Wild swans migrating through Utah in March, where to see them

Feb 28, 2023, 8:30 PM

Wild swans are seen at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area in 2013. Photo credit: Mike Christe...

Wild swans are seen at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area in 2013. Photo credit: Mike Christensen.

OGDEN, Utah — As the calendar changes to March, many people will be wanting to get outdoors with most of winter in the rearview mirror. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be holding a special event on March 11 at two different locations as wild swans make their return to the state.

Both tundra swans and trumpeter swans make stops in the Utah wetlands. They rest in Utah during their trip back to the north in the spring, according to a DWR press release. The spring migration begins in California and concludes at nesting sites in Canada and Alaska.

The DWR says there are two spots ideal in northern Utah to watch the wild swans migrate back.

“Swans are amazing birds to see in flight,” Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Northern Region Outreach Manager Mark Hadley said in a news release. “You’ll have no problem spotting them — they’re huge and almost pure white in color. I encourage you to take the opportunity to get out and see them during their migration this spring.”

Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area viewing of wild swans

A small hill on the east side of the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area known as the Compton’s Knoll viewing area is the ideal place to watch for the birds, according to the DWR.

According to the DWR, the hill places you above marsh. Two additional bird viewing sites are located at the bottom of the hill.

The Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area is located 12 miles northwest of Corinne. The DWR says the Compton’s Knolls viewing area is the only area currently opened. 

 Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

 Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is located 12 miles west of Brigham City. The refuge and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and Auto Tour Resort are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

To get to the auto tour, exit I-15 at exit 363 and travel west on West Forest Street until you come to a large parking area. 

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Wild swans migrating through Utah in March, where to see them