Watching wildlife is probably the fastest growing outdoor sport in the country. A 1996 survey by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that 63 million Americans annually take a trip with a primary goal of viewing wildlife. More than 30% of Utah residents participate in wildlife watching activities. It's been estimated that the 380,000 Utah wildlife
watchers spent approximately $150 million in 1996 pursuing their hobby. Federal, state, county, and community
agencies are coming to recognize this group and are providing much more information than in the past. These pages and the birding trails maps, hopefully, contribute to the information available.
Three maps covering all of Utah's birding trails, the Great Salt Lake Birding Trails map, which covers northern Utah, the Southwest Utah Birding Trails map, and the Eastern Utah Birding Trails map are now available on this site and in print form.
On the following pages you will find smaller, slightly modified versions of all three print maps and most of the information about the birding places that they lead to.
Start your tour of Utah birding by going to either the
Great Salt Lake Birding Trails,
the Southwest Utah Birding Trails
or the Eastern Utah Birding Trails,
Birding books include:
Utah's Featured Birds and Viewing Sites: A Conservation Platform for IBAs and BHCAs provides information on many of the best viewing sites in Utah, with information on a variety of habitats.
Birding Utah provides information on more than 100 premier birding locations in Utah (D. E. McIvor, Falcon Publishing, 1998).
Backyard Birds of Utah tells how to identify and attract the top 25 birds of the State (Bill Fenimore, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2008).
Utah Wildlife Viewing Guide identifies 92 of the best wildlife viewing areas in Utah (Jim Cole, Falcon Publishing, 1990).
Scenic Driving in Utah provides more information on many of scenic drives associated with birding hotspots (Joe Bensen, Falcon Publishing, 1996).
Web sites include:
Comprehensive birding information including checklists, bird identification, and birding hotspots, by county, can be found at www.utahbirds.org.
General birding information including citizen science projects can be found at
Additional travel information can be found on the Utah Office of Tourism web site at
The Utah birding hotline is at
Common sense is the key component of birding ethics. Always be aware that, as a birder, you are in the home of the birds, so treat their home with respect.
A few specific reminders include:
Respect and promote the protection of bird habitats. Birds, like us, require food, cover, and security.
DO NOT WALK UP TO A NEST! The nesting season is a critical time for birds, if at a nest, take a quick look and move on. Don't rearrange any of the nest structure or surrounding habitat as predators are good at capitalizing on human intervention. A clear sight line for a photograph may be a clear path for a predator to follow. Also, young animals are seldom abandoned. Please allow them to find their own way in life.
Be a model citizen by respecting private property rights and getting permission before entering any private property.
Utah has a rich heritage of public lands. Adhere to the pack-it-in-pack-it-out concept. Take only memories. Also, pack out the trash left by less considerate people.
Harassing wildlife is inappropriate and illegal. Utilizing binoculars and spotting scopes will provide a good view without disturbing the natural behavior of wildlife. Wildlife viewing from inside a vehicle is usually a good idea as many species, like raptors perching on power poles, become accustomed to vehicle traffic.
Walking slowly, remaining still, looking, and listening yield better birding results than maximizing the distance traveled. Where you CAN go and where you SHOULD go are often different. Help keep birding a "low impact" sport.
Be prudent in the use of recorded songs to attract birds. And, obey the rules in areas prohibiting the playing of recorded bird songs. Listening for bird sounds will attract you to their location, which is the preferred scenario.
Freely share knowledge of birds and birding with others.
We hope to see you along the birding trails. You are encouraged to say "hi" and share a story.