Potential Schedule of Events

We expect an outstanding selection of field trips for 2021. Below are EXAMPLES of potential   field trips for 2021 with talented guides and speakers that planned on participating in 2020.  Trips and Trip Leaders will be finalized prior to February 1st 2021 when registration will open. 
 
Trips are expected to fill quickly despite most being available for each of the event's three days, so keep that in mind once registration opens at noon Mountain time on Monday February 1st 2021.
Please be mindful of Southern Utah's variable weather in the spring. Our experienced guides have included gear suggestions, but sunscreen, hats, and a light jacket are always a good plan. As we're in the desert, plan on lots of water! All van or bus trips will have large water containers for refilling your own bottle as needed throughout the day.
Space for cameras with long lenses and tripods on van and bus trips is not guaranteed. Please check with volunteers upon event arrival to confirm space availability.

You will soon be able to find here a printable/downloadable concise schedule of events if you would like complete event details in-hand, in addition to your individual registration schedule.
NOTE: All transportation to field trip locations will be one of three methods — bus, van or your own vehicle. The transportation icons are included within each trip's details below. All trips will permit ONLY registered participants, using designated transportation.
Bus Trip
Van Trip
Meet at Location

Example Day 1

Zion National Park Birding

with Lucy Ormond

Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

Trip Description: We will walk approximately 2 miles on paved trails and roads in and around the Visitor Center, Watchman Campground, South Campground and Pa'rus Trail searching for birds in tall trees, low shrubs, and along the Virgin River.

 

Note: Binoculars, sunscreen, water, and snacks or a sack lunch are recommended. Make sure you wear sturdy shoes, weather-appropriate clothing/layers, hat, etc.

Targets: Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, House Wren, Rock Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Summer Tanager, Western Tanager, House Finch, Lesser and American Goldfinches, Phainopepla, Black-headed Grosbeak, Dipper, Great Blue Heron, several sparrow species.

Zion National Park Naturalist

with Kristine Crandall

•  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

Trip Description: We will explore several trails from the lower to upper parts of Zion Canyon, mainly within riparian habitat along the Virgin River. The terrain will be easy to moderate, with walking primarily on level paved trails, and covering around four miles total. Kristine is a Naturalist with the Zion Forever Project and her expertise will focus this trip on the geology, hydrology, flora and fauna, and cultural history of Zion and the broader region.

 

Note: Zion NP entrance included in the trip cost.
Good walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots, hat, and layers (it can be chilly in the canyon in the morning). Cameras are highly recommended to capture the beauty of Zion. Water, sunscreen, snacks or a light lunch and binoculars also recommended.

THURSDAY ONLY TRIP

Zion High Elevation Birding

with Paul Jaussi

•  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

Trip Description: Enjoy a break from the low desert with a short drive up into the high country. We’ll make a few brief stops rising out from the pinyon-juniper to look into patches of habitat increasingly dominated by montane scrub, aspen, and big conifers. Finally, we’ll finish up with Kolob Reservoir and some searching for specialties in the higher elevations of Zion. Some short walks on uneven dirt but nothing strenuous.

 

Note: Pack your sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. Though we won’t be climbing to extreme heights, a little elevation and dehydration combined will easily give you a headache. Of course, bring binoculars!

Be prepared for cooler weather up high, so bring layers to put on as we climb like a sweater or a jacket and hat. Depending on the winter, the ground-up high may still be covered in snow, be totally muddy, or be dry and dusty. A decent pair of boots or waterproof sneakers is probably a good idea.

Targets: High elevation specialties and early migrants like Grace’s Warbler, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Pygmy Nuthatch, and a chance of Zone-tailed Hawks.
 

Riparian Birding

with Judy Schattner

  •  Participant Limit: 12  • meet at Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park

Trip Description: This bird oasis in the middle of one of our communities makes for easy access with paved paths to bird from. The pathways will take us past farm meadow, riparian zones along the Virgin River, marshland, hardwood woods, and mesquite areas. In the other direction, we will bird from a boardwalk over a riparian zone and cliffs.

Expect 2-3 miles at a bird watcher's pace. Most of the route is flat or gently sloped. If you want to see raptors it is an uphill paved walk.

 

Note: Paved pathways are shared with bikers. The temperature is expected to warm as the trip progresses so be prepared with layered clothing. Sturdy shoes and a hat are recommended.
Restrooms are available near the pond.

Targets: Rough-winged and Cliff Swallows, Black-chinned and Anna's Hummingbirds, Western Meadowlark, Say's and Black Phoebes, Hooded Orioles, Northern Flicker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Rock, Canyon, House, and Marsh Wrens, Greater Roadrunner, Crissal Thrasher, Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Yellow-throated Warblers, Verdin, Black-throated and  White-crowned Sparrows, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Belted Kingfisher, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron. Expect other migrants and accipiters.

