Bear River

An oasis for waterfowl, wildlife and people.

One of the greatest producers of waterfowl in the nation, the Bear River wetlands are a haven for more than 200 species of birds traveling along the Central and Pacific Flyways. Through two land acquisitions, Western Rivers Conservancy protected more than 1,200 acres of wetlands by adding them to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

The Bear River opens into a vast marshland above the Great Salt Lake. Surrounded by arid desert, these wetlands provide an oasis for birds journeying between Mexico and the Arctic.

A flock of white-faced ibis flies above the Bear River wetlands. WRC's conservation efforts on the Bear added a vital piece of habitat to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

Tundra swans, on the water in distance, migrate nearly 4,000 from their breeding grounds in the Arctic to overwinter on North America's Pacific and Atlantic coasts. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is a major stopover for these majestic birds.

Each fall, the Bear River's wetlands are used as a staging area for over 5,000 Canada geese and some 500,000 ducks.

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge protects the marshlands of the Bear River delta where it flows into the northeast arm of the Great Salt Lake. These marshes are surrounded by desert and form the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.

The Bear River's wetlands support over 200 species of birds, including Wilson's phalaropes, snowy plovers, white-face ibises, short-eareed owls, tundra swans, black-necked stilts, sandhill cranes and the continent's largest breeding colony of American white pelicans.

Each April, great blue herons arrive Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge where they will mate and hatch their young.