You are currently viewing Bird Watching at Farmington Bay

Bird Watching at Farmington Bay

Click to rate this hike!
[Total: 2 Average: 5]

Farmington Bay is an amazing place to bird watch. They are known for bald eagles and other large birds of prey. There are many migratory birds that pass through Farmington Bay Migratory Bird Refuge, so different birds will be there different times of year. I didn’t know very much about birds and couldn’t identify them well. The All About Birds website has been very helpful.

Red-Tailed Hawk

I got some great shots of a juvenile red-tailed hawk in both my December and January visits. Red-tailed hawks are common in Utah and there are different color variations. This one is likely a juvenile by it’s light eye color.


  • Male
    • Length: 17.7-22.1 in (45-56 cm)
    • Weight: 24.3-45.9 oz (690-1300 g)
    • Wingspan: 44.9-52.4 in (114-133 cm)
  • Female
    • Length: 19.7-25.6 in (50-65 cm)
    • Weight: 31.8-51.5 oz (900-1460 g)
    • Wingspan: 44.9-52.4 in (114-133 cm)

Blue Heron

I also got some photos of a blue heron. Blue Herons have a long curved S- shaped neck and a long bill. They look very similar to cranes. These photos are from early December, but I think they nest there are can be seen many seasons.


  • Length: 38.2-53.9 in (97-137 cm)
  • Weight: 74.1-88.2 oz (2100-2500 g)
  • Wingspan: 65.8-79.1 in (167-201 cm)

Black-Crowned Night Heron

The Black-Crowned Night Heron is much stockier than most of the other herons. The juveniles have brown feathers and when they grow up they get dark feathers on the tops of their head and on their back. Their wings turn gray and they grow thin white plumes from their head.


  • Length: 22.8-26.0 in (58-66 cm)
  • Weight: 25.6-35.8 oz (727-1014 g)
  • Wingspan: 45.3-46.5 in (115-118 cm)

Northern Harrier

The Northern Harrier is a medium-sized raptor with a distinctive white band along the tail. It has an owl-shaped face with a curved beak.


  • Length: 18.1-19.7 in (46-50 cm)
  • Weight: 10.6-26.5 oz (300-750 g)
  • Wingspan: 40.2-46.5 in (102-118 cm)

American Kestral

The American Kestral is the smallest falcon in all of North America and is one of the most colorful hawks, especially the males, like the ones I photographed.


  • Length: 8.7-12.2 in (22-31 cm)
  • Weight: 2.8-5.8 oz (80-165 g)
  • Wingspan: 20.1-24.0 in (51-61 cm)

Other Bird Species

There are all kinds of birds in the waterfowl management area. Here are a few of them.

Where to Bird Watch

If you go to the Eccles Wildlife Education Center nearby, then they will give you details about where to look for the different birds and other tips. They also have very nice restrooms there. Then you can head over along Dike Road and search for more birds. You can probably see some right from your car or a very short walk. I ended up driving and walking around looking for the birds, but found many.

Other places to find birds can be found in this post on Wildlife.

Map to Eccles Wildlife Education Center

Map to Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area

Stats: Distance – 0-1 mile round trip
Approximate hiking time – 30-120 minutes
Elevation gain – 10 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At Eccles Wildlife Education Center
Seasons to hike – Year Round
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes

I have also found birds at Utah Lake, Antelope Island, and Powell Lake. You might also be interested in Wild Horses.


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

Leave a Reply