Birds and Boats

with Bill Ennis  • 

  • Participant Limit: 10  •  Quail Creek State Park  —  Dig Paddlesports rental office

Trip Description: What could be better than a day on the lake AND birding? This trip is our first foray into truly off-trail birding and we are thrilled to have paddlesports expert and fellow birder Bill Ennis lead the way. Your fee includes your kayak rental, so the only gear you might want is a waterproof case or dry bag and binoculars or camera. This is a great way to view birds up close as they are not as wary of boats as they are of people. You will be taken out on the lake with a licensed guide that knows the secrets of where the great birds hang out on the reservoir.

 

Note: Park entry is $15/vehicle (up to 8 people). $10/car for seniors (62+). Utah State Parks Annual Pass is available for purchase for $75 or $35 for seniors and grants access to 43 state parks and museums.

Life jacket(s) provided with kayak rental. Clothing that can get wet is a must. Hats and sunscreen, along with water are also critical for comfort throughout the day. Layers are also recommended. Bring snacks/lunch.

Want to stay on the water beyond 11 am?  Extend your kayak rental for $10 per additional hour.

Targets: variety of water birds, hawks, wrens, hummingbirds, warblers

Lytle Ranch

with Marshall Topham

  •  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

 

Trip Description: The Lytle Ranch Preserve is a natural oasis, 36 miles SW of St. George where the Basin and Range Province of the Mojave Desert is juxtaposed to the Colorado River Plateau. The Preserve is owned and operated by Brigham Young University. Located in a riparian environment at an elevation of 2800 feet along the Beaver Dam Wash. Lytle Ranch is well known for its exceptional biodiversity. A permanent stream, orchards, fields, and beaver ponds surrounded by Joshua trees, Creosote, Mesquite and cactus makes it one of the most popular and productive birding areas in the state. Plant and animal diversity here offers an ironic contrast in what seems, at first, to be an inhospitable environment.

 

Note: Walking will be on gravel roads and into washes, so good walking or lightweight hiking boots are recommended.Bring snacks or lunch and water. Large water containers will be on the van for refills as needed.Sunscreen, hat, binoculars, and cameras are also recommended. Layered clothing will help you stay comfortable as the day warms.

 

Targets: Spotted Towhee, Phainopepla, Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds, Crissal Thrasher, Roadrunner and a number of warblers and woodpeckers are common to the ranch.

Cliffs and Creeks + Tortoises

with Mike Schijf

•  Participant Limit: 18  •  Confluence Park, LaVerkin Trailhead

Trip Description: Confluence Park is a 344-acre natural park managed by Washington County. It is uniquely located within the boundaries of Hurricane and LaVerkin, Utah where Ash Creek and LaVerkin Creek meet the Virgin River. The park sits at the bottom of large basalt cliffs and is secluded from nearby communities, giving it a primitive feel.

Confluence Park is comprised of primarily riparian habitat, with many large cottonwood trees. Trails are dirt and mostly easy, but expect some uneven terrain and possibly light bushwhacking. Expect to hike around 3 miles roundtrip.

This is a two-part field trip that will begin at the LaVerkin Creek trailhead for a birding walk. We will wrap up birding by 11 am and carpool to Hurricane for a tour of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve's temporary care facility for desert tortoises.

 

Note: Walking is primarily level dirt trails; walking or light hiking shoes are suggested. Bring the typical water, binoculars, camera, sunscreen, and hat. Layers are suggested as the canyon will begin the day in the shade with sporadic shade throughout the trip. We should wrap things up in time for a late lunch, but if you prefer an early lunch you will want to pack one along.

Targets: Greater Roadrunner, Lucy's Warbler, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Phainopepla, Bullock's Oriole, and additional riparian species.

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY ONLY

Condors of Vermilion Cliffs

with Joe Platt

•  Participant Limit: 35  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

This excursion will be a wonderful opportunity to see California Condors, one of the great conservation success stories. We will travel by bus to the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, two hours southeast of St. George. Your host is Dr. Joe Platt, a past board member of The Peregrine Fund. We will be met by staff from The Peregrine Fund who will help us see North America’s largest bird. The biologists will tell us of their remarkable story and the hands-on conservation efforts that brought about their return from the brink of extinction.


We will also take a break at Pipe Springs National Monument. This oasis in the desert is interesting both historically and for birding.


The day will have limited walking on level ground.

 

Note: Please bring a sack lunch and a water bottle. We will bring large water containers for refills. Also binoculars, a hat, and sunscreen. The condor biologists will have spotting scopes. Weather should be similar to St. George. Bring a light jacket and walking shoes.

 

Targets: California Condors – the habitat we will visit is Mojave desert scrub. Reptiles and birds will be active. The low vegetation makes for easy viewing.

Raptor Run

with Cordell Peterson

•  Participant Limit: 16  •  Enterprise / Beryl Junction

Trip Description: Join us for a trip to the agricultural fields and country roads of Enterprise and Beryl Junction. The region is host to a high number of migratory and year-round raptors. Expect to also see a good number of smaller passerines that call the fields home. Habitats will also include native grasslands and shrubland.
Minimal walking as we will be slowly driving through the fields of Enterprise and Beryl Junction, making frequent stops along the roads. We will be getting in and out of vehicles to view raptors and other birds.

