Fall Birds

Earlier migrators (July–August)

  • American White Pelican

  • Black-necked Stilt

  • California and Franklin’s Gulls

  • Some ducks (Ruddy Duck, Redhead)

  • Great Blue Heron

  • Pied-billed Grebe

  • Sandhill Crane

  • Snowy Plover

  • White-Faced Ibis

  • Sandpipers

  • Yellowlegs

  • Wilson’s Phalarope
    Phalaropes have a unique feeding behavior. They swim rapidly in circles, creating a vortex that draws their food (brine shrimp and brine fly larvae) up toward the surface. Phalaropes gain weight at Great Salt Lake before heading to their wintering grounds in South America. Interestingly, Phalaropes exhibit a sort of sexual role reversal. The females are larger and more colorful than the males, and the males build the nest and incubate the eggs.

Later migrators (August–September)

  • American Avocet
    To feed, Avocets wade in the shallows and sweep their long, curved bills back and forth through the water. They gain weight at Great Salt Lake, often feeding alongside stilts, before migrating to Mexico.

  • American Coot

  • American Wigeon

  • Black Tern

  • Blue-winged Teal

  • Some ducks (Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Canvasback (some), Cinnamon Teal, Ruddy Duck)

  • Eared and Pied-billed Grebes
    Eared Grebes arrive at Great Salt Lake under the cover of darkness. They stay for several months, during which time they molt—they lose their old feathers and grow a new set. They can often be seen in large groups bobbing and diving in the lake’s deeper open water.

  • Gadwall

  • Killdeer

  • Long-billed Dowitcher

  • Ring-billed Gull

  • Red-necked Phalarope (some migrate, some spend the winter)

  • Sandhill Crane

  • Snowy Egret

APA format:

Genetic Science Learning Center. (2014, October 1) Fall Birds. Retrieved October 19, 2021, from https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/gsl/year/fallbirds/

CSE format:

Fall Birds [Internet]. Salt Lake City (UT): Genetic Science Learning Center; 2014 [cited 2021 Oct 19] Available from https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/gsl/year/fallbirds/

Chicago format:

Genetic Science Learning Center. "Fall Birds." Learn.Genetics. October 1, 2014. Accessed October 19, 2021. https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/gsl/year/fallbirds/.