With almost 80,000 acres of freshwater and brackish marshes, open water, alkali mudflats, uplands and river delta, the Bear River Migratory Chicken Refuge is an oasis within the desert of northern Utah for birds, animals, bugs, crops and folks. The refuge is on the western fringe of the Central Flyway and the jap fringe of the Pacific Flyway. It offers important habitat for greater than 200 migrating species of birds that use the realm for resting and refueling in addition to nesting areas for greater than 60 species. From the 12-mile self-guided auto tour route, there are grand sweeping views of the Wasatch and the Promontory mountain ranges to the east and west. To the south, on clear days, Antelope Island can simply be seen.

Bear River Migratory Chicken Refuge is about 60 miles north of Salt Lake Metropolis and is close to the city of Brigham Metropolis. The James V. Hansen Wildlife Schooling Middle and refuge headquarters are a couple of quarter mile from Interstate 15 at exit 363, whereas the self-guided auto tour route is one other 12 miles west from there on a paved highway. Complete distance to and from, together with touring the auto tour route, is 36 miles.


The climate at Bear River Migratory Chicken Refuge varies with the seasons. Winter will be chilly, snowy and windy, so dressing for the climate is important. Summers will be fairly heat, whereas spring and fall are nice. Warning is suggested on the gravel auto tour route throughout winter due to snow and ice. Throughout different seasons, when there was rain, the highway can grow to be muddy. In the course of the spring snow soften, the Bear River can rise and make the paved highway out to the auto tour route impassable, so checking the refuge web site for highway situations is advisable.

Photograph Expertise At Bear River Migratory Chicken Refuge

As a fowl photographer, I go to Bear River Migratory Chicken Refuge usually all year long for the birds, wildlife, scenic views, and the peace and quiet discovered on the refuge. In the course of the winter, the sounds of hundreds of tundra swans echo over the marshes. In spring, migrant wading and shorebirds arrive by the tens of hundreds and keep till fall migration. Despite the fact that birds are my major topics, I can’t resist taking photographs of the mammals, bugs, flora and surrounding panorama I see whereas touring the auto tour route.

I used an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens mounted on a Nikon D810 to create this picture of the marsh on the refuge from the auto tour route in early autumn, with clouds, birds scattering throughout the water and the Promontory mountain vary within the background.

Finest Instances

Whereas I like the solitude of visiting the Bear River Migratory Chicken Refuge marshes in the course of the winter to {photograph} the tundra swans, bald eagles, barn owls and overwintering rough-legged hawks, I additionally get pleasure from spring on the refuge as a result of it turns into noisier with fowl songs when the migrants return and resident birds are singing on their breeding territories. Summer time and fall are additionally nice instances to go to the refuge—summer season due to the hundreds of younger birds that may be seen and photographed, and fall due to the migrants that come to the refuge to refuel on their technique to hotter climates. I can’t consider a foul time to move to this jewel of an oasis within the desert!

Contact: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, fws.gov/refuge/bear_river_migratory_bird_refuge.

See extra of Mia McPherson’s pictures at onthewingphotography.com.

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