 

Note: Dress warmly or bring layers for when we get out of the vehicles. Bring water and a lunch/snack. The only bathroom available will be at the Enterprise Convenience Store.

Targets: Golden Eagle, Northern Harrier, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, American Kestrel.

St. George Parks — Crissal Thrasher & Vermillion Flycatchers

with Holden Green

•  Participant Limit: 16  •  meet at Tonaquint Nature Center

 

Trip Description: A great opportunity to learn about our local seasonal and resident birds that utilize our varied neighborhood parks. Some of the habitat ranges within Greater Zion are reflected in the parks we will visit. Trip with include time at Tonaquint, Crosby Confluence Park, Boots-Cox Park, and Brooks Park.

 

This is a great trip for novice birders and anyone who wants to experience the region's flora and fauna on relatively flat paved and dirt pathways.

 

Note: Layers, sunscreen/hat and a snack or lunch are recommended. Comfortable walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots are a must. Bring water and binoculars/camera.

 

Targets: Crissal Thrasher, Flycatchers, Black and Say's Phoebes, Woodpeckers, Black-chinned, Anna's and Costa's Hummingbirds, Hooded Orioles.

Owl Prowl

with Cordell Peterson

•  Participant Limit: 15  •  Tonaquint Nature Center

Trip Description: Cordell Peterson has a Biology background; surveyed spotted owls for the private sector, and worked for the Division of Wildlife for ten years surveying numerous bird species.  After an orientation and introduction to owl calling, we will survey the Park for all the owls we can find.

Note: Good walking or hiking shoes and headlamps are suggested for safely traversing the wooded areas of the park.

Targets: Great Horned Owl, Western Screech Owl

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY ONLY

Elaine York, The Nature Conservancy, Utah

Included with registration  •  Courtyard Marriott ballroom

Elaine York is West Desert Regional Director for The Nature Conservancy and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She is the on-ground lead for their conservation efforts in western Utah, including biologically diverse Washington County. 

 

In her 23 years with the Conservancy, Elaine has led innovative projects in landscape planning, ecological modeling and land acquisition with multiple state and federal government agencies and private landowners.  In 2008 she received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Recovery Champion” award for her work protecting rare plants in Washington County.  In her free time, Elaine enjoys spending time with family and exploring the deserts, canyons and mountains she is personally and professionally committed to protecting.

Example Day 2

Zion National Park Birding

with Lucy Ormond

•  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

Trip Description: We will walk approximately 2 miles on paved trails and roads in and around the Visitor Center, Watchman Campground, South Campground and Pa'rus Trail searching for birds in tall trees, low shrubs, and along the Virgin River.

 

Note: Binoculars, sunscreen, water, and snacks or a sack lunch are recommended. Make sure you wear sturdy shoes, weather-appropriate clothing/layers, hat, etc.

Targets: Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, House Wren, Rock Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Summer Tanager, Western Tanager, House Finch, Lesser and American Goldfinches, Phainopepla, Black-headed Grosbeak, Dipper, Great Blue Heron, several sparrow species.

Zion High Elevation Birding

with Jason Pietrzak

•  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

 

Trip Description: Enjoy a break from the low desert with a short drive up into the high country. We’ll make a few brief stops rising out from the pinyon-juniper to look into patches of habitat increasingly dominated by montane scrub, aspen, and big conifers. Finally, we’ll finish up with Kolob Reservoir and some searching for specialties in the higher elevations of Zion. Some short walks on uneven dirt but nothing strenuous.

 

Note: Pack your sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. Though we won’t be climbing to extreme heights, a little elevation and dehydration combined will easily give you a headache. Of course, bring binoculars!

Be prepared for cooler weather up high, so bring layers to put on as we climb like a sweater or a jacket and hat. Depending on the winter, the ground-up high may still be covered in snow, be totally muddy, or be dry and dusty. A decent pair of boots or waterproof sneakers is probably a good idea.

 

Targets: High elevation specialties and early migrants like Grace’s Warbler, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Pygmy Nuthatch, and a chance of Zone-tailed Hawks.

Riparian Birding

with Judy Schattner

•  Participant Limit: 12  •  Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park

Trip Description: This bird oasis in the middle of one of our communities makes for easy access with paved paths to bird from. The pathways will take us past farm meadow, riparian zones along the Virgin River, marshland, hardwood woods, and mesquite areas. In the other direction, we will bird from a boardwalk over a riparian zone and cliffs.

Expect 2-3 miles at a bird watcher's pace. Most of the route is flat or gently sloped. If you want to see raptors it is an uphill paved walk.

 

Note: Paved pathways are shared with bikers. The temperature is expected to warm as the trip progresses so be prepared with layered clothing. Sturdy shoes and a hat are recommended.
Restrooms are available near the pond.

Targets: Rough-winged and Cliff Swallows, Black-chinned and Anna's Hummingbirds, Western Meadowlark, Say's and Black Phoebes, Hooded Orioles, Northern Flicker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Rock, Canyon, House, and Marsh Wrens, Greater Roadrunner, Crissal Thrasher, Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Yellow-throated Warblers, Verdin, Black-throated and  White-crowned Sparrows, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Belted Kingfisher, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron. Expect other migrants and accipiters.

