Today Colton and I went to find bald eagles at the Farmington Bay Bird Refuge just off of Legacy Highway. The refuge hosts a Bald Eagle Day each year sometime in February. The refuge workers put something in the water to kill off the invasive carp species in the area, which draw the many eagles. (The chemical supposedly does not bioaccumulate.)

It was a cool, cloudy morning. We geared up with blankets, binoculars, and a Nikon D200 with 400 mm lens. Driving along Legacy Highway toward the bird refuge, we almost smashed a red-tailed hawk all over our windshield. It flew right across the road with a mouse in its mouth, gorgeously colored wings outstretched. Our next sighting of birds were great blue herons; graceful, large birds who were trying to decide whether or not to nest in the artificial nests.

Great Blue Herons

Our first stop for eagles gave us a pretty view of the Oquirrh Mountains. After reluctantly leaving the five or so eagles perched in the tree, we continued driving down the dirt road. In a field to our right was where most of the eagles were hanging out. There were literally about 30 eagles sitting in the field. There were so many that they almost looked like a bunch of wild turkeys!

Eagle Days1On the other side of the road eagles were perched on a log in the water. This turned out to be the best spot to be because some of the eagles would fly around every once in a while. Eventually we saw one land on the bank and start eating a dead carp. It made for some epic eagle pictures. The bloodied beak of the eagle contrasted starkly with the cold February day.

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After spending an hour watching the eagles on the beach, we drove to the bird refuge offices. There we met a lady who told us about the birds who came around seasonally. This is a great place for bird watchers looking to pass an afternoon. We have seen many American kestrels, pelicans, herons, grebes, and we’ve even seen a barn owl. It’s always nice to see a world outside of the cities and shopping centers we are used to, and it’s not even far away for us.

American Kestral

American Kestral

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