The medicinal effect of birding Antelope Island

I need another vacation. I know, I know. Panama was just a little over a month ago, but it seems like an eternity ago.

So, after a couple of tough weeks at the office where I ended up with a massive knot in my shoulder that seems to be radiating pain down to my finger tips, no amount of massage seems to have helped. The only solution left? Why, spend a day at Antelope Island!

The weather: Spectacular! Really no wind to speak of and none of those pesky midges that you accidentally end up swallowing. The temperature didn’t get over 76 degrees F. But the best part was the fantastic view of the new Great Horned owlets at Garr Ranch. They were hanging out in one of the trees over the picnic area, if you can believe that. They drew quite a crowd and I thank them for being in a bit of decent light. The mom was elsewhere snoozing–it is Mother’s Day weekend, natch. Mom deserves a rest.

Oh, and that shoulder of mine? Seems to be much better now.

We were able to see 76 species today. (But there’s only a 50 bird badge. Need a 75 bird badge.) List is below the photos. (Be sure to click on photo to enlarge.)

Brewer’s Blackbird singing his heart out.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Peace at Antelope Island

Canada Geese

View of Wasatch Mountains from Antelope Island


Western Kingbird

California Gull–Utah’s state bird

A pair of Eared Grebes

Eared Grebes

More Eared Grebes

Eared Grebes as far as the eye can see

Bonaparte’s Gull


Barn Own sharing space in the same barn of a Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl in the same barn with the Barn Owl

One of the many buffalo on Antelope Island

Male Great Horned Owl and two owlets

Aren’t they just cute?

One of the many antelope.

We totally need a 75 Bird Day badge. We got 76 today, but this badge will do.


Here’s our bird list for today. Two of them were lifers for me. The Barn Owl, believe it or not, and the Red Knot. (lifers in bold)

  1. Eared Grebe
  2. American White Pelican
  3. Double-crested Cormorant
  4. Canada Goose
  5. Mallard
  6. Gadwall
  7. Northern Shoveler
  8. Redhead Shoveler
  9. Lesser Scaup
  10. Northern Harrier
  11. Red-tailed Hawk
  12. Swainson’s Hawk
  13. Golden Eagle
  14. American Kestrel
  15. California Quail
  16. Chuckar
  17. Ringed-necked Pheasant
  18. Great Blue Heron
  19. White-faced Ibis
  20. Sandhill Crane
  21. American Coot
  22. American Avocet
  23. Black-necked Stilt
  24. Black-bellied Plover
  25. Killdeer
  26. Greater Yellowlegs
  27. Lesser Yellowlegs
  28. Willet
  29. Spotted Sandpiper
  30. Long-billed Dowitcher
  31. Wilson’s Phalarope
  32. Common Snipe
  33. Red Knot
  34. Pectoral Sandpiper
  35. Baird’s Sandpiper
  36. Least Sandpiper
  37. Semipalmated Sandpiper
  38. Western Sandpiper
  39. California Gull
  40. Ring-billed Gull
  41. Bonapart’s Gull
  42. Franklin’s Gull
  43. Mourning Dove
  44. Rock Dove
  45. Eurasian Collared Dove
  46. Great Horned Owl
  47. Barn Owl
  48. Common Flicker
  49. Western Kingbird
  50. Horned Lark
  51. Barn Swallow
  52. Cliff Swallow
  53. Common Raven
  54. Black-billed Magpie
  55. Rock Wren
  56. Sage Thrasher
  57. American Robin
  58. Loggerhead Shrike
  59. European Starling
  60. Yellow Warbler
  61. Orange-crowned Warbler
  62. House Sparrow
  63. Western Meadowlark
  64. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  65. Red-winged Blackbird
  66. Brewer’s Blackbird
  67. Brown-headed Cowbird
  68. Bullock’s Oriole
  69. House Finch
  70. Lesser Goldfinch
  71. Savannah Sparrow
  72. Grasshopper Sparrow
  73. Lark Sparrow
  74. Sage Sparrow
  75. Brewer’s Sparrow
  76. Song Sparrow