Southwest Utah’s bird habitats offer varied terrain and vegetation that provide excellent opportunities to enjoy spectacular scenery and beautiful wild birds in their natural environment.
- CEDAR BREAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT is a huge natural amphitheater more than 2000 feet deep and three miles from rim to rim. Birding is usually good at the campground and on the trail from the visitors center to the campground. You will find Clark’s Nutcracker, Ray Jay, and Pine Grosbeak. Along the Alpine Pond Trail you’ll encounter a Three-toed Woodpecker, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Red Crossbill, and Blue Grouse. Peregrine Falcons nest below the rim.
- BRIANHEAD PEAK is a reliable place to find Utah’s high elevation birds. The 11,000 + foot elevation provides a sharp contrast to the Mojave desert birding, less than 80 “straight line” miles to the southwest. The Northern Pygmy Owl is a bird you may see on a clear day. The views are spectacular!
- KOLOB CANYON ROAD-ZION NATIONAL PARK is easily accessed from I-15 with good birding choices and spectacular scenery. The Mountain BlueBird, Blue-Gray Gnatcather, Western Scrub Jay and Pinion Jay are best seen during the spring and fall migration.
- KOLOB RESERVOIR SCENIC BACKWAY is a 25 mile (one way) road that offers a diversity of habitats for birding. The road typically closes for the witer above Maloney Hill. A good birding walk is the Wildcat Canyon to Northgate Peak Trail. This trail is good for woodpeckers and nutcatchers. Red Crossbill, Townsend’s Solitaire, Grace’s Warbler and Wild Turkey.
The first and last hours of daylight are generally the best times to view or photograph most species. Be quiet. Quick movements and loud noises wll normally scare wildlife. Whisper when you speak. Be still. Binoculars or spotting scopes are always desirable. Be patient. And enjoy!!
Obtain an Iron County bird checklist ot the Iron County Visitor Center, 581 N Main, Cedar City UT 435-586-5124
Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, www.utah.wildlife.gov or 801-538-4730
Information is courtesy of Cedar City/Brianhead Tourism and Convention Bureau