Red Cliffs Birds and Nature Walk

with Tracy Taylor
 •  Participant Limit: 11  •  Snow Canyon State Park

 

Trip Description: We will be hiking the West Canyon Road from the Sand Dunes Parking lot, starting in the Mojave Desert with creosote, sage and scrub oak, ascending a short distance into the Colorado Plateau ecosystem with its characteristic conifers and thicker stands of scrub oak. Walking is easy on gravel/sandy roads with mild elevation changes. We will be hiking at least 3 miles round trip. At the 1.3 mile point is a restroom (no plumbing.); bathrooms are available at the parking lot.

 

Note: Park entry will be waived with a ticket you will receive upon arrival to the park and check-in with your guide.

Walking will be on paved and dirt pathways; primarily level. Suggest you bring a small pack, 2-4 liters of water, binoculars, sunscreen, any emergency medications – EpiPen, etc – that you normally carry with you in an outdoor activity, moleskin or blister-block if not used to hiking, small snack.

 

Targets: Rarities & Cool Birds: Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Peregrine Falcon, Costa’s Hummingbird, Black-chinned Sparrow

Snow Canyon Breeding: Gambel’s Quail, Greater Roadrunner, White-throated Swift, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, American Kestrel, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Bushtit, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Crissal Thrasher, Brewer’s Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Scott’s Oriole, Lucy’s Warbler

Expected Migrants: Gray Flycatcher, Gray Vireo, Green-tailed Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat, Virginia’s Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Western Tanager, Lazuli Bunting

 

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY

Birds and Boats

with Bill Ennis

• Participant Limit: 10  •  Quail Creek State Park  —  Dig Paddlesports rental office

Trip Description: What could be better than a day on the lake AND birding? This trip is our first foray into truly off-trail birding and we are thrilled to have paddlesports expert and fellow birder Bill Ennis lead the way. Your fee includes your kayak rental, so the only gear you might want is a waterproof case or dry bag and binoculars or camera. This is a great way to view birds up close as they are not as wary of boats as they are of people. You will be taken out on the lake with a licensed guide that knows the secrets of where the great birds hang out on the reservoir.

 

Note: Park entry is $15/vehicle (up to 8 people). $10/car for seniors (62+). Utah State Parks Annual Pass is available for purchase for $75 or $35 for seniors and grants access to 43 state parks and museums.

Life jacket(s) provided with kayak rental. Clothing that can get wet is a must. Hats and sunscreen, along with water are also critical for comfort throughout the day. Layers are also recommended. Bring snacks/lunch.

Want to stay on the water beyond 11 am?  Extend your kayak rental for $10 per additional hour.

Targets: variety of water birds, hawks, wrens, hummingbirds, warblers

Lytle Ranch

with Marshall Topham

  •  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

Trip Description: The Lytle Ranch Preserve is a natural oasis, 36 miles SW of St. George where the Basin and Range Province of the Mojave Desert is juxtaposed to the Colorado River Plateau. The Preserve is owned and operated by Brigham Young University. Located in a riparian environment at an elevation of 2800 feet along the Beaver Dam Wash. Lytle Ranch is well known for its exceptional biodiversity. A permanent stream, orchards, fields, and beaver ponds surrounded by Joshua trees, Creosote, Mesquite and cactus makes it one of the most popular and productive birding areas in the state. Plant and animal diversity here offers an ironic contrast in what seems, at first, to be an inhospitable environment.

 

Note: Walking will be on gravel roads and into washes, so good walking or lightweight hiking boots are recommended.
Bring snacks or lunch and water. Large water containers will be on the van for refills as needed.
Sunscreen, hat, binoculars, and cameras are also recommended. Layered clothing will help you stay comfortable as the day warms.

Targets: Spotted Towhee, Phainopepla, Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds, Crissal Thrasher, Roadrunner and a number of warblers and woodpeckers are common to the ranch.

Cliffs and Creeks + Tortoises

with Mike Schijf

•  Participant Limit: 16  •  Confluence Park, LaVerkin Trailhead

Trip Description: Confluence Park is a 344-acre natural park managed by Washington County. It is uniquely located within the boundaries of Hurricane and LaVerkin, Utah where Ash Creek and LaVerkin Creek meet the Virgin River. The park sits at the bottom of large basalt cliffs and is secluded from nearby communities, giving it a primitive feel.

Confluence Park is comprised of primarily riparian habitat, with many large cottonwood trees. Trails are dirt and mostly easy, but expect some uneven terrain and possibly light bushwhacking. Expect to hike around 3 miles roundtrip.

This is a two-part field trip that will begin at the LaVerkin Creek trailhead for a birding walk. We will wrap up birding by 11 am and carpool to Hurricane for a tour of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve's temporary care facility for desert tortoises.

