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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Thursday, June 12, 2008

See Bald Eagles and Baby Eaglets

(Note: this is a news release from Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources, June 12, 2008)

See Bald Eagles on June 26 and 28

Family includes two baby eaglets

Salt Lake City -- You can see two adult bald eagles—and their two baby eaglets—during free field trips in June.

The Division of Wildlife Resources will host the field trips on Thursday, June 26 and Saturday, June 28.

The trips will leave at 6 p.m. each evening from the Department of Natural Resources, 1594 W. North Temple in Salt Lake City.

There’s no cost to attend the field trips, but reservations are required. To reserve a spot call Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the DWR, at (801) 538-4771.

Participants will follow Walters in their vehicles, traveling on mostly paved roads to the viewing site near the southeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake.

Walters will have some spotting scopes and binoculars, but if you have your own binoculars or a spotting scope, please bring it. “Also, dress for warm weather, and bring some mosquito spray and sunscreen,” he says.

You can leave the viewing site anytime during the evening.

Eaglets just starting to fly

If you attend one of the field trips, there’s a good chance you’ll see the eaglets make some of their first flights from their nest and back. Walters says the eaglets should be learning to fly by the time the trips are held.

By the end of June, the eaglets should be about 11 to 12 weeks old. Walters says the eaglets and their parents will probably remain at the nest site until early July. Then they’ll leave the nest site and fly to other areas, probably outside the state.

Walters says bald eagles often nest at the same site every year. The adult eagles you see on June 26 or June 28 could be the same pair that has nested at the site since 1996.

Before this pair of eagles, 1928 was the last time biologists documented bald eagles nesting in the northern part of the state.

Bald eagles first nested at this northern Utah site in 1996. Two eaglets have been raised each year during seven of the past 12 years. During the remaining six years, three eaglets were raised successfully each year. “That’s a total of 32 eaglets over a 13-year period,” Walters says. “This Great Salt Lake eagle pair is extremely productive.”

Walters says the success the eagles have found illustrates the quality and the importance of the streamside and lake habitat in the greater Great Salt Lake area. “Habitat within the greater Great Salt Lake area is important to these eagles and many other species of wildlife,” he says. “Everything possible should be done to protect and preserve it.”

In addition to the northern Utah site, biologists know of 11 or 12 other active bald eagle nest sites in Utah. “And there could easily be more nest sites we haven’t found yet,” Walters says.

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