Since the waters of this reservoir flooded the canyons of the Green River, it has become a popular breeding ground for ospreys - large brown-and-white hawks that live on fish they pluck from the water.

"This is one of the few cases where man has done something good for wildlife," said Steve Craney, a non-game biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.When the first osprey survey was conducted on Flaming Gorge in 1976, biologists counted four nests and spotted two other sites in which a pair of birds might have been nesting.

The number of osprey nests has been steadily increasing since then. A preliminary survey conducted this spring identified about 20 nests on Flaming Gorge.

The only other osprey nesting sites in Utah are at Fish Lake in central Utah and Navajo Lake in southwestern Utah. During the spring and fall migrations, the birds may be spotted at almost any lake in the state.

Craney said biologists place identification bands on the legs of young ospreys produced at Flaming Gorge.

Banded ospreys from Flaming Gorge have been discovered during the winter months in El Salvador and at Guaymas, Mexico, said Craney.

The ospreys at Flaming Gorge build their nests on rock pinnacles and cliff ledges. They produce from one to four babies each year.

The ospreys can be seen regularly soaring over the lake and sometimes hovering in places high above the water.