 

Note: Walking is primarily level dirt trails; walking or light hiking shoes are suggested. Bring the typical water, binoculars, camera, sunscreen, and hat. Layers are suggested as the canyon will begin the day in the shade with sporadic shade throughout the trip. We should wrap things up in time for a late lunch, but if you prefer an early lunch you will want to pack one along.

Targets: Greater Roadrunner, Lucy's Warbler, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Phainopepla, Bullock's Oriole, and additional riparian species.

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY ONLY

Condors of Vermilion Cliffs

with Joe Platt

 •  Participant Limit: 35  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

This excursion will be a wonderful opportunity to see California Condors, one of the great conservation success stories. We will travel by bus to the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, two hours southeast of St. George. Your host is Dr. Joe Platt, a past board member of The Peregrine Fund. We will be met by staff from The Peregrine Fund who will help us see North America’s largest bird. The biologists will tell us of their remarkable story and the hands-on conservation efforts that brought about their return from the brink of extinction.


We will also take a break at Pipe Springs National Monument. This oasis in the desert is interesting both historically and for birding.


The day will have limited walking on level ground.

 

Note: Please bring a sack lunch and a water bottle. We will bring large water containers for refills. Also binoculars, a hat, and sunscreen. The condor biologists will have spotting scopes. Weather should be similar to St. George. Bring a light jacket and walking shoes.

 

Targets: California Condors – the habitat we will visit is Mojave desert scrub. Reptiles and birds will be active. The low vegetation makes for easy viewing.

Raptor Run

with Cordell Peterson

 •  Participant Limit: 18  •  Enterprise / Beryl Junction

Trip Description: Join us for a trip to the agricultural fields and country roads of Enterprise and Beryl Junction. The region is host to a high number of migratory and year-round raptors. Expect to also see a good number of smaller passerines that call the fields home. Habitats will also include native grasslands and shrubland.
Minimal walking as we will be slowly driving through the fields of Enterprise and Beryl Junction, making frequent stops along the roads. We will be getting in and out of vehicles to view raptors and other birds.

 

Note: Dress warmly or bring layers for when we get out of the vehicles. Bring water and a lunch/snack. The only bathroom available will be at the Enterprise Convenience Store.

Targets: Golden Eagle, Northern Harrier, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, American Kestrel.

St. George Parks — Crissal Thrasher & Vermillion Flycatchers

with Holden Green

 •  Participant Limit: 16  •  meet at Tonaquint Nature Center

 

Trip Description: A great opportunity to learn about our local seasonal and resident birds that utilize our varied neighborhood parks. Some of the habitat ranges within Greater Zion are reflected in the parks we will visit. Trip with include time at Tonaquint, Crosby Confluence Park, Boots-Cox Park, and Brooks Park.

 

This is a great trip for novice birders and anyone who wants to experience the region's flora and fauna on relatively flat paved and dirt pathways.

 

Note: Layers, sunscreen/hat and a snack or lunch are recommended. Comfortable walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots are a must. Bring water and binoculars/camera.

 

Targets: Crissal Thrasher, Flycatchers, Black and Say's Phoebes, Woodpeckers, Black-chinned, Anna's and Costa's Hummingbirds, Hooded Orioles.

Birds and Photography

with Lynn Chamberlain

 •  Participant Limit: 10  •  Lytle Ranch

Trip Description: This trip will be geared toward bird photography and differs from Marshall's Lytle Ranch Trip (7) while still taking advantage of the tremendous diversity of habitat and the species that shift with it.

Note: Bring your favorite camera and tripod (not required)! Water, lunch, binoculars, sunscreen.

Targets: Spotted Towhee, Phaniopepla, Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds, Crissal Thrasher, Roadrunner and a number of warblers and woodpeckers are common to the ranch. Opportunities for spring blooms, butterflies, and reptiles too.

Birds and Petroglyphs

with RJ Hughes

  •  Participant Limit: 18  •  Santa Clara River Reserve, Ivins

Trip Description:  are keeping our specific destination a bit vague but can assure you that with the help of the Dixie Archaeology Society, and our region's ancient history, this will be a one-of-a-kind dive into a spot with wildlife, spring blooms, and lots of native rock art on display.

Note: This is a more advanced hike on uneven terrain, but established paths. Lightweight hiking boots are recommended. Blister block or moleskin is recommended for anyone who doesn't regularly hike. Bring plenty of water along with lunch. Wearing layers or having a light jacket and pack will keep you comfortable throughout the day.

Targets: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Lazuli Bunting, Gambel's Quail, White-throated Swift, Costa's Hummingbird, Bell's Vireo, Verdin, Canyon Wren, and Lucy's Warbler.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY

Greater Zion Big Day

with Paul Jaussi

 •  Participant Limit: 12  •  Meet at Courtyard by Marriott

Trip Description: Ever hear about Big Days and wonder what they would be like? Here's your chance to get in on the action on one of our most anticipated trips this fest. Prepare to be flexible, as routes will be chosen by your skilled leaders. Each day will be competing against the other and Saturday night we will find out which Big Day team has racked up the most impressive day list.

Note: This is not leisurely birding – on-the-go snacks and plenty of water will be a necessity.

