Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge offers some of the most phenomenal waterbird watching in the western United States! The Refuge's more than 74,000 acres of marsh and upland habitats create an oasis for birds in this desert climate. From the 12-mile auto tour loop, visitors are treated to the sights and sounds of many of the 200+ species found there. The refuge is known for mind-boggling numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds from March to November.
The 55,000 American White Pelicans that nest on Great Salt Lake's Gunnison Island - one of North America's three largest pelican colonies - feed daily on fresh fish at the refuge. American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, and Western and Clark Grebe chicks will surely peg the "cute" meter in the early summer months. And if you're hankering to see waterfowl in the fall, how about Tundra Swans? A mere 40,000 swans are often reported at the refuge during routine waterbird surveys each November, and numbers around Great Salt Lake can reach in excess of 50,000 birds! A refuge birding report, updated monthly, is available by calling: 435-734-6426.
Begin your visit by stopping at the Refuge's new Wildlife Education Center (visitor center), located just one block west of the junction of Forest Street and Interstate 15 (exit #363) at Brigham City. This center features interactive exhibits about birds, an auditorium, teaching lab, bookstore and more. The Refuge has special Saturday program. Guided Refuge tours are given seasonally. School groups may visit for educational field trips, but reservations are necessary. Hours are Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sunday and federal holidays.