Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge is a 73 square kilometre marshland and is the perfect habitat for wetland birds. One more popular wetland area is the Scott M. Matheson Preserve, located in the Arches National Park. Here you can find around 225 species of birds.

Costas Hummingbird 2020
Costas Hummingbird
Yellow Warbler 2020
Yellow Warbler

One can see some migratory birds in Utah at different times of year, as some come, and others leave. Still, the peak time to spot the greatest variety of migratory birds is late March through May (spring migration), and also July through September (fall migration).