Seeing and hearing just one tundra swan is enough to take your breath away.
Imagine seeing and hearing hundreds of them.
You can at Tundra Swan Day.
Tundra Swan Day, March 16
On March 16, the Division of Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host Utah’s annual Tundra Swan Day. Admission is free.
Viewing will take place at three sites: The Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area west of Farmington, the Salt Creek WMA west of Corinne and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge west of Brigham City.
Farmington Bay and Salt Creek
Viewing at the Farmington Bay and Salt Creek WMAs runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Spotting scopes will be available so you can get a close look at the swans.
Viewing at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge runs from sunrise to sunset. You can watch swans from your vehicle as you drive along the refuge’s auto tour route.
Before heading to the refuge, stop by its Wildlife Education Center at 2155 W. Forest St. west of Brigham City. The center has maps and more information about the refuge. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
To reach the center, exit Interstate 15 at Exit 363. After you’ve exited the freeway, turn west. The center is about one block west of the freeway.
For more information about Tundra Swan Day, call the DWR’s Northern Region office at 801-476-2740 or the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge at 435-723-5887.
The Wild About Birds Nature Center in Layton is also a great place to call or visit to learn about recent bird sightings. You can reach the center at 801-779-BIRD (2473).
You can also download a free PDF fact sheet about tundra swans online.
Watching swans on your own
If you can’t attend the March 16 event, you can still get out and watch swans on your own.
Phil Douglass, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, says the Salt Creek WMA west of Corinne is the best place to get a close look at swans. “Randy Berger, the manager at the WMA, has done a great job creating a viewing pavilion that will shelter you from the wind,” Douglass says.
While you can see hundreds of swans while driving on the 12-mile auto tour loop at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Douglass says swans are usually farther away than they are at Salt Creek.
When the swan migration peaks in mid-March, as many as 35,000 swans will be in Utah.
Image courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife Resources