ST. GEORGE — February is the best time of the year to see one of America’s most iconic birds here in Utah. Bald eagles fly to Utah in the winter to find food and escape colder conditions farther north. By the time February arrives, hundreds of eagles are typically in the state.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced in a press release that they will be holding three viewing events around the state in February, providing an opportunity to see the eagles and learn more about them. You can also pick up a free, collectible Bald Eagle Month pin at the events (while supplies last).

If you can’t make it to one of the events, there are plenty of places where you can see eagles around the state on your own.

Here are the details for the DWR viewing events:

Southern Utah

February is the perfect time to view bald eagles in Utah. You can see eagles at five different viewing sites during Bald Eagle Month, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy DWR, St. George News

This viewing event will take place on Friday, Feb. 2 from 3-6 p.m. at Rush Lake Ranch, located at 9600 N. Minersville Highway (state Route 130). The ranch is located about 12 miles north of Cedar City.

To reach the site, take exit 62 off Interstate 15 and head north on SR-130. Drive approximately 10 miles, and you will reach the viewing event along the side of the highway. DWR staff will be there to answer questions and to help you spot bald eagles nearby. Spotting scopes will be available to use, but you should bring your own binoculars if you have them.

While the event is free, participants are encouraged to register in advance on Eventbrite. These events could be canceled if the weather creates hazardous driving conditions, and registered participants will be notified via email.

Central Utah

This event will be held Saturday, Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery at 1450 W. 24950 North in Fountain Green. At the hatchery, you will be directed to an eagle-viewing location approximately 1 mile from the hatchery. DWR staff and volunteers will be near a large tree where up to 50 bald eagles have been seen in past years. You can pull off the road to view the eagles. If eagles are not perched in the large tree, participants can drive around Sanpete Valley and often find other eagles.

Spotting scopes will be set up and available for use, but you are encouraged to bring your own spotting scopes or binoculars.

A bald eagle flies over snow-covered ground, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy DWR, St. George News

If you’re coming from the north, you can reach the hatchery by taking I-15 and exiting the freeway at the second Nephi exit (Exit 225). After exiting the freeway, turn east on State Route 132 and travel about 10 miles. About 1 mile before the city of Fountain Green, a Bald Eagle Day sign will point you to an access road that leads to the hatchery.

Due to disease transmission concerns, tours at the fish hatchery are no longer available; however, bathroom facilities will be open at the hatchery.

While the event is free, participants are encouraged to register in advance on Eventbrite. 

Northern Utah

This event will be held Saturday, Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DWR’s George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Wildlife Education Center at 1157 S. Waterfowl Way in Farmington. From the education center, you should be able to see the bald eagles that have migrated into the nearby Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area. As with the other events, DWR staff will be available to answer questions about bald eagles and to provide additional directions about where to see them on the WMA.

Activities, crafts and a live bald eagle encounter will also be offered at the event.

While the event and activities at the education center are free, visitors are encouraged to register in advance on Eventbrite.

Other areas where you can see bald eagles on your own in Utah

If you bring binoculars or a spotting scope, you can typically get great views of bald eagles at several other locations in northern and northeastern Utah. Here are some of the best areas:

In trees along the Weber River, near Croydon and just below Echo Reservoir.
Willard Bay Reservoir, west of Willard. You can often see eagles in trees near the reservoir.
Compton’s Knoll at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area, west of Corinne. You can view bald eagles and other wildlife from the Compton’s Knoll viewing area on the south side of the WMA. The rest of the WMA is closed to visitors.
Ouray National Wildlife Refuge located in Randlett, Uintah County.

If you’re driving and looking for eagles, please do so safely. Don’t drive distracted, and don’t stop in the middle of the road if you see an eagle. Instead, pull completely off the road before viewing. Your safety, and the safety of other motorists, comes first.