2014 Great Salt Lake Bird Festival Field Trips

Photo by: Deedee O'Brien. GSL South Shore Photo by: Deedee O'Brien. GSL South Shore
Birders on Bus
Birders on Bus
Field trip after workshop = Field Trips       Workshops and Presentations = Workshops and Presentations       Field trip after workshop = Fun for KIDS
  Thurs, May15 »     Fri, May16 »     Sat, May17 »     Sun, May18 »     Mon, May19 »

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014
Unless otherwise noted, participants should bring binoculars, water, snacks and/or lunch depending on length of trip, camera, sunscreen, hat, and appropriate clothing.

6am – 12pm
Antelope Island: Causeway & Garr Ranch Field trip after workshop
Jeff Bilsky, Kenny Frisch, Mike Hearell
Fielding Garr Ranch on Antelope Island is a popular migrant trap. Birds crossing the west desert will into the Ranch's grove of giant cottonwood trees as the first green spot they see.  The area offers several springs and trees with plenty of insects. This trip provides a rare early morning opportunity to visit this area before it opens to the public. Possible species: migrating warblers, vireos, flycatchers; also owls, falcons, hawks, woodpeckers, and Virginia Rail. Birding will begin along the causeway and east side of the Island en route to the Ranch. Meet at the Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 10. Vans. Cost $35

6am – 12pm
Legacy Nature Preserve "Behind -the-Gates"  Field trip after workshop
Eric McCulley
This is a rare opportunity to tour the new Legacy Nature Preserve (mitigation property for wetlands impacted by Legacy Parkway ).  You will be guided along remnant oxbow features of the Jordan River to view migrant and resident waterfowl  and shorebirds.   You will also be treated to views of one of only four, known, active Bald Eagle nests in northern Utah. The Bald Eagle pair that nests there has annually produced 2-3 (a total of 38) fledgling eagles over the last eighteen years (1996-2013). Rubber boots are advised.  Meet at Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 10. Vans. Cost $35

7am – 9am
Glover Ponds at Sunrise Field trip after workshop
Les Talbot
These ponds bring YOU into nature. The Great Salt Lake Nature Center deck and surrounding wetlands enhance your opportunity for close-up observation. A nearby Great Blue Heronbreeding colony will be active and American Avocets and other shorebirds and waterfowl will be building nests. Other possible species include: Cinnamon Teal, four species of grebe, Snowy Egret, Ruddy Duck, American White Pelican, plus other shorebirds, and other wildlife. A spotting scope will be available. Meet at Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 15. Own Vehicles. Cost $15

7am –    12 pm
Birding by Ear  Field trip after workshop
Merrill Webb
Every bird species has its own unique song.  Imagine being able to identify birds that you cannot see in the canopy and dense scrub by their vocalizations.  spend the morning developing your listening skills.  Likely species includes a variety of warblers, vireos, chickadees and orioles including: Yellow, MacGillivray's Orange-crowned warblers, Warbling Vireo, Bullock's Oriole, and Black capped Chickadee. Meet at the Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 10. Vans. Cost $35

7:30am – 2pm
Morgan County: Backyard Birding in Two Habitats  Field trip after workshop
Arnold Smith & Weston Smith
Some of the best birding in Morgan County is found in the backyards of the houses in the quaint small towns of Morgan and Croydon in Weber Canyon. Cavity-nesting Mountain Bluebirds, Tree and Violet-green Swallows will be target birds. Bird feeders will be attracting Black-headed Grosbeaks, Bullock’s Orioles, Eurasian collared Doves, Lazuli Buntings and hummingbirds. Surprises are always possible. If time permits we will also bird areas along the Weber River.  Meet at the Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 20. Own vehicles. Cost $15

