Winter in Utah is a time where there are generally less species of birds to be seen, but many birds stop in Utah as they migrate. Eagles are an example, they follow the large flocks of migrating waterfowl. That was our next target. We drove the vans to Salem pond and saw some winter visitors like ring neck ducks, gaddawals, ruddy ducks, northern shovelers and american widgeons. Ducks can migrate hundreds of miles and fly at high speeds, some around 60 mph! An eagle was also lurking in a tree by the pond, likely waiitng for an opportunity to grab a meal like a canada goose.
The next stop was at the east bay golf course, where in a thicket of trees was a family of black crested night herons, a parent and two yearling juviniles. Night herons work togther as parents like many ther bird species. Their thicket was surrounded by a large water feature at the course and there were hundreds of northern shovelers and a few other species.
We then returned to the Monte L. Bean Life Science museum, hopefully with a new appreciation for our feathered friends we frequently see around us. In total our birding nature experienceship resulted in 31 different species of birds observed.
Colton, museum Educator
Species seen on 1/23/16:
Great Blue Heron