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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, September 12, 2014

See Wild Hawks, Eagles In Utah On Sept. 27

A red-tailed hawk soars past the Orem overlook.
Photo by Scott Root
Utah offers excellent opportunities to observe and photograph animals and birds in natural settings, and several special viewing events are sponsored by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources every year.

A couple will take place during the next few weeks. DWR provided the news releases below.

Watch migrating birds of prey

Raptor Watch Day is Sept. 27
OREM — Thousands of hawks, eagles and other birds of prey fly through Utah's crisp, clear skies every fall.
You can see the birds, and learn more about them, by attending Utah's annual Raptor Watch Day.
The event will happen at the Orem overlook on Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The overlook is along Squaw Peak Trail Road, just east of Orem.
In addition to watching birds soaring in the skies above you, you can also get close to live birds of prey in the parking lot at the overlook. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a Swainson's hawk and an American kestrel will be available to view.
Raptor Watch Day is free.
Kick back, and relax
Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says by Sept. 27, the trees near the Orem overlook will be in their fall colors. And the air at the watch site should be crisp.
"If the skies are clear," Walters says, "you'll get an up-close look at harriers, vultures, eagles, hawks and falcons as they sail overhead."
Walters says bird identification experts from the DWR, HawkWatch International and Great Salt Lake Audubon will be on hand to help you identify birds and to answer your questions about the migration raptors make each fall.
One of the experts is Jerry Liguori. "Jerry is HawkWatch's raptor identification expert," Walters says. "He's written three books on raptor identification and blogs regularly on the organization's website. We're excited to have Jerry at the event."
Walters says Raptor Watch Day is a great opportunity to kick back, relax and watch raptors. For more information, call him at 801-209-5326.
Getting to the site
You can reach Squaw Peak Trail Road from Provo Canyon.
To reach the canyon from Interstate 15, exit I-15 at the 800 North exit in Orem (Exit 272) and travel east on 800 North. This road will take you into Provo Canyon.
Once you reach the mouth of the canyon, travel for about two miles, and look for Raptor Watch Day event signs on the south side of the road. Once you see the signs, turn onto Squaw Peak Trail Road, and travel to the overlook.

See kokanee salmon at Strawberry

Sept. 20, 2014 is Kokanee Salmon Viewing Day
Heber City–You can see hundreds of bright red salmon — and possibly other wildlife, too — at the annual Kokanee Salmon Viewing Day.
The event will be held Sept. 20 at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) visitor center at Strawberry Reservoir. The visitor center is along U.S. Highway 40, about 20 miles southeast of Heber City.
The event is free. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Division of Wildlife Resources, the USFS and Friends of Strawberry Valley host the viewing event every September amid the changing fall colors and beauty of the valley.
Seeing the salmon
When you attend the event on Sept. 20, you'll see some salmon in the Strawberry River next to the visitor center. But if you walk to the fish trap and egg-taking facility behind the visitor center, you'll see hundreds of the bright red fish.
DWR biologists will be available at the facility to show you the salmon and talk with you about the peculiar life cycle of the fish.
Scott Root, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, says biologists are hoping to collect more than 2 million kokanee eggs this year. "The eggs will come from kokanee handled at the egg-taking facility at Strawberry and from kokanee at Sheep Creek, a tributary to Flaming Gorge," he says.
After collecting the eggs, biologists will take them to DWR hatcheries. There, the eggs will be hatched, and the fry that hatch from the eggs raised. "Survival success is much better in the hatcheries than it is in the wild," Root says. "Next spring, the fish will be about three inches long. We'll stock them into kokanee salmon waters across Utah."
If you can't attend the Sept. 20 event, Root says salmon should be visible in the Strawberry River, and other tributaries to Strawberry, from now until the first part of October.
For more information about the event, call the Uinta National Forest at 435-654-0470 or Root at 801-491-5656.

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