Targets: ALL of them, of course.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY

Owl Prowl

with Cordell Peterson

 •  Participant Limit: 15  •  Tonaquint Nature Center

Trip Description: Cordell Peterson has a Biology background; surveyed spotted owls for the private sector, and worked for the Division of Wildlife for ten years surveying numerous bird species.  After an orientation and introduction to owl calling, we will survey the Park for all the owls we can find.

Note: Good walking or hiking shoes and headlamps are suggested for safely traversing the wooded areas of the park.

Targets: Great Horned Owl, Western Screech Owl

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY ONLY

Tortoises and Other Reptiles Nature Tour

with Marshall Topham

 •  Participant Limit: 15  •  Red Hills Desert Garden meet & departure

Trip Description: Join our experienced guide in Red Cliffs Desert Reserve for a beautiful hike and the unique opportunity to experience some of the other incredible creatures that call Greater Zion home.

Note: Binoculars, sunscreen, and water are appropriate but you may prefer a camera to all other accessories on this trip. Feel free to arrive early and tour the (free entry) Red Hills Desert Garden before meeting the group and moving on with the trip. 

FRIDAY ONLY

Tim Hauck, The Peregrine Fund

Included with registration  •  Courtyard Marriott ballroom

Tim Hauck is the Program Manager for The Peregrine Fund’s Condor Recovery Program in northern Arizona and southern Utah. Tim is responsible for successful releases of captive-raised condors into the scenic wilds of the Vermilion Cliffs and surrounding areas as well as the day to day management of the wild population.

 

Tim is originally from Rochester, NY and received his education at Ithaca College, where his love of birds and conservation grew into a life-long passion and profession. He has spent the greater part of the last 18 years working in the field with a variety of threatened and endangered bird species. However, it was in 2005 that he found his true calling when he arrived in Marble Canyon, Arizona to work with the highly endangered California condor. After working as a condor field technician for many years, Tim now manages the Condor Recovery Program and splits time between Marble Canyon and Flagstaff, where he resides with his wife Kim and daughter Isabelle.

Example Day 3

Zion National Park Birding

with Lucy Ormond

 •  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

Trip Description: We will walk approximately 2 miles on paved trails and roads in and around the Visitor Center, Watchman Campground, South Campground and Pa'rus Trail searching for birds in tall trees, low shrubs, and along the Virgin River.

 

Note: Binoculars, sunscreen, water, and snacks or a sack lunch are recommended. Make sure you wear sturdy shoes, weather-appropriate clothing/layers, hat, etc.

Targets: Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, House Wren, Rock Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Summer Tanager, Western Tanager, House Finch, Lesser and American Goldfinches, Phainopepla, Black-headed Grosbeak, Dipper, Great Blue Heron, several sparrow species.

Zion High Elevation Birding

with Pam Wheeler and Brandon from Bird Las Vegas

 •  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

 

Trip Description: Enjoy a break from the low desert with a short drive up into the high country. We’ll make a few brief stops rising out from the pinyon-juniper to look into patches of habitat increasingly dominated by montane scrub, aspen, and big conifers. Finally, we’ll finish up with Kolob Reservoir and some searching for specialties in the higher elevations of Zion. Some short walks on uneven dirt but nothing strenuous.

 

Note: Pack your sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. Though we won’t be climbing to extreme heights, a little elevation and dehydration combined will easily give you a headache. Of course, bring binoculars!

Be prepared for cooler weather up high, so bring layers to put on as we climb like a sweater or a jacket and hat. Depending on the winter, the ground-up high may still be covered in snow, be totally muddy, or be dry and dusty. A decent pair of boots or waterproof sneakers is probably a good idea.

 

Targets: High elevation specialties and early migrants like Grace’s Warbler, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Pygmy Nuthatch, and a chance of Zone-tailed Hawks.

 

Riparian Birding

with Judy Schattner

 •  Participant Limit: 12  •  Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park

Trip Description: This bird oasis in the middle of one of our communities makes for easy access with paved paths to bird from. The pathways will take us past farm meadow, riparian zones along the Virgin River, marshland, hardwood woods, and mesquite areas. In the other direction, we will bird from a boardwalk over a riparian zone and cliffs.

Expect 2-3 miles at a bird watcher's pace. Most of the route is flat or gently sloped. If you want to see raptors it is an uphill paved walk.

 

Note: Paved pathways are shared with bikers. The temperature is expected to warm as the trip progresses so be prepared with layered clothing. Sturdy shoes and a hat are recommended.
Restrooms are available near the pond.

Targets: Rough-winged and Cliff Swallows, Black-chinned and Anna's Hummingbirds, Western Meadowlark, Say's and Black Phoebes, Hooded Orioles, Northern Flicker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Rock, Canyon, House, and Marsh Wrens, Greater Roadrunner, Crissal Thrasher, Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Yellow-throated Warblers, Verdin, Black-throated and  White-crowned Sparrows, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Belted Kingfisher, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron. Expect other migrants and accipiters.