7:30am – 9am 
Pontoon Boat on Great Salt Lake  Field trip after workshop
Dave Ghizzone, Gonzo Tours
Experience birding on Great Salt Lake in a 27 foot pontoon boat.  This t rip goes from the Antelope Island State Park Marina to Egg Island - keeping a distance for nesting birds.  Bring your camera and binoculars for a fun trip! Meet at Antelope Island State Park Marina. (I-15 exit #332, go west to Antelope Island). Weather Permitting
Limit 12. Own Vehicles. Cost $35

8am - 9 am

Birding for Families

Bill Fenimore

You will learn how to look at a bird so that you can later identify and put a name to it when referring to your field guide.  The workshop will help you recognize the topography of bird parts might favor, its size, plumage characteristics, and differences in breeding, mature, immature, and winter plumages.  Workshop is designed to be user-friendly and will be especially geared toward families who would like to bird together.  Will include photographs illustrating the concepts presented.  

Tickets required for Field Trip #35 at 9 am.

Workshop 8am - 9 am Taking Great Bird Photographs - How to get the shot you see in your mind

Gerry Johnson

Taking great bird photos is what we all want but often not what happens. With a few tips and lessons learned from Gerry’s many bird photos, you can easily improve your ‘keeper ratio’ from a birding trip. Additionally, several free resources will be covered as well as key software tools.

Workshop 8am - 10am Bird Banding

Howard Browers & Dr. John Cavitt

Bird banding is a tool used worldwide to obtain data on the ecology of migratory birds. Information gathered includes bird ranges and migrational movements.  Recent data shed light on vital rates such as survivorship and productivity.  Mist nets will be set up in an attempt to capture local songbirds to provide a live demonstration of the types of data collected.


9am – 12pm
Burrowing Owls Field Trip Field trip after workshop
Boyd White & George Fawson
You will get to see Burrowing Owl sites at Antelope Island State Park, artificial nesting burrow as well as natural nesting burrows.  Meet at the Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 10. Vans. Cost $20

9am – 12pm
Farmington Bay WMA "Behind-the-Gates" (Units 1 & 2) Field trip after workshop   
Tim Boucher, Kyle Stone, Adam Brewerton
This is the field trip that follows the 8 am Birding for Families Free Workshop. Great Salt Lake is a western hemisphere shorebird preserve IBA and the Bay will be alive with  residents and arriving ‘new’ migrants. You can be part of their adventure and see nest-building in action. Possible species include:  Northern Shoveler, Grebes, Ring-necked Stilt, Cinnamon Teal, American White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, and maybe Virginia Rail and Sora. Meet at the Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 53. Bus. Cost $25

9am – 1pm
Boy Scout Merit Badge & Youth Program Field trip after workshop   Field trip after workshop
Dallin Henderson 
This is an exciting opportunity for scouts 11-17 to earn the Bird Study Merit Badge.  Learn about the Great Salt Lake and surrounding wetlands, habitats, birds, the food chain and the important roles they each play in our environment.  Program includes an easy nature walk to view and identify birds and other cool things in nature. (Bring your own merit badge cards with the application portion signed by your unit leader). Meet at the Davis County Legacy Events Center and follow guide to nearby site.
Limit 30 youth. Own Vehicles. Cost $5 (leaders free)
Workshop 9:15 am - 10:15 am Golden Eagle - Bald Eagle Comparison

Ben Woodruff, Sky Masters

This workshop will bring an in depth look at these two unrelated North American eagles and their similarities and differences.  From behavior to internal and external structure, you will view these eagles in a completely new light.  A live bald and golden eagle will be present for this presentation.

Workshop 9:15am - 10:15am Wetland Water Bugs

John Mull & WSU Students

A variety of aquatic insects are common in northern Utah's freshwater wetlands, and a few species of brine flies are superabundant in the waters of the Great Salt Lake.  This session will explore some of the basic biology of these remarkable animals. What do aquatic insects eat?  How do they breathe beneath the surface?  How much of their life cycle is spent out of the water?  What other animals eat them? This workshop will also include the opportunity to examine aquatic insect specimens under a microscope.

