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Great Salt Lake Bird Festival,  18-22 May 2017
Best Photos of 2016 - From the UC Birders Facebook Page

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.     [
Documented Sighting of this Species in Utah]

Feature Article:
There's a place in Utah where all hummingbirds are welcome.  It's the cabin of Dena & Jim Reid in Hanna, Utah. Let's call it the Hanna Hummingbird Haven! This time of year the hummingbirds are swarming all over feeders tanking up for the journey south for the winter-- this place may hold the record for nectar consumed!
Visitors are welcome!

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 Cuckoos:
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.

2016 Birder Challenge:
The Utah County Birders have announced their much acclaimed biennial "Birder Challenge" with Gold, Silver and Bronze levels of birding performance.  Points will be awarded  depending on the rarity of the birds seen in Utah during the year.  Here is a spreadsheet and a PDF printout you can use if you'd like to participate.

Feature Article:
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.

Feature Article:
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 feather-lined nest. 

Records Committee:
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!

Records Committee:
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!

eBird Data:
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 Utah photographers.  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.

Bird Index:
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 accessable.

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
Utah Birds 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 same time.

Feature Article:
Ted 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."

Bird Humor:
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...)

Feature Articles:
There are photos of at least 35 species of bird chicks in our Photo Gallery.  Here is a page with links to most of them.



This web site is provided by the Utah County Birders as a service to all those interested in birds. 
(A special "thanks" to the Salt Lake Birders for a generous contribution in 2008 and to the Utah Ornithological Society for a similar generous contribution in 2013 to support this website).

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Banner photo: Yellow-billed Cuckoo by Pomera M. Fronce - ©Pomera M. Fronce