Red Cliffs Birds and Nature Walk

with Tracy Taylor
  •  Participant Limit: 11  •  Snow Canyon State Park

 

Trip Description: We will be hiking the West Canyon Road from the Sand Dunes Parking lot, starting in the Mojave Desert with creosote, sage and scrub oak, ascending a short distance into the Colorado Plateau ecosystem with its characteristic conifers and thicker stands of scrub oak. Walking is easy on gravel/sandy roads with mild elevation changes. We will be hiking at least 3 miles round trip. At the 1.3 mile point is a restroom (no plumbing.) 

 

Note: Park entry will be waived with a ticket you will receive upon arrival to the park and check-in with your guide.

Walking will be on paved and dirt pathways; primarily level. Suggest you bring a small pack, 2-4 liters of water, binoculars, sunscreen, any emergency medications – EpiPen, etc – that you normally carry with you in an outdoor activity, moleskin or blister-block if not used to hiking, small snack.

 

Targets: Rarities & Cool Birds: Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Peregrine Falcon, Costa’s Hummingbird, Black-chinned Sparrow

Snow Canyon Breeding: Gambel’s Quail, Greater Roadrunner, White-throated Swift, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, American Kestrel, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Bushtit, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Crissal Thrasher, Brewer’s Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Scott’s Oriole, Lucy’s Warbler

Expected Migrants: Gray Flycatcher, Gray Vireo, Green-tailed Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat, Virginia’s Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Western Tanager, Lazuli BuntingBathrooms are available at the parking lot.

 

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY

Birds and Boats

with Bill Ennis

• Participant Limit: 10  •  Quail Creek State Park  —  Dig Paddlesports rental office

Trip Description: What could be better than a day on the lake AND birding? This trip is our first foray into truly off-trail birding and we are thrilled to have paddlesports expert and fellow birder Bill Ennis lead the way. Your fee includes your kayak rental, so the only gear you might want is a waterproof case or dry bag and binoculars or camera. This is a great way to view birds up close as they are not as wary of boats as they are of people. You will be taken out on the lake with a licensed guide that knows the secrets of where the great birds hang out on the reservoir.

 

Note: Park entry is $15/vehicle (up to 8 people). $10/car for seniors (62+). Utah State Parks Annual Pass is available for purchase for $75 or $35 for seniors and grants access to 43 state parks and museums.

Life jacket(s) provided with kayak rental. Clothing that can get wet is a must. Hats and sunscreen, along with water are also critical for comfort throughout the day. Layers are also recommended. Bring snacks/lunch.

Want to stay on the water beyond 11 am?  Extend your kayak rental for $10 per additional hour.

Targets: variety of water birds, hawks, wrens, hummingbirds, warblers

Lytle Ranch

with Marshall Topham

 •  Participant Limit: 15  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

 

Trip Description: The Lytle Ranch Preserve is a natural oasis, 36 miles SW of St. George where the Basin and Range Province of the Mojave Desert is juxtaposed to the Colorado River Plateau. The Preserve is owned and operated by Brigham Young University. Located in a riparian environment at an elevation of 2800 feet along the Beaver Dam Wash. Lytle Ranch is well known for its exceptional biodiversity. A permanent stream, orchards, fields, and beaver ponds surrounded by Joshua trees, Creosote, Mesquite and cactus makes it one of the most popular and productive birding areas in the state. Plant and animal diversity here offers an ironic contrast in what seems, at first, to be an inhospitable environment.

 

Note: Walking will be on gravel roads and into washes, so good walking or lightweight hiking boots are recommended.Bring snacks or lunch and water. Large water containers will be on the van for refills as needed.Sunscreen, hat, binoculars, and cameras are also recommended. Layered clothing will help you stay comfortable as the day warms.

 

Targets: Spotted Towhee, Phainopepla, Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds, Crissal Thrasher, Roadrunner and a number of warblers and woodpeckers are common to the ranch.

Condors of Vermilion Cliffs

with Joe Platt

  •  Participant Limit: 35  •  Courtyard Marriott departure

This excursion will be a wonderful opportunity to see California Condors, one of the great conservation success stories. We will travel by bus to the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, two hours southeast of St. George. Your host is Dr. Joe Platt, a past board member of The Peregrine Fund. We will be met by staff from The Peregrine Fund who will help us see North America’s largest bird. The biologists will tell us of their remarkable story and the hands-on conservation efforts that brought about their return from the brink of extinction.


We will also take a break at Pipe Springs National Monument. This oasis in the desert is interesting both historically and for birding.


The day will have limited walking on level ground.

 

Note: Please bring a sack lunch and a water bottle. We will bring large water containers for refills. Also binoculars, a hat, and sunscreen. The condor biologists will have spotting scopes. Weather should be similar to St. George. Bring a light jacket and walking shoes.

 

Targets: California Condors – the habitat we will visit is Mojave desert scrub. Reptiles and birds will be active. The low vegetation makes for easy viewing.