Workshop 9:15am - 10:15am

The Importance of the Great Salt Lake

John Neill

The Great Salt Lake ecosystem is comprised of 5 globally Important Bird Areas.  Millions of birds come to Great Salt Lake to breed, fuel up during migration, and to sustain during winter by taking advantage of the lake’s abundant food and diverse habitats.  You will learn about Great Salt Lake ecology and why it is so important to so many birds.

Artists, Vendors, Food & Crafts
10pm – 6pm
OPEN:  Make & Take Crafts, Youth Activities Vendor Booths  Food
Youth Activity
10am – 4pm
Youth Activities: Fun and  Educational Too! Workshops and Presentations Field trip after workshop                                                                    Westminster College Great Salt Lake Institute
Enjoy "Bird Detective" and a lot of fun youth activities with take-home items.
Workshop 10am - 12 pm Make and Take Birdhouse

Home Depot, Centerville

All tools and aprons will be provided.  Bring your family or youth group to make and take home a birdhouse.

Workshop 10:30am - 11:30 am Mammals of Antelope Island

Wendy Wilson

Antelope Island contains many wonders, from history and geology, to the many fresh water springs that support an abundance of life.  This workshop will talk about the variety of mammals on the Island and how they survive.  This will be a fun, hands-on presentation appropriate for audiences old and young.

Workshop 10:30 am - 11:30 am Reptiles and Amphibians of Utah

Samuel McKay

We will be talking about herps (reptiles and amphibians) found in Utah and along the Wasatch Front, with special emphasis on Utah’s Species of Concern.  Sam will describe how to identify herps, what is unique and special about them, and factors affecting their conservation status.

Workshop 10:30 am - 11:30 am Falcons of North America

Ben Woodruff, Sky Masters

North American, spanning Canada, USA and Mexico, is home to some of the most amazing and beautiful falcon species in the world.  Ben will share live falcons, little known identification tips, and information on where to find them.  Northern neotropical falcons will be covered as well.  Many truths and misconceptions are told about these often-praised, but little understood raptors.  Come learn to separate fact from fiction.

Workshop 11:45am - 12:30 pm Build-a-Bird

Tracy Aviary

Join Tracy Aviary to explore the basics of birds and the intricacies that make them so unique! From their wings and feathers to their bones and gizzard, birds are exquisite flying machines. Together we will recreate these avian adaptations with fun props while turning one lucky participant into a bird, as well as viewing and reviewing some of these adaptations up-close on one or two of Tracy Aviary's talented avian ambassadors.

Workshop 11:45 am - 12:30 pm Profile of the Long-billed Dowitcher- Festival Spotlight Bird & Other Similar Birds

Dr. John Cavitt

Brookelynn Harris’ original art captures the elegance of the 2014 Spotlight Bird.  These birds are fairly common in Utah and are similar to other birds.  Come learn the differences.


1pm – 4pm
Burrowing Owl Field Trip Field trip after workshop
Bonnie Messinger &Jolene Rose
This trip will go to Antelope Island State Park to look for Burrowing Owls, artificial nesting burrows, and natural nesting burrows.  Meet at the Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 15. Vans. Cost $20

1pm – 4pm
Farmington Bay "Behind-the-Gates" (Turpin Unit) Field trip after workshop
Rich Hansen
Farmington Bay WMA is a great resource for migrating and nesting birds. Several hundred thousand birds utilize this area during spring migration and 57 nesting species have been documented. The majority of dikes, ponds, canals, and upland areas are off-limits to the public during the nesting season so this "behind-the-gates" tour is a privilege. Meet at the Davis County Legacy Events Center.
Limit 54. Bus. Cost $25
Workshop 1 pm - 2 pm Birding by Ear

Tracy Aviary

Ever wondered what is that bird singing outside your window?  Come and join us for this interactive workshop in which learning and fun are combined to provide you with tips and tricks to develop your auditory skills for identifying Utah’s common birds by ear.

