Bird watching is a recreational pastime with a huge following. It is an inexpensive way to pursue the beauty of nature and to have a good time. All a beginner needs is an armchair, a pair of binoculars, and some patience. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have some advice for those interested in Southern Utah bird watching.
Capitol Reef National Park – we recommend a trip into Waterpocket fold. Besides the incredible scenery, Waterpocket is home to a large number of birds of prey. Harris, red-tailed, and Ferruginous hawks can be seen year-round. Peregrine falcons, golden eagles and other raptors are usually in the area. Of course, there are many other birds that frequent the park; talk to the rangers in the visitor center about what seasonal birds you can expect to see.
Zion National Park – just as this national park is so varied in scenery, so is it in birds. Birding in Zion is one of the best experiences a bird watcher can have. Songbirds and hummingbirds can be found in cooler and wetter parts of the park – places like Upper Emerald Pool – while predatory birds can be seen in the upper plateaus. Whole books have been devoted to Zion’s birds. We recommend that you stop by the visitor center and check out the literature.
Kolob Canyon – if you make a trip to this part of Zion National Park – and you really should – take the ½ mile hike at the top of the scenic drive. The view itself is worth the effort, but you will also be rewarded with many species of birds. Our favorite: the western meadowlark.
Resident American Bald Eagle – Just a few minutes from the Lodge at Red River Ranch is the permanent home of a pair of bald eagles. Stop by, and we’ll be happy to show you where it is.