Raptor Run

with Cordell Peterson

•  Participant Limit: 18  •  Enterprise / Beryl Junction

Trip Description: Join us for a trip to the agricultural fields and country roads of Enterprise and Beryl Junction. The region is host to a high number of migratory and year-round raptors. Expect to also see a good number of smaller passerines that call the fields home. Habitats will also include native grasslands and shrubland.
Minimal walking as we will be slowly driving through the fields of Enterprise and Beryl Junction, making frequent stops along the roads. We will be getting in and out of vehicles to view raptors and other birds.

 

Note: Dress warmly or bring layers for when we get out of the vehicles. Bring water and a lunch/snack. The only bathroom available will be at the Enterprise Convenience Store.

Targets: Golden Eagle, Northern Harrier, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, American Kestrel.

St. George Parks — Crissal Thrasher & Vermillion Flycatchers

with Holden Green

 •  Participant Limit: 16  •  meet at Tonaquint Nature Center

Trip Description: A great opportunity to learn about our local seasonal and resident birds that utilize our varied neighborhood parks. Some of the habitat ranges within Greater Zion are reflected in the parks we will visit. Trip with include time at Tonaquint, Crosby Confluence Park, Boots-Cox Park, and Brooks Park.

This is a great trip for novice birders and anyone who wants to experience the region's flora and fauna on relatively flat paved and dirt pathways.

 

Note: Layers, sunscreen/hat and a snack or lunch are recommended. Comfortable walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots are a must. Bring water and binoculars/camera.

Targets: Crissal Thrasher, Flycatchers, Black and Say's Phoebes, Woodpeckers, Black-chinned, Anna's and Costa's Hummingbirds, Hooded Orioles.

Birds and Photography

with Kate Davis

•  Participant Limit: 10  • Central and Pine Valley

Trip Description: Local award-winning photographer, Maria Jeffs joins our Keynote Speaker, Kate Davis to a special high elevation nesting trip to us this year. Expect to be able to photograph at least bluebirds and orioles coming in and out of their bird boxes.

Note: Pack your sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. Though we won’t be climbing to extreme heights, a little elevation and dehydration combined will easily give you a headache. Of course, bring binoculars!

Be prepared for cooler weather up high, so bring layers to put on as we climb like a sweater or a jacket and hat. Depending on the winter, the ground-up high may still be covered in snow, be totally muddy, or be dry and dusty. A decent pair of boots or waterproof sneakers is probably a good idea.

 

Targets: Other high elevation specialties and early migrants like Grace’s Warbler, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Pygmy Nuthatch, and a chance of Zone-tailed Hawks.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY

TRIP GUIDE AND LOCATION VARIES BY DAY

Birds and Petroglyphs

with RJ Hughes

•  Participant Limit: 18  •  Santa Clara River Reserve, Ivins

Trip Description:  are keeping our specific destination a bit vague but can assure you that with the help of the Dixie Archaeology Society, and our region's ancient history, this will be a one-of-a-kind dive into a spot with wildlife, spring blooms, and lots of native rock art on display.

Note: This is a more advanced hike on uneven terrain, but established paths. Lightweight hiking boots are recommended. Blister block or moleskin is recommended for anyone who doesn't regularly hike. Bring plenty of water along with lunch. Wearing layers or having a light jacket and pack will keep you comfortable throughout the day.

Targets: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Lazuli Bunting, Gambel's Quail, White-throated Swift, Costa's Hummingbird, Bell's Vireo, Verdin, Canyon Wren, and Lucy's Warbler.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY

Greater Zion Big Day

with Paul Jaussi and Ben Zyla

 •  Participant Limit: 12  •  Courtyard by Marriott departure by van

Trip Description: Ever hear about Big Days and wonder what they would be like? Here's your chance to get in on the action on one of our most anticipated trips this fest. Prepare to be flexible, as routes will be chosen by your skilled leaders. Each day will be competing against the other and Saturday night we will find out which Big Day team has racked up the most impressive day list.

Note: This is not leisurely birding – on-the-go snacks and plenty of water will be a necessity.

Targets: ALL of them, of course.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY

Kate Davis, Raptors of the Rockies

•  Courtyard ballroom

It is our pleasure to welcome back famed avian photographer Kate Davis to our chapter's bird fest, this year as our keynote speaker.

Kate began life with a love of animals when she was caring for mammals and raptors with the Cincinnati Zoo Junior Zoologists Club starting in 1973. Her father had a great interest in photography, tutoring Kate with a darkroom in the basement all of her childhood. She received a degree in Zoology from the University of Montana in 1982 and founded the non-profit educational organization Raptors of the Rockies in 1988. Kate keeps a dozen non-releasable and falconry birds at the facility at her home in Western Montana. Program appearances with these raptors number more than 1760 for 135,000 people, young and old alike. They are the subjects and sources of inspiration for her drawings, paintings, etchings, welded steel sculptures, photography, and writing. She has authored and illustrated 5 books on raptors, and Raptors of the West won the National Outdoor Book Award and Montana Book Award Grand Prize. Her 6th title is Birds Are People, Too, a blend of humor and photography, and she is currently working on the new and revised Falcons of North America from 2008.

Contact Us

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