Workshop 1 pm - 2 pm Birding for Families

Bill Fenimore

You will learn how to look at a bird so that you can later identify and put a name to it when referring to your field guide.  The workshop will help you recognize the topography of bird parts might favor, its size, plumage characteristics, and differences in breeding, mature, immature, and winter plumages.  Workshop is designed to be user-friendly and will be especially geared toward families who would like to bird together.  Will include photographs illustrating the concepts presented

Workshop 1 pm - 2 pm Linking Communities along the Migratory Pathway

Don Paul

As Linking Communities President, Don will talk about Linking Comunities as a range-wide migratory bird initiative that has at its core helping communities conserve birds in their backyard.  The Great Salt Lake in Utah, Chaplin Lake in Saskatchewan, and Marismus Nacionales in Nayarit, Mexico are the backyard bird habitats of communities that share bird species during different seasons of the year.  Learn how to tour these special sites for some spectacular birding through the year.  We will discuss logistics, lodging, and locations for some awe inspiring bird watching at three of North America’s premier bird habitats.  Come and make your travel plans!

Workshop 1 pm - 2 pm Volunteer Opportunities

Ogden Nature Center, Antelope Island State Park, Friends of Great Salt Lake, HawkWatch International, Great Salt Lake Nature Center

How you can help make a difference for Wildlife and conservation.  Come find out how you can get involved.

Workshop 2 pm - 3 pm Economics of the Great Salt Lake

Leland Myers

The Great Salt Lake Advisory Council commissioned an economic analysis of the Lake to help hightlight its significane to the State of Utah.  Economic significance of the Lake is a measure of the amount of total state economic activity (output, income, and imployment) tied to uses of the lake ecosystem.  Economic uses on the Great Salt Lake and its ecosystem can be categorized into five general groups.

Workshop 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm Are Birds Really Dinosaurs? Live Birds

Ben Woodruff, Sky Masters

In recent years paleontologists have made some of the most amazing prehistoric discoveries in the history of humankind.  These discoveries have completely changed our understanding of birds and dinosaurs.  Have you heard?  Ben will share these discoveries and explain the bird-dinosaur connection.  You will never look at birds the same way again.

Workshop 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm Wonderful World of Owls

Nikki Wayment, HawkWatch International

There is no question that owls are a favorite group among birders, those big eyes and cute faces.  Come learn the different species of owls that live in Utah, some identification tips for each species, and meet a real owl.

Presentation 2:15 pm - 3:13 pm Peregrine Falcons - Fast and Fierce

Ogden Nature Center

Join the Ogden Nature Center and meet a Peregrine Falcon named Cessna, one of the newest additions to the center’s education birds.  Get up-close and personal with this amazing species and learn about its unique adaptations that make it the fastest creature on earth!  Find out how peregrines recovered from being on the Endangered Species List and what their status is now.

Workshop 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm Flying: It's Not Just for the Birds (BATS)

Adam Brewerton

We are going to talk about BATS.  We will discuss some of their amazing adaptations, like flying and echolation; the different types of bats; species in Utah and how to find them.  Even though they may seem like scary creatures of the night, we will talk about why we should love them!

Panel Discussion 3 pm - 4:30 pm How does the non-consumptive wildlife community contribute to wildlife funding and policy development?

Greg Sheehan, Director DWR; Bill Fenimore, Bird Guide; Allison Jones, Wild Utah Project; and Ernie Perkins, former Wildlife Board Member

These wildlife professionals will enlighten us on how birders contribute to wildlife funding and to policy development.


4 pm - 5:30 pm

Movie Showing

'Wings of Thunder' and/or 'Into a World of Wonder'

Davis County Legacy Events Center building 1

Music 4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

Live Band Music

Shyloh Robinson and his Band

Davis County Legacy Events Center Building 2

Keynote Address & Dinner 6 pm

Keynote speaker  Tim Boucher "Birding in West Africa-Ghana & Cameroon

Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy

Vegetarian meals available.  Ticket required.  Cost $30

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Site maintained by: Davis County Community & Economic Development Neka Roundy, Webmanager 801-451-3286