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My 2-year daughter, Tess, loves birds. She is always excited to see any sort of flying or waddling creature. Her favorites go between the chicken and a duck, with always a little love for her mother’s favorite bird, the penguin. After hearing about the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City, it moved to the top of our weekend outing list. It emerged to be a great winter day activity, including the Wildlife Education Center, a hike near the Center, and the Refuge Auto Tour.

Before we packed up for the day, I checked of the website, and confirmed Refuge Auto Tour was closed due to flooding. We weren’t discouraged as we packed up snacks and headed out.

The Wildlife Education Center was filled with lots of hands on learning activities. The space was open and inviting. It felt brand new and hard to believe it has been open for just over 10 years. Tess enjoyed pushing buttons, pulling puzzle pieces, and viewing the variety of “eggies”. The corner view out to the Refuge provided a chance for bird watching even on a cold day.

Throughout the Center you hear different bird sounds. They are coming from poles with markers and descriptions that help you identify them in nature. With a lot, more areas to explore including a theater playing bird movies, a learning center and map of bird sightings, Tess’s attention span may have lingered out before we got it all.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is part of a network that helps the protect the marshes and the wildlife that use them when migrating. We didn’t get to see many birds, maybe because of time of day or weather. It also could have been because the paved trail that leaves from the Center was closed due to ice. We heard that a lot of birds should be migration through since spring is staring to arrive. The anticipated arrival of the Tundra Swan to the Refuge is being celebrated on March 11 with a day of free activities.

At the Center, we learned about the Junior Duck Stamp Program. This contest allows students K-12 to help with the conservation through art. Winners are selected at a state level in four age categories. Some of the art from the 2016 contest was on display, all the kids’ pieces were awesome. Tess will be strongly encouraged to participate once she reaches kindergarten.

After spending about an hour at the Center itself, my husband and I both agreed that we will return. Tess was a little bummed she didn’t get to see more “ducks, bidies, ducks”, but overall smiled the entire time.

Be sure to check out other Birding activities here!

Contributor: Janelle Lynch has lived in Utah since 2010. She is mom to one reserved yet adventurous little 2-year-old, Tess. Plus, her furboys, the Instagram stars @lynchwoofs Hayden and Griff. Janelle is list making, exploring gal with a desire to support local.

Entrance Fee(s)
Helpful Tips


The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Wildlife Education Center is ¼ mile west of I-15 at Forest Street, exit 363 in Brigham City. 

Helpful Tips:

  • Wildlife Education Center is open 5 days a week, closed Sundays & Mondays.
  • No entry fee
  • Refuge Auto Tour is open 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset.
  • Check the US Fish & Wildlife Service website or Facebook page for Refuge Auto Tour updates and road conditions.
  • Bathrooms are available at the Wildlife Education Center.
  • The paved trail around the Center is stroller friendly.
  • March 11 is Tundra Swan Day. 11 am – 3 pm. FREE activities at the Center.
  • The Junior Duck Stamp Program deadline is March 15. Learn more through the website.

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Shonee Sun, 03/12/2017 - 21:58

I am loving your blog so much! I have found some amazing places to see right here in Utah. Thanks so much, keep it up!

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