June 19, 2008
CONDOR VIEWING DAY
It will be possible to see one of the world's largest and rarest birds this month. On Saturday, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will hold a California condor viewing event.
The Day of the Condor event is free and runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lava Point near Kolob Reservoir in southwestern Utah.
Biologists from the DWR, the National Park Service and the Peregrine Fund will be available to answer questions, distribute information and help locate the condors.
To reach the viewing site, take state Route 9 to Virgin. Then take the Kolob Reservoir turnoff through Zion National Park. The viewing site is about 20 miles from Virgin, where Kolob Creek flows under the road into Lava Point. There will be government vehicles and viewing scopes on site.
In recent years there has been a significant number of condors in this area, commonly around 24 birds, but as many as 42 birds have been seen.
Currently, there are only about 300 birds in the world.
The California condor is the largest flying bird in the Northern Hemisphere. Its body is about 4 to 5 feet long from head to tail, with a wingspan of about 9 1/2 feet and weighing between 16 and 23 pounds.
For information call 435-865-6100.
SEE YOUNG EAGLETS
It will be possible to see two adult bald eagles and two young eaglets during two free field trips.
The Division of Wildlife Resources will conduct the trips on June 26 and 28.
Participants will leave at 6 p.m. each evening from the Department of Natural Resources, 1594 W. North Temple in Salt Lake City.
There is no cost to attend the field trips, but reservations are required. To reserve a spot call Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the DWR, at 801-538-4771.
Participants will follow Walters in their vehicles, traveling on mostly paved roads to the viewing site near the southeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake.
There will be some spotting scopes and binoculars, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. They should also dress for warm weather and bring some mosquito spray and sunscreen.
Bald eagles first nested at this northern Utah site in 1996. Two eaglets have been raised during seven of the past 12 years, and for six years three eaglets were raised.
APPLY FOR SANDHILL HUNT
Starting next Thursday, hunters can begin applying for a sandhill crane permit at www.wildlife.utah.gov. Paper applications will not be accepted this year.
To be included in the draw for permits, applications must be received through the Web site no later than 11 p.m. on July 10.
For help applying online call 801-538-4700.
Sandhill crane hunts will be held in September in Uintah County and three counties in northern Utah.
Those who draw a permit can expect a good hunt, said Tom Aldrich, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
About 60 percent of those who draw a permit and go afield to hunt fill their permits.
REFUGE TOURS OFFERED
The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is offering free guided tours.
Tours will be on Thursdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Tours will last approximately three hours and will be limited to eight vehicles.
To make reservations call 435-723-5887, but walk-ins are also welcome, until the tour is full.
The refuge is located in Brigham City. To get there take Exit 363 off I-15 and turn west.
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