Sandhill cranes are in northern Utah in good numbers right now, and opportunities to see and hear these giant birds abound. One of the best places to experience sandhill cranes is the Ogden Bay Waterfowl Management Area west of Hooper.
To help you experience the birds, the Division of Wildlife Resources and the Wild About Birds store in Layton are teaming up to hold a special Sandhill Crane Day at Ogden Bay on March 31.
The March 31 event is free. It will be a great opportunity to see sandhill cranes and hear their bone-rattling calls echo across the landscape!
If you’d like to participate, meet at 10 a.m. at the Wild About Birds store in Layton. The store is at 1860 Woodland Park Drive, just north of the Barnes & Noble Booksellers store.
From there, you’ll follow expert birder Bill Fenimore and DWR Regional Conservation Outreach Manager Phil Douglass to Ogden Bay.
“Those who participate will have the unique opportunity to go behind the gates at the WMA to see cranes and other water birds,” Douglass says.
Douglass says sandhill cranes were once a rare sight in the United States. But they’ve made a strong comeback thanks to habitat protection and other conservation work.
Douglass says it’s especially fitting that Ogden Bay be the place to celebrate the comeback of the crane. Ogden Bay is the first federally funded bird refuge in the country. It was started in 1937 using funding from the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.
“Since 1937,” Douglass says, “Ogden Bay has provided critical habitats for millions of birds. The refuge has also helped recover endangered species, including the peregrine falcon and the American bald eagle.”
For more information about the March 31 event, call Wild About Birds at (801) 525-8400.